Two lines of chestnut trees, flowering either white or pink with individual plaques on each, and a memorial at the head of the trees.
The trees line the approach to Gidleigh station.
The original trees were a pink flowering chestnut signifying the men who survived the war, or a double flowering white chestnut for those who died in WW1. The original commemorative trees and plaques were washed away in some regional floods, and replacement trees now standing were planted.
Gidleigh station was a large station that at one time, even had its own small school, which was probably for the children of people who worked at Gidleigh. It was a famous and prosperous rural property. Gidleigh station is close to Bungendore.
Until recently, the Rutledge family owned Gidleigh station, and a few generations of the Rutledge family lived at Gidleigh. Jean Ruth Rutledge, the Mrs Rutledge responsible for the 1919 commemorative tree planting was heavily involved with the WW1 war effort, and was the president of Bungendore Red Cross for some time during WW1. There was another Mrs. Rutledge, perhaps her daughter-in-law, who was also president of Bungendore Red Cross for some time during WW2.
An article for the original event from the Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer (NSW 1915 - 1927), for Friday the 4th of July, 1919, can be found via NLA TROVE here
The Soldier's Memorial Trees at Gidleighfrom the Goulburn Post 5/7/1919:
'We have already recorded the planting at Gidleigh on June 27 of a row of trees as a memorial to the men who enlisted from that station. Following are the names of the soldiers:
- Lieut-Colonel T. F. Rutledge, Lieutenant H. F. (Pat) Rutledge (killed in action), Sergeant A. C. Taylor, Lance-Corporal J.T. Flynn, (M.M), Trooper W. J. McKay (died on Gallipoli), Trooper J.O. McKay (killed in action), Privates E.R. Flynn, J.T. Flynn, Trooper W.J Wark, Privates A.H. Donnelly, H. Harrison, S. McFadzean, W.C. Bootes and S. Parker.
A brass plaque is attached to each tree. The trees are flowering chestnuts – pink for the men who came back, double white for the three who died – and should do well in the alluvial flat along the main road through Gidleigh, where their growth will be watched with interest. At the head of the row is a brass plaque with the inscription: - “Lest we Forget”. These trees are planted as a memorial to the men who volunteered from Gidleigh to take their part in the Great War. “God gave them a hard thing to do and they did it”.
We hear that Mrs. Rutledge has received a communication from the War office saying that in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch of November 8th Lieut.-Colonel Rutledge’s name was mentioned for conspicuous service during the war, for the second time.'
At the head of a row of trees a brass plaque with: 'Lest we Forget' Each separate commemorative tree had a brass tablet with the soldier's name and battalion.
|Rank||Given Name||Family Name||Conflict/s||Fate||Service No.||Service||Unit||Campaign||Link|
|Private||William Charles||Bootes||World War 1||64681||AIF||5 DAC, 2nd LH Brigade||view|
|Private||Arthur Amichael||Donnelly||World War 1||1936.683||AIF||22/4 bat||view|
|Lance Corporal||John Thomas||Flynn||World War 1||1547||AIF||3/3 bat||view|
|Private, Gunner||Edward Richard||Flynn||World War 1||438||AIF||1 FAB , 3rd bat||view|
|Private||John Thomas||Flynn||World War 1||2153||AIF||4/55 bat||view|
|Private||Herbert||Harrison||World War 1||5083||AIF||16/3 bat||view|
|Private||Walter Stanley||McFadzean||World War 1||28970||AIF||6 FAB||view|
|Trooper||William James||McKay||World War 1||DOI 16/8/1915 Gallipoli||785||AIF||DOI 16/8/1915 Gallipoli||view|
|Trooper||Joseph Lewis||McKay||World War 1||KIA 7/7/1915 Gallipoli||273||AIF||1LH||view|
|Private||S||Parker||World War 1||AIF||view|
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