Corporal William Dunstan VC Aleppo Pine Print Page Print this page

The Aleppo Pine was planted in memory of William Dunstan, a former pupil of Golden Point Primary School who was awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C) for his actions during World War One.

William Dunstan  (1895–1957) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.

Corporal Dunstan was awarded the VC for his actions on 9 August 1915, at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey.  The enemy made a determined counter-attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by a lieutenant (Frederick Harold Tubb), two corporals (Alexander Stewart Burton and Corporal Dunstan) and a few men. The enemy blew in the sand-bag barricade, leaving only a foot standing, but the lieutenant and the two corporals repelled the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Twice more the enemy blew in the barricade and on each occasion they were repelled and the barricade rebuilt.

Dunstan was blind for almost a year after Lone Pine. He later achieved the rank of Lieutenant.

Canadian Lead Primary School has planted an Aleppo pine in memory of a former pupil of Golden Point Primary School, William Dunstan. William won the Victoria Cross in Gallipoli, after surviving a battle at Lone Pine.

Students from Canadian Lead Primary School gathered on a small hill overlooking the footy oval to witness a huge piece of the school's history in the making. Guests at the ceremony included Keith Dunstan, son of William, Nancy McCallum, William's niece, Tom Jobling, RSL president, and Brian Broadridd from Legacy. Parents also visited the school to watch the planting of the pine.

Principal James Robertson opened the ceremony by talking about the Aleppo Pine. "It is a direct descendant of the Lone Pine from Gallipoli, the place where William Dunstan fought back in 1915." Two soldiers brought back some pine cones from the tree before it was destroyed. After sitting on a mantelpiece for a few years in Western Victoria, seeds were taken from the cones and four trees were successfully grown.

Four lucky students carefully lowered the tree into the ground while schoolmates sang 'Lest We Forget'. This was followed by a rendition of 'The Last Post' and an upbeat version of 'Advance Australia Fair.' Finishing off the formalities, many children placed flowers and tiny wreaths around the base of the tree.

Principal Roberston said the project had started after Year 5 and 6 students had researched the honour board that once belonged at Golden Point. "They were really excited when they found out a Victoria Cross winner was on the list, and wanted to do something in recognition of the hero. We have a connection with Legacy, and once Keith Dunstan said he was happy to be involved, it went from there."

There are plans for a path and landscaping to beautify the area. "We want the place to have a positive reflection and be a significant part of the school. Kids will be able to look up from the oval and remember why the tree is there."

Everyone on the day would agree, a lone pine is a living tribute to the men who died fighting for their country.
ABC Local, 25 April 2008. 


Address:301 Otway Street South , Canadian Lead Primary School , Ballarat East, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.573227
Long: 143.876937
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Tree
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:09-August-1915
Actual Event End Date:09-August-1915


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 25th April, 2008
Front Inscription

Descendant Of The Original 
Lone Pine Of Gallipoli
Presented By Legacy

Lest We Forget

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