Lone PinePrint Page Print this page

05-June-2020 (Stephen Warren)
05-June-2020 (Stephen Warren)

Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson / Stephen Warren

The pine tree commemorates those who served in World War One.

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 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:Main North Road, Tarlee, 5411
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.271806
Long: 138.770139
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


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2009
Front Inscription

Notes on the Lone Pine

Pinus halopensis

Lone Pine or Plateau 400 was the scene of a major diversionary offensive launched by the Australian 1st Division on 6th August 1915.  The Turks had cut down all but one of the trees that covered the ridge to cover their trenches. The ridge dominated by the single Aleppo Pine (Pinus halopensis) became know as Lonseome Pine or Lone Pine.  In 3 days of fighting the Australians lost more than 2000 men and the Turk losses were estimated at more than 7000.  Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded.  As far as we know 2 Australian soldiers souvenired pinecones from the ridge that found their way back to Australia.

Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith of the 3rd Battalion whose brother was killed at Lone Pine sent home a cone to his mother, Mrs McMullen at Inverell in New South Wales.  Mrs McMullen kept the cone for 13 years until 1928 before planting the seeds.  She grew two seedlings, one of which was presented to the town of Inverell and the other to the Parks and Gardens section of the Department of Interior in Canberra. The Duke of Gloucester planted this second tree at the Australian War Memorial in October 1934. Today it stands over 20 metres in height.

Sergeant Keith McDowell of the 24th Battalion carried a pinecone in his haversack until the end of the war.  Upon returning home to Australia he gave it to his aunt, Emma Gray who lived at Grassmere near Warrnambool in Victoria.   A decade or so later Mrs Gray planted seeds and four seedlings were grown. One was planted in May 1933 in Wattle Park Melbourne. Another at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne and another at the Soldiers Memorial Hall at The Sisters. The last was planted in the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens.

In 1990 2 trees were taken back to Gallipoli with War veterans who attended the memorial service to mark the 75th Annniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign.

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