The Mickleham Avenue of Honour
"Lest We Forget"
The 2.6 kilometer Mickleham Avenue of Honour is a historically, significant landscape, located in Mickleham Rd, Mickleham, Victoria and was originally planted by schoolchildren in the early 1900's as part of Arbour Day activities to commemorate men and women who served in World War 1. It is the longest avenue of mature eucalyptus in the City of Hume, Victoria and gives an unmistakable and powerful Australian character to Mickleham.
Originally the avenue of River Red and Sugar Gums was planted as part of Arbour Day and wooden plaques honouring people named on the Mickleham War memorial were also placed under the trees in the Avenue of Honour but have long since disappeared. Some of the trees in the Avenue of Honour had become structurally unsound due to old age and required pruning and some others needed to be removed.
On the 24th of April, 2002 as part of a commemorative planting day leading up to Anzac Day, 61 River Red Gums were planted by, school children, teachers and parents from the Mickleham Primary School, veterans from the Second World War and families of those honoured on the Mickleham War Memorial. The trees that had been removed were replaced and commemorative bronze service plaques were also installed, to honour those men and women who were listed on Mickleham's War Memorial.
Some interesting historical information on the Mickleham Avenue of Honour
Frank Cocking of Mickleham, as a school child, helped to plant the Avenue north of Mt. Ridley Road on Arbour Day in 1916. Frank named his tree after an Army General. By that stage the Avenue was already planted and well established south of Mt. Ridley Road. Originally the trees in the Avenue had guards to protect them from stock damage, as Mickleham Road was part of a stock route to the Newmarket sale yards.
Mrs. Mary Clancy of Kennington, Frank Cocking's sister, also helped to plant the trees along the avenue as a child. The children each gave their special tree a name of choice and Mrs Clancy name her tree Princess Mary. There were wooden plaques under the tree painted with the names that the children chose.
In the 1980's the wooden signs under the trees had begun to disintegrate. A local Mickleham resident gathered them up in order to ensure they were protected from further damage. This resident has since been deceased, and the local residents family sold the property and the wooden plaques were subsequently lost.
The following lists in order the 43 individual plaques and the inscription on each plaque.
The plaques commence from the first tree south of the Mickleham War Memorial, heading south, on the east side of the road on (the same side as Mickleham Primary School). The order was shuffled to ensure that veterans and their families who came to plant a tree on the 25th of April could do so for themselves or their family member. Hence some WW2 plaques are amongst the WW1 plaques to allow for a newly planted tree.