What is significant? The Leongatha Avenue of Honour, initially planted in June 1918 with later additions and replacements, in Yarragon Road and Wild Dog Valley Road, Leongatha.
Why is it significant? The Leongatha Avenue of Honour is of local historic, social and aesthetic significance to South Gippsland Shire.
Historically, the Avenue is important as the first of a series of World War 1 memorial avenues established throughout the Shire, and as the one which inspired the establishment of honour avenues in other towns and districts. The association with the Moss Vale Nursery which supplied the trees is also of interest. (Criteria A, D & H)
Socially, the Avenue is an evocative memorial to the local residents who served in World War 1. (Criterion G)
Aesthetically, the Avenue although reduced in size remains the largest memorial avenue within the Shire. The size of the Avenue illustrates the significant effect that the First World War had upon the local community and expresses the importance placed upon creating a suitable memorial. Now mature, it greatly enhances the amenity and appearance of Yarragon Road and Wild Dog Valley. (Criteria D &E)
LEONGATHA AVENUE OF HONOUR - Physical Description 1
The Leongatha Avenue of Honour comprises about 200 trees, predominantly comprising elms and evergreen oaks, planted alternately on both sides of Yarragon Road between Roughead Street and Horn Street, and in Wild Dog Valley Road north of Yarragon Road. It is the largest memorial avenue in the Shire.
About 240 trees were originally planted, however, a number have now been removed or replaced with juvenile specimens, which has created gaps in the avenue. Many trees have been badly pruned, resulting in disease and other problems.
There is a cairn at the north east side of the intersection of Yarragon Road and Wild Dog Valley Road with a plaque that reads: "The Great War 1914-18. Avenue of Honour. Leongatha. The trees in Wild Dog Valley Road North of this point and in Yarragon Road, north easterly of this point to Horn Street were planted on the 22 June 1918 to commemorate the men of this district who served on active service overseas during the Great War 1914-1918. Erected by the Council of the Shire of Woorayl 1968 to replace name plaques attached to each tree at time of planting." The crest of the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces is attached to the front of the cairn.