The Avenue


In August 1918, 250 trees were planted by the local community to commemorate the World War I service of men and women associated with the former Shire of Creswick. Future plantings over the following year took the Avenue to 286 trees. Enamel name plaques were secured to wooden tree guards protecting the young trees.

Historical photo of the William M Boadle, Tree W51 William M Boadle, Tree W51.

Kingston, as the geographical centre of the region, was chosen as the location of the Creswick Shire Avenue of Honour. At that time Kingston housed the Shire Offices. Of the 286 trees, nine commemorate women who served as nurses, and five remain unnamed.

Mrs. May (pictured right) who lost one son in the war at the planting of the trees on 10th August, 1918.
Written on the reverse of the photo – “This is mother and Gwen up at the tree planting. Doesn’t mother look most gracious?”

The Avenue trees are predominantly Dutch Elms. Apart from replacing six trees, the Avenue is still intact. The elms within the township are not part of the Avenue itself; they were planted by the school community in 1919.

The Avenue of Honour starts at Victoria Road on the northern edge of Kingston and runs approximately 2.9 km south towards the Midland Highway.

The Monument

The Monument, made from Harcourt granite, was erected and unveiled by Brigadier-General Elliot on 18th December, 1927 to mark the beginning of the Avenue.

Left to Nature

During the intervening years, the Avenue was left in the hands of nature. Cattle and sheep were allowed to graze in and around the trees. Infrastructure, such as power and water, was installed, damaging the tree roots and creating an opportunity for suckers to take hold.

Restoration and Preservation

In 1999 the Kingston Friends of the Avenue group was formed. Its mission was to restore and preserve the avenue through fundraising events, grant submissions and attracting donations. Working bees were organised within the community to clear suckers and collect the plaques that had broken. These were then repaired or replaced and returned to the trees.

Working Bee 1999-2000 Working Bee 1999

Rededicating the Avenue

In the year 2000, a plaque and obelisk were installed in the avenue and unveiled. The obelisk carries the names of those represented in the avenue, with the exception of the five that remain unknown. The original obelisk became illegible and was replaced in 2017.

Original obelisk erected in 2000


The new obelisk 2017


Creswick Light Horse Troop and nurses leading the parade for the rededication
The Hon. Michael Ronaldson officiating at the rededication

Arborist Shane Jeffrey developed a management plan based on research undertaken by volunteer arborists. This report was presented to the Hepburn Shire Council in 2002.

The original Friends of the Avenue dissolved in 2000, however it became clear that a group dedicated to preserving the avenue was needed and the Friends of the Avenue was reformed in 2014 and has been building ever since.

Kingston Friends of the Avenue

The present state of the Avenue of Honour has come about due primarily to the hard work and dedication of a small number of people, who give freely of their time, energy and expertise.

Kingston Friends of the Avenue formed in 1999 as a sub committee of the Kingston Community Recreation Centre. It became an incorporated body in 2014 and works closely with the community and the Hepburn Shire Council.

Kingston Friends of the Avenue cares for the trees and their history. Activities involved include:

  • working with government and non-government stakeholders
  • applying for grants
  • organising Avenue Tours
  • collecting and archiving stories
  • working bees
  • establishing entrance signage
  • preparing for the Centenary of Planting and the Armistice Event to be held on November 11th 2018
  • over time, families have been involved in replanting trees

Acknowledging the Nurses

In 2014, as a further acknowledgement to the nurses who served in the Great War, the nine trees dedicated to the nurses were adorned with large red bows. The descendants of these nurses accompanied by members of the Friends of the Avenue, placed the bows on the trees.


The adorned trees dedicated to the Nurses


In recognition of its importance to the community and Australia’s legacy the Kingston Avenue of Honour was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Entrance signage

In 2017, the Hepburn Shire installed new signage heralding the towns and significant sites within the Shire. The Kingston Avenue of Honour was deemed to be such a site and through collaboration with the Shire and the Friends of the Avenue, the eye-catching stone and timber signage was placed at each end of the Avenue.

As a further indication of the community commitment to the Avenue of Honour, funds obtained from the sale of the old Kingston Hall were used to purchase the stone used in the signs.

Admiring the new signage are from left – Sue Scott and Josie Reasons (Friends of the Avenue) long time resident Heather Leishman and Julie Lindsay (Friends of the Avenue)  Front row : Bonnie