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Inverell Lone PinePrint Page Print this page

08-June-2019
08-June-2019

Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

A plaque tells the story of the Inverell Lone Pine and honours brothers Mark, Ben and Bert Smith who fought in World War One. The timber from the felled Inverell ‘Lone Pine’ was salvaged in 2007 and used to create the plaque.

The story started near a ridge on Gallipoli where a single pine tree remained standing when a battle began on August 6, 1915. All the other trees had been cut down to reinforce the trenches and it was called the battle of Lone Pine. When fighting began it took the Australians only 20 minutes to capture the Turkish main trench. The Turks tried unsuccessfully to recapture it for the following four days of savage fighting. More than 2000 Australians died along with between 5000 and 7000 Turkish soldiers.

Brothers from Inverell, Ben and Mark Smith, fought in the 3rd Battalion and Mark was killed during the fighting. Afterwards Ben souvenired several pine cones from the pine branches used to cover the trenches and sent them home to his mother.

In 1928 she successfully grew two seedlings. One she presented to the town of Inverell where it survived until 2007 and the other to the Parks and Gardens section of the Department of the Interior in Canberra. The Duke of Gloucester planted this second tree at the Australian War Memorial in October, 1934. Today it stands more than 20 metres tall.

Location

Address:66 - 78 Evans Street, Foyer, Inverell RSM Ckub, Inverell, 2360
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.773888
Long: 151.115444
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:06-August-1915
Actual Event End Date:10-August-1915

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 25th April, 2013
Front Inscription
Australian Military Forces

Story of the Inverell Lone Pine 
Seven Victoria Crosses were won at Lone Pine. In semi-darkness, under pine logs, there was little space to shoot. Both sides fought with bayonet; sometimes with no weapons - clawing, kicking and struggling - throttling one another with bare hands. It was some of the most vicious fighting of the whole war. Over three days Australian casualties were 2,277 and Turkish losses a staggering 6,930. 

Two brothers, Benjamin and Mark Smith from Inverell, NSW  were involved in the capture of the Lone Pine positions. Mark was killed in the action. Benjamin, a Lance Corporal, noticed that the Turks had been using branches of a Lone Pine tree to cover their trenches. He saw that the trees had been destroyed in the battle and it is probable that his thoughts went home to his mother who was well known for her "green thumbs". He plucked one of the cones from the destroyed tree and sent it to her. Benjamin`s twin brother, Bert also enlisted in the A.I.F. The mother planted three seeds shed by the cone and like the story of the three boys, two trees lived and one died. In 1930 Mrs McMullen, the boys' mother sent one of the trees to Inverell where the boys had lived, the second tree was sent to Canberra for the opening of the War Memorial. The Duke of Gloucester planted the tree on 24th October, 1934 dedicated to the memory of Mrs McMullen`s son, Mark and other sons who fell at Lone Pine. 


The timber used in this plaque is from the original Lone Pine seedling. 

The tree was felled in 2007 due to safety concerns. 
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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