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Photographs supplied by John Huth

A pine tree commemorates all totally and permanently incapacitated soldiers.

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).

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.

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.


Address:Victoria Parade, Freedom Park, Pialba, 4655
GPS Coordinates:Lat: 25.280425
Long: 152.838932
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


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 10th September, 2003
Front Inscription

"The Lone Pine Commemorative Tree"

A living link to the ANZAC preserved

In 1915 Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith of the 3rd Battalion pocketed a pine cone at Gallipoli and later sent it home to his mother at Inverell in New South Wales.  There`s no indication that the cone came from the famous Lone Pine, but it almost certainly came from Loner Pine Ridge where thousands of ANZAC`s died.  The original solitary tree used as a marker by the Australian troops, was apparently shattered by shell fire and shrapnel between 5th and 10th August before the Australians got really close to it.  Lance Corporal Smith`s pine cone was plucked from the branches, which the Turks had used to construct their overhead cover.

After reaching Mrs McMullen, the "Pinus halepensis" seeds were consigned to a drawer for 13 years.  Then in 1928 she decided to plant the seed, this was done and despite the long delay she was able to raise two trees.  The following year she presented one to the town of Inverell and the other to the parks and garden section of the Department of the Interior in Canberra.  In October 1934 the Duke of Gloucester planted the second tree in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial, in memory of Australians who fell at Lone Pine.

There the matter rested until 1981, when Mr Mucha became concerned that the thriving tree would not last forever and it was time to consider propagating.  Buds from the pine were grafted onto "P. halepensis" seedlings, they thrived and the following year Mr. Mucha presented the resulting tree to the Sir Leslie Morshead War Veterans Home.  Since then grafts and seedlings have gone to a number of interested people.  Stephen Mucha had responsibility for the controlled environment glass-house and the "Mini-phytrotron" at Yarralumla, but he also found time to pursue his greatest interest cloning a living link with the 1915 ANZAC Gallipoli Campaign.  He has done this by propagating grafts or growing seedlings from the Aleppo Pine at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.  The pine has a remarkable history dating directly to the ill-fated campaign.

Plaque :

This living link from the Lone Pine tree at Gallipoli is dedicated to the memory of all totally and permanently incapacitated soldiers

10th September 2003

Different conflicts - same sacrifice

Lest We Forget

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