This article is about the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli and is one of a number of articles I have written about Gallipoli. I have also written guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:
Lone Pine Memorial
The Lone Pine Memorial commemorates 4,932 Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign and have no known grave. The cemetery takes it name from a single pine tree which grew on the site and is located within Lone Pine Cemetery. I have written a separate article on this cemetery which can be viewed by clicking this link: Lone Pine Cemetery. The names of the dead are listed by unit on the panels around the memorial and the central inscription reads:
To the Glory of God and in lasting memory of 3268 Australian soldiers who fought on Gallipoli in 1915 and have no known graves and 456 New Zealand soldiers whose names are not recorded in other areas of the peninsula but who fell in the ANZAC area and have no known graves; and also of 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who fell fighting on Gallipoli in 1915, incurred mortal wounds or sickness and found burial at sea.
During the Gallipoli Campaign, the site on which the Lone Pine Memorial now stands was the scene of very heavy fighting. The Lone Pine position was captured on the day of the Gallipoli landings (25 April 1915) but quickly lost before being retaken during the Battle of Lone Pine (6-10 August 1915). The soldiers commemorated on the memorial lost their lives from the first day of the landings all the way through to December 1915. They range in age from three 17 year-olds to Major Richard Jenkins who was 49 when he died.
The last soldier to be commemorated on the memorial was done so in error. Private Elvas Roy Wilson who died on the 30 May 1916 was reported missing on the 8 August 1915 and died of typhoid as a prisoner of war in Yozgad, Turkey. However, a wrong date of death was listed and Elvas’ service record contains correspondence regarding the error. A letter from the Director of Records at the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1926 reports:
It appears that Private Wilson died at Yozgad and was probably buried there, and if this fact had been realised in time his name would not have appeared on the Lone Pine Memorial but another.
You can view Elvas service record here: Private Elvas Roy Wilson.Near the entrance to the cemetery you will see a pine tree and a plaque which reads:
This pine tree was planted on 25 April 1990 by the National President of the Returned Services League of Australia Brigadier A B Garland AM (RL) in the presence of Australian veterans of the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.
The seed from this tree came from a pine tree in Australia germinated from a cone sent back to Australia in 1915 by a soldier on Gallipoli. Today, this tree commemorates the 8,700 Australians who lost their lives at Gallipoli and especially those who fought and died at the Battle of Lone Pine 6 – 9 August 1915.