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Roma War Memorial Heroes Avenue

Description

The First World War Memorial encompasses a large area and comprises the avenues of trees, the cairn and the cenotaph.

The avenue of trees begins at The Railway Station, turns right into Wyndham Street and left into Bungil Street ending just after the intersection with Hawthorne Street. There are over 90 trees, all of which are bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestre).

The cairn is located outside the Post Office and is a white painted concrete pillar with a large chamfer on the top corner. The chamfered face displays a bronze plaque with the names of the 93 local men who fell in the First World War. These names were originally located on plaques attached to each tree. The trees were planted by 1920.

Location
Wyndham and Bungil Streets, Roma Qld 4455

Location of Roma War Memorial Heroes Avenue

Inscription
Refer to additional images.
Conflicts commemorated
First World War, 1914-1918
Memorial type
Garden/Avenue/Tree
Commemorative services held

Yes

Additional information

The Roma War Memorial was completed in two stages; the avenues of trees followed by the cenotaph.

The Heroes Avenue of 93 bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestre) was planted by 1920 and was the initial memorial to those in the First World War. Each tree originally bore a brass plaque stating the name of one of the 93 local men who fell during the First World War. Only one of these plaques survives, now on a cairn which was dedicated by the Roma RSL sub-branch on Remembrance Day, 1983. The cairn is located outside the Post Office near the corner of McDowell and Wyndham Streets. It also provides information regarding the rows of bottle trees and lists the 93 names originally displayed on the trees. Some of the original trees have been replaced and some have been removed to allow for increases in traffic.

The impetus for the Heroes Avenue began with the Mayor of Roma, Alderman Miscamble who had been impressed by avenues of memorial trees in southern states. The bottle tree was selected as it was a species commonly associated with Roma and it is thought that the first was planted in 1918 to commemorate the death of local soldier Lt Cpl Norman Saunders who was killed in France in 1916. This is the tree located outside the Post Office and known locally as the Tree of Knowledge. Trees were planted to commemorate subsequent deaths and although the plaques have disappeared each tree still retains its association with a particular soldier.
(Source: EHP Cultural Heritage Register)

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor
Date recorded
19 March 2009

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