Avenue of Honour mapping site
The Avenue of Honour mapping site connects the public with Ballarat servicepeoples’ stories.
Do you have a family member who served in the Great War and enlisted in Ballarat or Ballarat East? Are you curious to find the location of the tree planted in their name on the Ballarat Avenue of Honour?
The Honouring Our Anzacs website was developed by the City of Ballarat, with technical support from the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, to mark the Centenary of Anzac and to assist the public in accessing the stories of Ballarat servicemen and servicewomen who participated in the First World War.
While the website documents the fascinating history behind the development of the Avenue of Honour, the later erection of the Arch of Victory and the pivotal efforts by the “Lucas Girls” (employees of the E. Lucas & Co. textile company), the novelty for users of the Honouring Our Anzacs site is the opportunity to conduct a search for a family member or former serviceperson and instantly receive a map pinpointing the location of their tree on the Avenue of Honour, including tree number and accompanied by biographical details.
The goal is to bring to light further details of the journeys Ballarat service people took to war. Some 3,801 Ballarat men and women enlisted to serve in World War One. One in eight did not return home. The Honouring Our Anzacs site provides more of the personal details beyond the basic unit, name and tree number that were able to be displayed on the commemorative plaque placed at the foot of each tree.
For the first time interested historians or family researchers are provided with the name of the Lucas textile company employee who planted each serviceperson’s tree. Some 450 Lucas Textile Company employees were engaged in fundraising for the avenue, digging and planting trees between 1917 and 1919 and later helping to construct the Arch of Victory.
Drawing on data held by the Australian War Memorial, National Archives of Australia and UNSW’s AIF Project, the website enables the public to gain a greater sense of each serviceperson’s story, including birthplace, age, embarkation and disembarkation dates and locations, medals earned, the ships they sailed on, trades and time spent at the front.
Honouring Our Anzacs is one part of a comprehensive plan to maintain and redevelop the Avenue of Honour, its monuments and heritage features, to continue to reflect on the impacts of war for the Ballarat community and to keep alive these stories into the future.