Avenue of the allies



Unity in Remembrance: Avenue of the Allies in Tanilba Bay


The Avenue of the Allies serves as a powerful symbol commemorating the unity and cooperation among the 27 nations that constituted the Allies during World War I.

This monumental tribute stands as a testament to the shared sacrifices, resilience, and collective determination of these nations in the face of adversity. It honors the countless individuals who bravely fought and supported the Allied cause, transcending borders and differences to confront the common threat posed by the Central Powers.

Great Britain Declares War on Germany. Daily Mail Manchester, England 5 August 1914.

The main road within Tanilba Bay is the Avenue of the Allies, an impressive 45 meters (150 feet) wide. This grand street was planned to lead to a purpose-built jetty for ferry traffic.

Enhancing the overall design, two gates were built, the Land Gate & the Water Gate (renamed Centenary Gate in 1981), and two small squares, named Foch Forum and Haig Hexagon, were added near the gates.

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Henry F Halloran’s visionary plan included the expansive King George Gardens, encircled by spaces designated for a hotel and cafes, a school of arts, the Town Hall, and various municipal buildings, including a police station, a fire station, and a courthouse. The jetty & King George Gardens were never built, and Henry’s plans were modified to be a straight road.


The Naming of The Avenue of the Allies

The Avenue of the Allies, with its name associated with the historical backdrop of World War I, stands out as one of Henry F Halloran’s most impactful choices. This name appears to connect deeply with the patriotic sentiments of potential buyers, especially those whose sons had enlisted or had died or been wounded in the war.

Additional street names like Success Street, Victory View, and Conquest Crescent echo the prevailing emotions of relief and elation experienced by many Australians at the war’s end, especially those with sons who served overseas. Considering Halloran’s immediate German ancestry, these street names may also signify a distinct and unwavering declaration of his loyalties.


Who Were the Allies in World War 1?

In World War I, the Allies were nations opposing the Central Powers. Main Allied powers included France, the UK, Russia (until 1917), Italy (from 1915), the US (from 1917), Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Romania (from 1916), and Greece (from 1917). They formed a coalition, combining military, economic, and strategic resources to achieve victory.

France

France’s strategic tactics at the Battle of the Marne and Verdun halted German advances, with robust industrial support. French soldiers’ bravery was vital in securing eventual Allied victory.

United Kingdom

British forces were engaged in various theatres of the conflict, including the Western Front, the Eastern Front, and campaigns in the Middle East and Africa, showcasing the Empire’s extensive commitment to the war effort.

Russia (until 1917)

Russia was initially part of the Allies, fighting against the Central Powers on the Eastern Front. However, Russia withdrew from the war following the Russian Revolution in 1917, resulting in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany.

Italy (from 1915)

Italy initially entered the war on the side of the Central Powers in 1915 but later switched sides and joined the Allies. The Treaty of London (1915) outlined the terms of Italy’s entry on the side of the Allies.

United States (from 1917)

The United States initially stayed neutral but joined the Allies in 1917, significantly influencing the war’s outcome through its vital military and economic contributions.

Japan

Japan joined the Allies primarily to expand its territorial holdings in Asia and the Pacific. Japanese forces were involved in actions against German colonial possessions in East Asia

Belgium

Belgium, invaded by Germany at the onset of the war, showcased remarkable resistance against overwhelming odds, with its subsequent Allied support serving as a potent symbol of defiance against aggression.

Serbia

Serbia was an early battleground in the war, facing invasion by the Central Powers. The Serbian Army, with Allied support, played a crucial role in the defense of its territory.

Romania (from 1916)
Initially neutral, Romania joined the Allies in 1916 for territorial gains, but its military campaign faced formidable opposition, ultimately falling short of expectations.

Greece (from 1917)

Greece joined the Allies later in the war after political turmoil and internal conflicts. Greek forces, however, were not as extensively involved in major military operations.

Allies of World War 1 Duration 4 mins 55 secs Source: YouTube

Australia’s Contribution to British Empire Forces in World War

During World War I, Australia was one of several dominions within the British Empire. As such, its military forces were under the command of British officers and often fought alongside British troops. Historically, the focus of narratives about the war has often been on the British military and its achievements, with less emphasis placed specifically on the contributions of individual dominions like Australia.

However, this is changing with increased interest in studying the roles of all Allied nations involved in World War I. There has been a growing recognition of the significant contributions made by Australian forces, particularly in iconic battles like Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Modern historical scholarship aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse experiences and contributions of all nations involved in the conflict, including Australia.

Australian Expeditionary Force

Australia, as part of the British Empire, contributed troops to the war effort. The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was formed to serve overseas, and it played a significant role in various campaigns, particularly on the Western Front.

Gallipoli Campaign

For eight long months New Zealanders, Australians and troops from Britain and France battled harsh conditions and resolute Ottoman opponents who were desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

By the time the campaign ended, some 125,000 men have died: more than 80,000 Ottoman Turks and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including 8500 Australians and 2721 New Zealanders (about a fifth of those who landed on the peninsula).

In the history of the Great War, the Gallipoli campaign made no large mark. The number of dead, although horrific, paled in comparison with the casualties in France and Belgium. But for New Zealand, Australia and Turkey, the Gallipoli campaign left a lasting impression on the national psyche.

The Gallipoli Campaign, aimed at capturing the Dardanelles and opening a supply route to Russia, involved Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops alongside British forces. The campaign ultimately ended in evacuation and high casualties.

Despite heavy casualties and ultimately unsuccessful objectives, the ANZACs’ bravery and resilience became a significant part of Australia’s national identity.

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Official photograph taken on the British Western Front.

The war experience of most ordinary soldiers is summed up in this image. The soldiers and their steel hats, tucked into their trench; the duckboards for access over the top; the donkeys and carriages transporting sandbags; finally the metal poles down the left side of the image were used to make the miles of barbed wire laid across no-man’s-land.

The Western Front

Australian forces fought alongside British and other Allied troops on the Western Front, participating in major battles such as the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele. Notably, the Battle of Fromelles in 1916 and the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 were significant engagements involving Australian troops.

Members of the 1st and 4th Australian Light Horse in Egypt 1915. Source Wikipedia Commons Public Domain.

Middle East Campaigns

Australian forces fought alongside British and other Allied troops on the Western Front, participating in major battles such as the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele. Notably, the Battle of Fromelles in 1916 and the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 were significant engagements involving Australian troops.

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Australia’s Contribution to British Empire Forces in World War 1

During World War I, Australia’s commitment to supporting the war effort extended far beyond the battlefield. The home front became a hive of activity, with citizens enthusiastically rallying behind their troops overseas. Recruitment drives saw thousands of young men volunteer to serve, while fundraising events, such as patriotic concerts and charity drives, raised essential funds to support the war effort. Additionally, the implementation of rationing measures aimed to ensure that resources were distributed fairly and efficiently, reflecting the shared sacrifice felt across Australian society during this challenging period.

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The war had a profound impact on Australian society, sparking significant social and economic changes. Women took on new roles in the workforce to support the war effort, filling positions left vacant by men who had enlisted. The war also brought about shifts in attitudes towards issues such as nationalism, citizenship, and the role of government, shaping the nation’s identity in the post-war era. Overall, the collective efforts on the home front underscored Australia’s unwavering commitment to the Allied cause and highlighted the resilience and unity of its people during times of adversity.


Impact and Legacy of World War I on Australia

World War I profoundly shaped Australia, leaving lasting effects on its society and national identity. The sacrifices made by Australian soldiers, alongside broader societal changes, marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s history. Australia’s unwavering commitment to the Allied cause, as part of the British Empire, not only showcased its dedication but also contributed significantly to the eventual victory over the Central Powers.

This conflict stands as a defining chapter in Australia’s story, embodying themes of resilience, sacrifice, and unity. Beyond the battlefield, World War I prompted enduring shifts in Australian society, molding its identity and positioning in the global arena. As Australia emerged from the war, it carried with it the lessons learned and the valor displayed, shaping its trajectory in the post-war era and leaving an enduring legacy for generations to come.

Source: [creator tag] on YouTube, ‘Causes of World War 1’, Duration 3 mins 32 secs

Planting of Trees Along Avenue of the Allies

On June 7, 1929, the Port Stephens Shire Council received a letter from Henry F. Halloran & Company regarding tree planting on the Tanilba Estate roads. The council decided to obtain 114 trees from the Botanic Gardens for planting along the roads in the estate. The work was carried out under the supervision of the Shire Engineer, resulting in the iconic Norfolk Island Pines lining either side of the Avenue of the Allies.

Photograph of Avenue of the Allies amidst construction, date unknown. Source: Port Stephens Family History Society Inc

Interestingly, there are 3 Norfolk Island Pines in Sunset Park and one in Meridian Park, a lesser-known fact. Over the years, some of the trees have unfortunately died and been replaced by other species, but they remain an imposing sight.

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