Pleystowe Memorial Avenue

Location: Eungella Road, Pleystowe, approximately 17kms West of Mackay.
Local Government Authority: Mackay City Council
Year Constructed: 1948
Type of Construction:    
War: 9 all died during war; 10th name (William John Baker) added in 2000.
Names:  
History: 

The Pleystowe Memorial Avenue was established in 1948 by the Pleystowe and District Patriotic and Welfare Committee. This committee was made up largely of wives and mothers who were members of a group called the Pleystowe Knitting Circle.

The committee was formed in 1943 from a public meeting at the Pleystowe School of Arts Hall and its main aims was to provide support and raise funds for servicemen from the Pleystowe district.

During the the War of 1939-1945, the committee provided food parcels for the servicemen from the area. On their return from the war, a small sum of cash was given to the servicemen to help them re-establish civilian life.

At the end of the war, the committee decided to erect a memorial to those who died during the 1939-1945 War. Any remaining funds were distributed among the returned servicemen.

The memorial project consisted of planting an avenue of trees along Eungella Road and labelling each one with a particular serviceman's name. Nine trees were purchased in January 1948 and were dedicated on Anzac Day 25 April 1948. The original nameplates were timber. They were replaced by a white metal board with black lettering in a star picket at an undisclosed date. In 1996 these nameplates were replaced with black wooden framed plaques with white lettering which were fixed to the trees.

Each Anzac Day the local RSL sub-branch and local families place wreaths at each tree. This tradition has continued annually since 1948.

The nine trees are dedicated to the memory of the following ten men. One tree is dedicated to both brothers Ron and Bill Baker after Bill's name was added in 2000.

 

Information Sources:

National Trust of Queensland, correspondence to Mackay Historical Society advising of listing, 27/8/1996.

Mackay Historical Society, Pleystowe Patriotic & Welfare Committee Collection.

Australian War Memorial
    AWM147 Roll of honour Cards, 1939-1945 War, 2nd AIF and CMF
    AWM148 Roll of honour Cards, 1939-1945 War, R.A.A.F.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Interview with Doug Jacklin, 2 Feb,1994

Interview with Cec Douglas, Dec 1993

Interview with George Reaston, May 1994

Interview with Hazel Clarke, 6 Feb. 1994

Phone Interview with "Maisie" Austin , 3 Mar. 1994

Phone call with Australian Maritime Safety Authority, 20 Apr. 1994.

Phone interview with George Gakowski,  Feb 1995.


Pleystowe Memorial Avenue on Eungella Road looking west towards Pleystowe...Sugar Mill on right of picture.

Rank and Name Unit  
Private
Ronald George (Ronny)
BAKER
BAKER, Ronald George, Private, QX13247, 2nd Company, Australian Army Service Corps, enlisted 12 July 1940, Died of Illness whilst P.O.W., 1 October 1943, Burma.
Sergeant
William John BAKER
BAKER, William John, Sergeant, 405670 (RAAF), 27th Operational Training Unit R.A.F., enlisted 24 May 1941, Accidental Death, 20 November 1942, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Corporal
Neil McNaughton CHRISTIE
CHRISTIE, Neil McNaughton, Corporal, QX8389, 2/3 Ordnance Store Company, Australian Army Ordnance Corps, enlisted 16 June 1940, Died of Illness while P.O.W., 5 June 1945, Borneo.
Private
Alan James
ELWORTHY
ELWORTHY, Alan James, Private, QX33560(Q130620), 15th Battalion, Australian Infantry, enlisted 16 December 1941, Killed in Action, 26 December 1944, Bougainville Island.  
Lance Corporal
Harry James
GLEN
GLEN, Harry James, Lance Corporal, QX8398, 2/25th Battalion, Australian Infantry, enlisted 16 June 1940, Died of Injuries, 4 September 1942, At sea off Townsville, Queensland.
Engineer Officer
Geoffrey
HALPIN
HALPIN, Geoffrey, Engineer Officer, (Merchant Navy), S.S. Faraday, Missing presumed killed, 26 March 1941, English Channel.  
Private
John Patrick (Jack)
KELLY
KELLY, John Patrick (Jack), Private, QX18710, 2/12th Battalion, Australian Infantry, enlisted 15 May 1941, Killed in Action, 1 January 1943, Papua New Guinea.
Private
William Joseph
(Billy)
KERR
KERR, William Joseph (Billy), Private, QX25924, 14 Garrison Battalion, Australian Infantry, enlisted 8 January 1942, Death Cause unknown, 24 May 1942, Woombye, Queensland.  
Private
Vivian James
(Jim)
REASTON
REASTON, Vivian James, Private, Q270857, 58/59th Battalion, Australian Infantry, enlisted 30 April 1943, Killed in Action, 9 June 1945, Bougainville Island.
Pilot Officer
Geoffrey Minchin
SMITH
SMITH, Geoffrey George Minchin, Pilot Officer, 426848 (RAAF), 105th Operational Training Unit, R.A.F., enlisted 14 August 1942, Accidentally Killed, 29 April 1945, England.  


If you can supply any further information or photographs on the above please contact us by EMAIL.  
Mackay Historical Society


    


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last updated 24 April 2008 .
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