Planting of Lone Pine

Turkish troops had felled nearby pine trees to fortify their trenches and only a solitary one remained on the afternoon of 6 August 1915, when the battle of Lone Pine began. It was to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Gallipoli campaign, with more than 2,000 Australian casualties in just four days.

After the battle, Lance Corporal Benjamin Charles Smith, 3rd Battalion, AIF, collected several pine cones from branches used to cover the trenches, in commemoration of his brother Mark who had died on 6 August, and sent them home to his mother, Jane McMullin.

From one of these cones Mrs McMullin sowed several seeds and successfully raised two seedlings. One was planted in Inverell, where both her sons had enlisted. The other was presented to be planted in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial in honour of her own and others’ sons who fell at Lone Pine.

Wreath of poppies Wreath of poppies RELAWM12479

Poppy wreath laid by the Duke of Gloucester at the conclusion of the ceremony to plant a Lone Pine tree at the Australian War Memorial.