WALKERS can now immerse themselves in Orange’s war history by following the Heritage Trail of Remembrance.
Orange City Council acknowledged the centenary of the outbreak of World War I on Monday with WWI Centenary Community Committee chair Reg Kidd and Orange and District Historical Society’s Elizabeth Griffin launching a map of the trail.
A 45-minute walk starts at the Orange Visitor Information Centre and takes in the Sir Neville Howse memorial and cenotaph in Robertson Park before passing the Holy Trinity Church steeple and the Soldier’s Memorial Hall on Anson Street.
Those feeling more adventurous can also take in Memorial Avenue on Bathurst Road, the Lone Pine Memorial, Orange General Cemetery, Gateway Park and Newman Park, where East Orange Public School students planted an avenue of pin oaks in 1919 to remember 16 former students who lost their lives.
With 1800 enlistments from a population of 7000, Orange had among the highest WWI enlistment rates per capita in Australia and was one of the first to hold an Anzac march, in 1916.
Cr Kidd said more than half the Australian soldiers who enlisted were killed or injured.
“This means that something like one in eight of Orange’s residents were killed or wounded over the four years of the war,” he said.
Ms Griffin said Orange’s memorials were built because soldiers’ bodies were often not returned home.
“It’s for closure for the families because there’s always that hole,” she said.
She hoped the trail would help to keep the stories of sacrifice alive, beyond the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
The WWI Heritage Trail of Remembrance booklet is available from the information centre and Orange City Library.