New signs will help tell the remarkable stories of service men and women honoured at Ballarat’s Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour.
The ‘Local people, local stories: Ballarat and World War 1’ project was supported by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Veterans Council. It has created a series of 12 interpretive signs installed at intervals along the 22-kilometre avenue and linked them with the established Honouring our Anzacs website, which features an interactive map where the people commemorated by each tree can be explored.
The signs present the evocative stories of 12 local service personnel commemorated by trees in the avenue. They draw on real wartime experiences recorded in diaries, letters, newspaper reports and official records, combined with evocative photographs to highlight what they and their loved ones at home would have been thinking and feeling.
This project was made possible thanks to $35,000 from the City of Ballarat, a $10,000 grant from the Victorian Veteran’s Council Anzac Centenary Community Grant program, and in-kind support from the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee.
Mayor of Ballarat Samantha McIntosh said the project came from a recommendation in a conservation strategy for the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour completed in 2014.
“The signs help fulfil a key recommendation of the strategy to better communicate the service and sacrifice of those commemorated by sharing their stories,” Mayor McIntosh said.
The signs have been developed by the Arch of Victory / Avenue of Honour Committee with support from the City of Ballarat and Regional Roads Victoria.
The 12 sites were identified as part of the conservation strategy and have been approved by Regional Roads Victoria and Heritage Victoria.
“The signs are designed to be as discreet as possible within this significant landscape and seek to engage those who come to visit the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour or are passing by,” Mayor McIntosh said.
Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee President Garry Snowden said the signs are a timely reminder 100 years on from the formal end of World War 1 on 28 June 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
“It is important that we never forget the sacrifices made by these men and women a hundred years ago. This project will help to keep their memories alive.”
‘Local people, local stories: Ballarat and World War 1’ interpretative sign locations:
1. Arch of Victory precinct
2. Insignia Boulevard
3. Ring Road
4. Rail Trail crossing
5. Finchs Road
6. Whites Road
7. Chisholmes Road
8. Madden Road
9. Bo Peep Road
10. Hendersons Road
11. Ercildoun Road
12. Memorial Cairn