INVERELL’S Lone Pine story will be commemorated in a special way with a $3000 grant.
The local RSL sub-branch will use the grant to inscribe the story of its Lone Pine on a timber slab taken from a tree grown from the original Lone Pine sapling. The story will be displayed at the Inverell RSL Museum.
The grant was from the federal government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorations program, which aims to honour the sacrifice and service of Australia’s servicemen and women.
The story of the Lone Pine began when the First Australian Infantry Division launched a major offensive in the Gallipoli campaign at a place called Plateau 400.
The Turks had covered their trenches with pines, but left just one so the area became known as Lone Pine.
More than 2000 Australians and about 7000 Turks died in the three days of fighting and seven Victoria Crosses were awarded from the action.
At least two soldiers kept cones from the tree and the cones came back to Australia with one going to Emma Gray at Grassmere near Warrnambool in Victoria and the other to Mrs McMullen, a mother in Inverell who had lost a son in the battle.
After 13 years she planted the seeds and grew two seedlings: one she gave to Inverell and the other she sent to Canberra where it was planted by the Duke of Gloucester at the Australian War Memorial in 1934.
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