Soldiers’ Memorial Gardens

Research team: Christine Garnaut, Julie Collins, Louise Bird and Emily Anderson

During and after World War 1 communities around Australia constructed memorials of various types to remember their deceased, missing and returned soldiers. The memorials ranged from physical monuments like statues and buildings to arboreal sites including trees planted in avenues of honour. In South Australia, metropolitan and rural communities embraced a distinctive form of remembrance that became known as soldiers’ memorial gardens. In the main, these living garden memorials were initiated, planted and maintained through the efforts of local citizens. Many were designed through a consultative process involving community representatives and the state’s Government Town Planner Charles Reade (1880-1933). The gardens were either stand-alone sites or incorporated into a larger scheme such as a recreation park or town improvement project.

Findings from the research are published as:

Garnaut, C., Collins, J., Bird, L. and Anderson, A., ‘Cherished sites of remembrance: soldiers’ memorial gardens’, Icons, 13th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, Griffith University, Gold Coast, 31 January-3 February 2016.

Funded by the Historical Society of South Australia and the History Trust of South Australia Community History Fund.