A BRIEF HISTORY
Lucas is named after Ballarat's most distinguished historic landmarks – the nationally renowned Avenue of Honour and the Arch of Victory.
Ballarat's main thoroughfare, Sturt Street, is recognised as on the grandest boulevards in Australia. Cutting east-west through the city, it features more than two kilometres of central gardens, bandstands and memorials.
Not only does Sturt Street lead to the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour, it leads directly to Lucas.
Avenue of Honour
The Avenue of Honour was conceptualised, planned and planted by Elly Lucas and the 'Lucas Girls'. Mrs Lucas started her textiles company with her daughters and 20 employees in 1888. What started as a home-based business grew to employ 500 women by 1917.
The 'Lucas Girls' came to encapsulate all that the community spirit of Ballarat stands for - working together through difficult times, honouring those who have contributed to a greater cause, and finally, a get up and go attitude.
Between 1917 and 1919, the 'Lucas Girls' raised money to buy and plant almost 4,000 trees to honour all the local men who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces during the First World War. The Girls' commitment to raise money during tough times and plant thousands of trees on weekends showed a strength and determination that is admirable.
Ballarat's Avenue of Honour stretches for 22 kilometres and set a standard that has not been surpassed.
Arch of Victory
The 'Lucas Girls' were also instrumental in the construction of the Arch of Victory. The Girls raised a large sum of money to pay for the construction of the Arch, and were honoured to attend the official opening in June 1920 by the Prince of Wales.
The name of Lucas is another example of how we are drawing on the best Ballarat has to offer - true community spirit and values.
Between 1917 and 1919, the 'Lucas Girls' raised money to buy and plant almost 4,000 trees to honour all the local men who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces during the First World War.
HONOURING THE FALLEN
MAJOR CHARLES STANLEY COLTMAN AND
PERCY EDGAR COLTMAN
Major Charles Stanley Coltman and his older brother Percy Edgar Coltman both attended the Macarthur Street State School and Grenville College in Ballarat but both had moved to Sydney to further their careers when they enlisted, Charles in August 1914 and Percy in February 1915. Charles had previously served in the Boer War and served with great distinction with the 4th Battalion at Gallipoli, being awarded a Military Medal for his gallantry at Lone Pine. Percy also saw action for a short time at Gallipoli serving with the 22nd Battalion. Both would have been relieved to have been safely evacuated from Gallipoli but Charles became ill and died of pneumonia in Cairo on January 6th 1916, aged 38. He is buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery. After a period of absence without leave, and a subsequent Court Martial, Percy went on the serve in France where he was killed at Pozieres on August 5th 1916. Percy was 44 years of age and left behind his wife Ellen and a young family. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France. The Coltman brothers are also commemorated on the Macarthur Street State School Honour Board.
Major Charles Stanley Coltman
IVAN SHORTRIDGE MM AND BERTRAM CLARENCE SHORTRIDGE
Ivan Shortridge MM was born in Ballarat, was a mechanical engineer when he enlisted on August 20th 1914. In October he sailed on the Orvieto and served for five months on Gallipoli until illness forced his evacuation. Once recovered he moved on to France in June 1916 where he served with the 2nd Field Company Engineers earning a Military Medal, 'During the operations along the Menin Road on 20th and 22nd September, 1917, he was in charge of a party engaged in the construction of portion of a Strong Point in Polygon Wood. The work was successfully accomplished under trying conditions. 2nd Corporal Shortridge by his contempt for personal risk and devotion to duty set a fine example to his men. He personally reconnoitred a line for a communication trench to a neighbouring strong point.' On June 11th 1918 he was killed in action at the age of 23 and is buried at the Borre British Cemetery in France.
His brother Bertram Clarence Shortridge was also born in Ballarat, enlisted in Townsville in January 1916. In May he sailed from Sydney aboard the Demosthenes, reaching France in November. He served initially with the 41st Battalion before a four month detachment to the Flying Corps in England. In August 1918 he re-joined the 41st Battalion in France and on October 16th he died of wounds. He was 31 years of age and is buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery at Passchendaele in Belgium.
LIEUTENANT ARTHUR MELVILLE LILBURNE MC
Lieutenant Lilburne from Drummond Street in Ballarat was educated at Grenville College and the School of Mines before graduating from Melbourne University as a mathematics teacher. He enlisted in February 1916 and sailed from Melbourne later in the year. In August 1917 he was evacuated to England suffering a gunshot wound to his hand. He returned to the battlefield where he earned for himself a Military Cross, 'For gallantry and devotion to duty at Verbrandenmolen Ridge, south of Ypres, on 11th March 1918. While the battery was being subjected to very heavy shell fire he, at great personal risk, supervised the evacuation of all ranks to places of safety. On the following day, observing one of the gun pits received a direct hit, he, assisted by a N.C.O., collected a party of men and got under control the fire which had broken out, thus saving a large amount of ammunition. He showed great courage and coolness throughout.' He became ill and was again evacuated to the London general Hospital where he died of cerebral haemorrhage on July 11th 1918, aged 31. He was buried with full military honours in the Australian section of the Brookwood Military Cemetery in England.
Lieutenant Arthur Melville Lilburne
CHARLES HARRIS MM AND FREDERICK WILLIAM HARRIS
Charles Harris was educated at the Brown Hill State School before enlisting in Ballarat in July 1915. He embarked from Australia in September and reached France in March 1916 to serve with the 24th Battalion. During the early fighting at Pozieres he was awarded a Military Medal for 'Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty’. His bravery however exposed him to risk and on August 25th 1916 he was killed in action at Pozieres at the age of 25. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. His younger brother Frederick William Harris (SN 4214) enlisted just two days after Charles. He left Australia just after Christmas and reached France in June 1916 to serve with the 14th Battalion. On August 7th he was wounded, not severely, and was able to re-join his battalion a week later. On April 11th 1917 he was listed as missing in action during fighting at Bullecourt, but a Court of Enquiry in November concluded he had been killed on the day he was listed as missing. He was 22 years of age and, like Charles, has no known grave and is commemorated at Villers-Bretonneux. Charles and Frederick are both listed on the Brown Hill State School Honour Board.
RICHARD ERNEST O'SHANNASSY AND SIDNEY CYRIL O'SHANNASSY
Richard O’Shannassy from Doveton Street north, attended Macarthur Street State School before becoming a fireman. He was married to Louisa when he enlisted on February 25th 1915. He left Melbourne in mid-June aboard the Wandilla and sailed to Gallipoli. He served there with Gallipoli for a short time before he was killed in action on August 20th. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine and on the honour board of Macarthur Street State School. Sidney Cyril O’Shannassy was from Howitt Street, an 18 year old labourer when he enlisted on June 28th 1916. He sailed from Australia on October 2nd and reached France in April 1917. On August 9th 1918 he was reported as missing in action but a few days later it was confirmed he had been killed on that date. He was 20 years of age and is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
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