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Lone Pine Plaque: 17-August-2015
Lone Pine Plaque: 17-August-2015

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The pine tree commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought at Gallipoli during World War One. Pines which are planted as a memorial to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in Gallipoli are also known as "Lone Pines" or "Gallipoli Pines", referencing the original tree.

The Lone Pine was the name given to a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915 during World War One and it was the sole survivor of a group of trees that had been cut down by Turkish soldiers who had used the timber and branches to cover their trenches.

The tree was obliterated during the battle; however, pine cones that had remained attached to the cut branches over the trenches were retrieved by two Australian soldiers and brought home to Australia. Private Thomas Keith McDowell, a soldier of the 23rd Battalion brought a pine cone from the battle site back to Australia, and many years later seeds from the cone were planted by his wife's aunt Emma Gray of Grassmere, near Warrnambool, Victoria and five seedlings emerged, with four surviving. These seedlings were planted in four different locations in Victoria: Wattle Park (May 8, 1933), the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne (June 11, 1933), the Soldiers Memorial Hall at The Sisters near Terang (June 18, 1933) and Warrnambool Botanic Gardens (January 23, 1934).

Another soldier, Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith from the 3rd Battalion, also retrieved a cone and sent it back to his mother (Mrs McMullen) in Australia, who had lost another son at the battle. Seeds from the cone were planted by Mrs McMullen in 1928, from which two seedlings were raised. One was presented to her home town of Inverell (New South Wales) and the other was forwarded to Canberra where it was planted by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester at the Australian War Memorial in October 1934.

The Shrine of Remembrance's lone pine was felled in August 2012 and the timber used as part of a remembrance project, after a disease known as Diplodia pinea or blue stains fungus as it commonly called killed it.

Melbourne Legacy and the Yarralumla Nursery in Canberra have grown seedlings sourced from the trees at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian War Memorial respectively, which they have presented to schools as well as ex-service and other organisations throughout Australia.



Address:Hampton Road & Essex Street, Memorial Hall grounds, Northampton, 6535
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.347999
Long: 114.631286
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Tree
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Front Inscription

A solitary Lone Pine tree marked the site of the bloody
Battle of Lone Pine. It had been obliterated from the
battle that took place, but its pine cones were retrieved
and brought back to Australia by the Gallipoli soldiers. 

During the battle that ensued on the 6th August 1915 upon the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, Australian troops drew Ottoman attention away from the main assaults at Chunuk Bair and Hill 971.   The Australians captured the Ottomans but fighting continued as counter attacks were made. By the 10th August, the August offensive had ceased, leaving the Australians in control of the position. However, the wider offensive failed, and a situation of stalemate developed around Lone Pine. 

In total, there were 2,277 Australian casualties and some 5,000 Turkish casualties. Seven of the nine Australian Victoria Cross recipients from Gallipoli were awarded to those involved in this battle at Lone Pine. 

Today, the Australian commemoration of the Gallipoli conflict is conducted each ANZAC Day in the Lone Pine Cemetery in Turkey. The western wall of the cemetery sits over Australian frontline trenches, while the eastern wall rests on the original Turkish frontline.  

The seeds from the cones of that solitary Lone Pine have since generated further Lone Pine trees, and these help us preserve the memory of our Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in Gallipoli during World War One. 

This Lone Pine tree standing before you in the grounds of the Northampton RSL, as well as another tree planted at Binnu Primary School, are descendants of the original Gallipoli Lone Pine. 

They stand in place to mark the memory of our Gallipoli soldiers. 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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