After World War 1 (1914-1918) our Nation was still grieving the loss of so many young men (60,000), many of whom were without a grave site to visit as their remains were left in faraway European battlefields. In the parks and streets of country towns, villages and suburbs across Australia, communities planted rows of trees commonly called “Avenues of Honour” as living memorials to those who did not return. This helped families to mourn their loss.
“The first avenue was planted around 1922 in Soldier’s Avenue, Harbord, following its renaming from Matheson Street by community request. Local historian Gwen Gordon records that the first tree on the corner of Soldier’s Avenue and Oliver Street was planted in memory of fallen servicemen from Freshwater Surf life Saving Club (11). The local Oddfellows’ Lodge and Harbord citizens planted another, “Our Heroes Tree”, near the site of the first local Anzac Day service on a vacant lot in Soldier’s Avenue. Further trees were planted each side of Soldiers Avenue, between Oliver Street and Albert Street. Each tree guard carried a plaque with the name of a fallen soldier”.
“For many years, wreaths and flowers were placed at the foot of the trees on Anzac Day. In 1985, remaining tree guards and plaques were removed by Warringah Council. Replacement plaques are set now in the Wall of Remembrance provided by Harbord Diggers Memorial Club in conjunction with Council in Jacka Park”.Manly Library Local Studies.