Lone Pine (tree)

Lone Pine (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. 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 original "Lone Pine"

The original "Lone Pine" was a 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 during the battle. The tree was obliterated as a result of 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. The resultant seedlings were found to be Turkish Pines, sometimes regarded as a subspecies of "Pinus halepensis" (Aleppo Pine), but usually classified as a distinct species, "Pinus brutia" [Spencer, R.D. (1995) "Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia" 1: 248-249 (University of NSW Press).] .

Tree at Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli

At the Lone Pine Cemetery on the Gallipoli peninsula, a solitary pine was planted in the 1920s to symbolise the original Lone Pine. This tree was inspected in 1987 by an Australian botanist and confirmed to be a Stone Pine ("Pinus pinea").

Trees in Australia

Private Thomas Keith McDowell, an Australian soldier of the 23rd battalion who fought at Gallipoli, brought a pine cone from the battle site home to Australia. 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 (June 11, 1933), the Soldiers Memorial Hall at The Sisters near Terang (June 18, 1933) and Warrnambool Botanic Gardens (January 23, 1934).

The tree at the Shrine Reserve was planted near the north-east corner of the building by Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Savige, founder of Melbourne Legacy at a formal ceremony.

Another soldier, Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith from the 3rd Battalion, also retrieved a cone from the battle site 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.

Both Melbourne Legacy and the Yarralumla Nursery in Canberra have raised and grown seedlings over a number of years, sourced from the tree at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian War Memorial respectively, which they have presented to schools as well as ex-service and other organizations throughout Australia.

According to a plaque in Sorrento Park in Sorrento, Victoria an Aleppo pine in the park is another surviving tree grown from the seed of the Lone Pine.

In Anzac Grove in Corrimal, there is a tree and a plaque which reads "This tree was raised from a seed of the original Lone Pine by Mr Stan Davis of the Illawarra Diggers Rest Home and was given to Corrimal RSL whose member's planted it in this spot on Anzac Day 25-04-1994 Lest We forget"

Trees in New Zealand

Memorial trees have been planted in Taradale Cemetery and King Edward Park in Stratford in New Zealand.


External links

* [http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=26&pg=1749 City of Melbourne: Lone Pine, Shrine Reserve]
* [http://www.balmoralcemetery.com/00_pdfs/gallipoli_lone_pine.pdf Balmoral Cemetery: Gallipoli Lone Pine (PDF)]
* [http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/lone.htm Australian War Memorial: The Lone Pine ]
* [http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/notes_pine.htm Australian War Memorial: Notes on the Lone Pine - Pinus halepensis]
* [http://www.cwgc.org/admin/files/CHAMPIONTREES.pdf Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Champion Trees in Commonwealth war Cemeteries (PDF)]

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