Local veterans of WWI remembered

AN Avenue of Honour and Armistice Memorial has been officially opened at Waverley Flora Park to pay tribute to veterans from Clarence who served in World War One.

The opening and dedication ceremony was held on 11 November, marking the centenary of the end of the Great War.

Waverley Flora Park was the former site of the old Bellerive Rifle Range, constructed in 1917.

Twenty-three members of the Bellerive Rifle Club enlisted and served in World War One.

The club constructed an Avenue of Honour along Quarry Road to commemorate the 23 men from the club who served in the war, including two that had died, but the avenue fell into disrepair with the ravages of time and urban development.

Council has reconstructed a memorial avenue as a formal entrance to the park to remember those who served as part of an adopted reserve activity plan for the site.

Each soldier is identified by 23 advanced gum trees, accompanied by a sandstone plinth and brass plaque.

A memorial sculpture created by Tasmanian sculptor Folko Kooper – made possible by a grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs – has been installed to capture the significance of Armistice, becoming an important part of the city’s acknowledgement of military service.

Of the 23 soldiers commemorated at the site, 19 have been identified, with four still remaining unknown.

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the avenue and memorial sculpture ensured the memory of those who served would not be forgotten again.

He said the site would be lovingly cared for into the future.

“I hope that in years to come, the avenue will become a popular place for local residents to visit and contemplate our contribution to the Great War, and where families can come and remember loved ones who served,” he said.

“I would like to thank historian John Wadsley for undertaking comprehensive historical research for this project, sculptor Folko Kooper, consultants, Council’s Cultural History Advisory Committee, and our works crews who created this wonderful space.

“I would also like to acknowledge Adrian Howard, who brought to our attention the fact that Clarence had a memorial avenue of trees.

“Without his interest and passion, this project would not have started.”

The Avenue of Honour and Armistice Memorial at Waverley Flora Park can be accessed from Quarry Road.

If members of the community have any information that can assist to identify the four un-named soldiers, contact Clarence City Council on 6217 9500.

Caption: Four generations of descendants of the Marshall brothers at Waverley Flora Park.