A living lesson on Lone Pine battle
By ADRIAN MILLER
AS AUSTRALIAN soldiers huddled in trenches preparing to engage their Turkish enemies, a lone pine tree watched over the battle field in defiance of the atrocities of war.
The Battle of Lone Pine, so named because of this solitary pine tree, was about to begin.
Fought in Gallipoli over six days in August 1915, the Battle of Lone Pine was a bloody hand-to-hand combat between Australian and Turkish soldiers which claimed over 2000 Australian lives.
Australian soldiers picked seeds from the tree to plant on their return and they have been growing around the country since.
A little slice of that history came to the Clarence Valley this week, with a presentation of a pine tree grown from those seeds, by the Grafton RSL to the Grafton Public School.
Grafton RSL honorary secretary Tony Perriman said the school was one of 10 organisations throughout the Valley which would receive trees.
"We have 10 trees grown from seeds brought back from Gallipoli which we hope to pass onto council for planting in areas of memorial significance," he said.
"So far we have presented trees to Cowper and Grafton primary schools, and we will also donate trees to Ulmarra, Westlawn, Copmanhurst schools and St Andrew's Christian Community College."
Mr Perriman said the tree is similar to hoop and bunyah pines and was presented in the lead up to Anzac Day services.
Grafton Public School deputy principal Leigh Jones said the lone pine would be used by the school to teach students about the significance of Anzac Day.
"In the future we hope to be able to take classes to look at the tree and have the significance of lone pine spoken about to help the students realise its importance," she said.