TREENET Media Release: May 2022
Australia’s War Memorial Oak (Quercus robur), the very first known WW1 commemorative tree to be planted by any of the allied nations, anywhere in the world, will be 108 years old on the 29th August 2022. It can be clearly identified outside the southern entrance to the new Adelaide Oval.
Planted to perpetually remind us of the very sombre beginning of WW1 in Europe, progeny of this special tree will now feature in the landscape of the British Military Cemetery in Etaples, France.
The first of these young, pedigree Oaks, will be planted by Her Excellency Ms Gillian Bird, Australia’s Ambassador to France on Saturday the 14th May 2022. This occasion forms part of a ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the King’s Pilgrimage by King George V to the British Military Cemetery of Etaples on 13th May 1922. King George’s great granddaughter, Anne, Princess Royal, will be in attendance, along with many other dignitaries.
“These incredibly significant trees are living reminders of all those who have served, sacrificed and suffered,” says Tim Johnson, Director of TREENET, the non-profit behind the national Avenues of Honour project.
“They especially honour the 464 Australian WW1 diggers buried in the Military Cemetery in Etaples, France.”
TREENET will be represented at the ceremony, by Mr Spencer Brown and his wife Martine, who are France-based supporters of Avenues of Honour and the French-grown War Memorial Oak tree progeny project.
It is a quirk of fate, that Ms Martine Brown’s father, the young Capitaine Robert Algrain, was holding the standard in honour of King George V at Notre-Dâme de Lorette on 12 May 1922, welcoming King George V along his pilgrimage route to Etaples.
“This makes Saturday’s occasion, even more special than we hoped,” says Tim.
More details and imagery about the national significance of the War Memorial Oak can be found on the Avenues of Honour website, and in this information flyer.
Avenues of Honour is an initiative of TREENET, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving Australia’s urban forest: treenet.org. For more information contact Tim Johnson: [email protected] or 0448 599 955.