University of Adelaide research into trees planted in honour of those who have served for their country has inspired local veterans to plant new trees on Remembrance Day (Tuesday 11 November) - the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.
Adelaide PhD student Sarah Cockerell is conducting a major national study of "Avenues of Honour" - tree avenues that were planted to serve as memorials to fallen and returning soldiers.
Ms Cockerell's research is directly linked with the Avenues of Honour project. This is a major project to plant memorial trees in preparation for the 100th anniversary in 2015 of the landing at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. The project is run by Treenet , the national urban tree research and education organisation based at the University of Adelaide's Waite Arboretum .
Australian RSL  branches have been contacted by the Avenues of Honour  project to enlist their help in planting trees that can be dedicated at Anzac Day services in 2015.
"When we looked into it, we discovered that there were no avenues of honour in the Unley area, and we are very keen to establish trees that will serve as a lasting and prominent memorial in the community," says the Secretary of the Unley RSL, Mr Peter Lathlean.
"Unley City Council  is donating four very fine specimens of Red Ash to be planted in the Memorial Gardens at Unley, with each tree representing one of the four major Services: Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Women's Service.
"After the Remembrance service, four members of our Sub-Branch, representing the four Services, will plant the trees so that they will be well established by 25 April 2015, when they will be dedicated. Local school groups and other members of the community will be there to attend the Remembrance Day service, and that wider involvement from the community is very important," Mr Lathlean says.
"We're very pleased to have the Council's wholehearted support in doing this. We're also grateful for the Avenues of Honour project and Sarah's research, which have helped to raise awareness of the importance of memorial trees."
Ms Cockerell says the role of local communities is crucial in establishing and maintaining trees as long-lasting memorials.
"These plantings symbolise a community's grief over the losses of war as well as a sense of community pride," she says. "I'm very pleased that our work has helped to raise awareness of memorial trees and has inspired a local community to get involved. That wasn't the main intention of my research, but it certainly has been a welcome outcome."
WHAT: Remembrance Day service, followed by tree planting - all are welcome
WHERE: Memorial Gardens, corner of Unley Road and Thomas Street, Unley
WHEN: Service starts at 10.50am Tuesday 11 November