Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published March 15th 2015
Lest We Forget
It's an important year for all Australian's this year, as we commemorate the centenary of the ANZAC legends. Of the 50,000 Australians who fought there, more than 8,000 were never to return, having made the ultimate sacrifice. A further 16,000 were injured in that tragic campaign. Many people will travel to the Canakkale Peninsula in Turkey to honour those who sacrificed their lives. For those of us who can't make it all the way to Turkey, a little bit of Gallipoli can be found in Melbourne, in the form of the Lone Pine.
Lone Pine Cemetery,Gallipoli
The original 'Lone Pine' was the sole tree left after Turkish soldiers cut down all the others trees and wood to provide cover for their trenches. It too, eventually was destroyed during the battle, though today it is remembered at the Lone Pine War Cemetery, close to the beaches of Gallipoli. During the campaign itself, two Australian soldiers, Keith McDowell (23rd Battalion), and Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith (3rd Battaliion) each retrieved one of its pine cones and brought them home to Australia. From these two cones, some 6 surviving seedlings were grown and presented to the Australian War Memorial and town of Inverell in NSW, and in Victoria in 1933, to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Warnambool, Wattle Park and Terang. The Shrine's Lone Pine unfortunately succumbed in 2005, and in 2006 was replaced by a 'grandchild' seedling from these original pines.
Melbourne Legacy, a charity which supports those left behind after their loved ones have died or been left incapacitated, propagated further seedlings from the first trees and soon the original Lone Pine had some 500 grandchildren - all planted at memorials, schools and other places where we can remember those who fell Tucked modestly away in Melbourne's own Caulfield Park, near the intersection of Inkerman St and Hawthorne Park, is one such Aleppo Pine, another 'grandchild' of the original Lone Pine, planted in 1965. Its long and graceful limbs brush the ground, and you can almost feel the sadness in its needles. Lest We Forget.