Gidleigh 'Lost' WW1 Memorial Trees

Description

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.'

Inscription

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.

Veterans listed on this memorial

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
Address
Gidleigh Lane
Replacement trees are located near a small bridge approach to Gidleigh station
Gidleigh via Bungendore NSW 2621
Location/surrounding area
Memorial Location
Recorded by
Sandra Young photos, research Michael Hall and Sandra Young
Established date
1919
Established Date format: 
$e_original_date = $entity->field_established['und'][0][value]; if (!empty($e_original_date)) { $changed_date = strtotime($e_original_date); $new_date = date("d F Y", $changed_date); print '
Established date
'; print $new_date; } else{ print ''; }
Dedication date: 
1919-07-04 00:00:00.0
Dedication date
04 July 1919

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