The Heroes Avenue of 93 Queensland bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestre) creates a uniquely outback boulevard, remembering the men of Roma who died in WWI.
The first tree was planted in 1918 supposedly in honour of Lieutenant Corporal Norman Saunders who was killed in France in 1916. That tree, outside the Post Office, near the corner of McDowell and Wyndham streets, is locally known as the Tree of Knowledge.
The rest of the avenue, extending from the railway station into Wyndham Street and along Bungil Street to the intersection with Hawthorne Street, was planted by 1920.
Originally each tree bore a brass name plate. Only one survives and it has become part of a cairn outside the Post Office, displaying all 93 names.
A WWI Honour Board is located in the Roma-Bungil Cultural Centre in Bungil Street.
In 1938, Colonel Sir Donald Cameron unveiled a cenotaph in the town’s Queen’s Park the end of the avenue of bottle trees. It too honours the WWI fatalities. It has since added the names of 39 men who died in WWII.
Behind it stand nine pine trees, said to have been grown from seeds collected at Lone Pine, Gallipoli.