Arch of Victory
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

The Arch of Victory in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia is the entrance to the Avenue of Honour. The idea for the Ballarat Avenue of Honour in 1917 was attributed to Mrs W. D. (Tilly) Thompson, a director of a local clothing manufacturer, E. Lucas & Co. Between June 1917 and August 1919, a tree was planted for each soldier who enlisted as a resident of the urban area of Ballarat. The trees were planted in order of the soldiers enlistment, and stretched some 22km along the Western Highway, consisting of 3,771 trees.

This concept created the beginning of a cultural landscape peculiar to Australia. At least 128 Avenues of Honour were planted throughout Victoria between 1917 and 1921, the majority concentrated in the Central Highlands. From the beginning, the Ballarat Avenue was grand in concept, culminating in the official opening of the Arch of Victory by the Prince of Wales in 1920. The 500 staff of E. Lucas & Co. (known as the 'Lucas Girls) not only raised the money required, but then proceeded to plant all the trees themselves on weekends.

The result of a great deal of work by the girls employed by E. Lucas and Co., who raised the money required to build the Arch. The foundation stone was laid on the 7th February 1920 by General Sir William Birdwood and the Arch was opened on the 2nd of June 1920 by the Prince of Wales. The Arch is made of bricks, cement rendered.

One of the dedication plaques.

Another dedication plaque.

On sunday 13th March 1938, Mr. S. Walker, President of the Ballarat RSSIA unveiled the Temple of Remembrance (seen above) which is situated at the entrance of the Avenue of Honour. The temple houses a Book of Remembrance which contains a number of steel sheets upon which have been inscribed the names of every person in whose honour a tree has been planted in the Avenue. On the 7th of November 1954, Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead unveiled two tablets to acknowledge the services of the men and women from Ballarat in the 1939 - 1945 war.

A sample of one of the plaques on the Roll of Honour.
(All photos courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2010 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved
Text courtesy of
Ballarat Accommodation & Tourism Directory

Page published Jan. 1, 2013