About The Remembrance Driveway
Nearly all cultures have found ways of remembering wars and honouring their war heroes. Some preserved the memory through myths and legends and others built monuments.
The Great War of 1914-1918 fostered an enormous community need to establish lasting memorials to those who served their country. Today Australia has more war memorials than any other nation.
After World War II, planting trees was seen as a symbol of hope for the future. Mrs Margaret Davis MBE, the Founding President of the Garden Clubs of Australia, suggested planting a living memorial to those Australians who had served in World War II.
A preliminary committee was formed in April 1952 to investigate planting avenues of trees and establishing groves and memorial parks along the Hume and Federal Highways between Sydney and Canberra to honour those who had served as members of the Australian Defence Forces during World War II. This committee became the Remembrance Driveway Committee.
In 1954 the Queen and Prince Philip launched the Remembrance Driveway when they each planted a Plane tree in Macquarie Place, Sydney. These trees mark the Sydney end of the Driveway. In 2002 three Red Spotted Gums were planted by the Governor-General in the Remembrance Park, behind the Australian War Memorial, Canberra to mark the Canberra end of the Driveway.
During the 1980s, the M5 Freeway, south of Liverpool, replaced the Hume Highway and it has become the new route for the Driveway, with native trees and shrubs being planted along its length.
The Remembrance Driveway is a tribute from those who remember yesterday and have faith in tomorrow. It commemorates all those who served in the Australian Defence Forces in World War II and subsequent wars or who have served since then in defence of the nation's interests, in operational theatres around the world.
During the mid-1990s the Committee decided to develop the Victoria Rest Areas and Memorial Parks. These honour Australian Victoria Cross recipients from World War Two, the Vietnam war and subsequent conflicts. Because of their acts of valour and extraordinary personal courage, they have been selected by name to represent all men and women commemorated along the Driveway. These memorials have been completed using Committee funds (most of which are donated by the public) and funding from the Federal, NSW and ACT Governments, and with support from commercial entities such as 7-Eleven (Kenna VC Rest Area, Pheasants Nest, NSW). 23 such Victoria Cross memorials have been established as of August 2012.
I hope that those using the Driveway will reflect on the sacrifices made by the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have defended our national interests, helped forge our national identity and continue to serve the nation to this day.
For further information on the Remembrance Driveway contact:
- Air Commodore Ian Scott AM, President
- Remembrance Driveway Committee
C/O Roads and Maritime Services
Locked Bag 928
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059
- phone: +61 2 8588 5601
- fax: +61 2 8588 4160
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An oral history of the Remembrance Driveway is available as a three CD that set can be purchased from the RMS's library for $15 plus postage and handling, or individual tracks can be downloaded from rta.nsw.gov.au.
Orders can be placed by contacting the RMS library:
Fax: +61 2 8849 2488
For Valour Documentary
This short film extract, although now dated, describes the Remembrance Driveway. It is from the documentary "For Valour" produced by Bearcage Productions and presented by Neil Pigot. The documentary explores the stories of many of the servicemen commemorated along the Remembrance Driveway, and then delves further into stories ranging from the Boer War to the conflict in Afghanistan.