Jayne Symons | Communications & Engagement Director
Did you know we have our very own living ANZAC memorial, slowly growing to the right of the driveway leading down the hill of the College? Standing quietly and understated the Miniature Lone Pine is a silent tribute to the soldiers that lost their lives over a century ago.
Planted from seedling, the second generation Lone Pine tree is now 20 metres tall and is a direct descendent from the Battle of Lone Pine, Gallipoli.
The infamous battle of Lone Pine took place between August 6 and 10 in 1915 during the eight month Allied Gallipoli Campaign. Known as Plateau 400 or Lone Pine at Gallipoli, the fortified ridge position was marked by a single pine tree at the top.
An estimated 2,000 Australians were killed along with 7,000 Turks, during four days of hand-to-hand fighting at Lone Pine.
After the battlefield was cleared, a few Australian soldiers collected a number of pinecones from the remaining tree. Soldier, Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith from the 3rd Battalion sent a pinecone found at the top of the trenches back to his mother in Australia, who had lost another son at the battle. The cone and its seeds were kept in a drawer by the soldier’s mother for about 13 years before an attempt was made by her to plant the seeds in 1928.
Two seedlings were raised – one was presented to her hometown 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 (AWM) in October 1934.
Each year seeds are carefully collected from the Lone Pine growing at the AWM to produce much-sought-after offspring to plant at RSLs, schools and memorial sites.
We are very fortunate to have our own piece of history and as we commemorate ANZAC Day on April 25, we pay our respects to those that lost their lives and honour the returned and serving servicemen and women.