Memorial Trees, St Peters Terrace

During 1916 the Council and the Willunga Progress Association devoted special attention to tree-planting in honour of local men who were serving in World War 1. A sub-committee consisting of Rev. T Wood and Messrs. R. T. Hitchcox co-operated with the Willunga Public School, arranging an Arbor Day tree planting programme. With the planting of Pines along St Andrews Terrace and 12 White Cedars along St Peters Terrace, every soldier of the district had a tree with his name painted on a plate fixed to its tree guard. “These soldiers were L. S. Waye, J. S. Malpas, P. G. Malpas. F. Tregilgas, H. Cornelius, C. Fitzpatrick, W. Whitington, F. Whitington, W. Jacobs, L. Jacobs, S. Jacobs, S. R Mills, J. Hender. J. Fridlington, J. Blacker, W. J. Binney, H. Clift, W. Cornelius, J. E. Kirby, J. T. Tregilgas, J. Gormley, O. Norman, R. Rowland, T. Couchman, R. Lipson, S. Warman, A. N. Greenfield, A. B. Mills, E. D. Paterson, H. S. Waye, W. Leaker, A. L. Colville, H. Jackson, R. Morton. M. Waye, Oliver Chenoweth, J. Whyatt, H. L. Waye, W. Burns. Oscar Chenoweth, A. Mc Burney, W. Kitchen, R. W. Kirby, F. Martin, J. P. Flanigan, Rev. P. T. Wood (chaplain), late Earl Kitchener and late Councillor L. I. Jacobs.” 1 The first four trees on St Peters Terrace were planted in honour of Marshall Waye, Harold Jackson, Edwin Paterson, and Oliver Norman. 2

These trees provided a focus for ceremonies remembering those who died: A gathering held at the tree of Private Chenoweth after his death in France was recorded in 1917: “A gloom was cast-over the town on Thursday when the news came through that another of our boys, Private Oscar Chenoweth, had made “the supreme sacrifice’ having been killed in action in France. Private Chenoweth had lived here nearly all his life.” Last winter a row of white cedar trees was planted along St. Peter’s Terrace in honour of the men who had gone from this district, and Private Chenoweth’s tree was in this row. A short memorial service, arranged by the Cheer-up Society, was held at the tree on Friday afternoon. Mr. Hitchcox, in a brief address, voiced the regret and sympathy of those gathered around, and not only of those present but of the whole of the townspeople. Several beautiful wreaths were placed on the tree.” 3 “Violet Day was observed in Willunga on Friday. In the afternoon a large company of the townspeople visited the trees of the fallen heroes who went from here, and hung wreaths around them. A short service was conducted by Mr. R. T. Hitchcox. So far nine young men connected with the town have lost their lives in the Country’s Cause: Privates Waye, Chenoweth, Jacobs, Tregilgas, Harding, Bassett, Keane, J Creedon, D Creedon and Jackson.”4

References:

1. 1916 The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, 21 July, p. 3. , viewed 24 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147697243

2. 1915 The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, 10 September, p. 3. , viewed 24 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146299613

3. 1917 The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, 4 May, p. 3. , viewed 24 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147700914

4. 1917 The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, 6 July, p. 3. , viewed 24 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147701872

1915 Southern Argus, 16 September, p. 3. , viewed 24 Jan 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article96979644

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