Trees planted in five shire parks to mark 100 years since the guns fell silent

Tree planting ceremonies were held in each of the five council wards in Sutherland Shire to mark the centenary on Sunday, November 11, of the end of World War 1.

Single Gallipoli Aleppo Pines were planted in Monro Park Cronulla, Seymour Shaw Park Miranda, Como Pleasure Grounds, Parc Menai and Cooper Street Reserve Engadine.

RSL Sub-branch members and primary school pupils from each area took part in the Armistice Day centenary events.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce said the Aleppo Pines would honour the thousands of Australian lives lost fighting in service of their nation.

The idea was proposed at the council’s meeting August by present deputy mayor Steve Simpson, and unanimously supported.

The council recounted the story behind the Gallipoli Aleppo Pines:

On August 6, 1915, the 1st Australian Infantry Division launched a major offensive at Plateau 400 on Gallipoli.

The ridges, once covered with Aleppo pine trees, had been cleared to provide cover for the Turkish trenches, leaving just one, solitary pine.

The area became known as Lone Pine Ridge.

After three days of brutal fighting, the Anzacs succeeded in capturing the enemy trenches but this bloody action cost 2,000 Australian men’s lives and 7000 Turkish lives.

After the battle, Lance Corporal Benjamin Charles Smith, 3rd Battalion AIF, collected several pine cones from the branches used to cover the Turkish trenches.

He sent the cones home to his mother, Jane McMullin, in remembrance of his brother Mark, who had died in the fighting on 6 August.

“From one of these cones Mrs McMullin sowed several seeds, and successfully raised two seedlings.

One was planted in Inverell, where both her sons had enlisted. The other was presented to the Australian War Memorial, to be planted in the grounds in honour of all the sons who fell at Lone Pine.

The Australian War Memorial, in conjunction with Yarralumla Nursery in Canberra, now sell stock sourced from the Lone Pine tree.

RSL Sub-branches will hold Remembrance Day ceremonies on Sunday, climaxing at 11am, the hour when the guns fell silent.