2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. To commemorate this important year, the NSW Government is interviewing WWII veterans about their experiences. Read our 75th Anniversary Stories.
A Lone Pine tree within protective barrier.
Excerpt from speech by John Fenwick President Maitland RSL Sub-Branch, at Lone Pine planting at Stockade Hill at 3pm on Anzac Day 25 April 2003:
The Battle of Lone Pine began on 6th August 19 15. The Lone Pine operation was planned as a diversion to draw Turkish reserves away from a major British attack to be launched at the northern end of the Australian and New Zealand position on Gallipoli. The Australians suffered more than 2,200 casualties at Lone Pine and the Turks over 5,000. Seven Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross with threes VC's being won in a single action at Lone Pine. Three men working side by side were all awarded the Victoria Cross, this stands as the most VCs ever awarded for a single action involving Australians. Unfortunately two of those VC's were granted posthumously.
Many men from the Maitland district fought and died in the Battle of Lone Pine, the most noted of them was Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie of Maitland, the Commanding Officer of the famous 2'* Battalion AIF, who was killed in action on the 7th August 1915 while trying to save some of his men from Turkish fire. Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith of the 3rd Battalion whose brother was killed in the battle for Lone Pine Ridge sent a cone home 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 she presented to the town of Inverell 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 over 20 metres in height.
The Pine tree planted here today which was raised from small pinecone seed taken from the Battle of Lone Pine area over 85 years ago is a sign not only of the strength of remembrance for all those who fell in battle, died of wounds or suffered because of war but it will become a growing living symbol of freedom and of the sacrifices made by all who served. The Spirit of ANZAC is invincible. It is the flame that burns forevermore in the heart of every true Australian and New Zealander.
Today we stand safe and free, clothed with all the privileges and rights of citizens in these great free countries. And all these things - liberty, security, opportunity, the privileges of citizenship - we owe to those men who fought, endured, suffered, and died for us and for their country. Their deeds and their sacrifices gave us the invincible, the intangible, the Spirit of Anzac. May this pine tree grow strong and stand tall so that it may reflect the Spirit of Anzac to all present and future Australians.
Memorial does not include inscription.
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