Gallipoli - The Making of a Nation

Lone Pine

One of the most famous assaults of the Gallipoli campaign, the Battle of Lone Pine was intended as a diversion from attempts by the New Zealand and Australian units to force a breakout from the ANZAC perimeter on the heights of Chanuk Bair and Hill 971.

The Turks shelled the overcrowded ANZAC lines just before the charge. The Australian forces, consisting of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Battalions entered the main Turkish trenches within half an hour. The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 12th Battalions reinforced the first Brigade the next day and the battle raged for four days.

It was in this log covered trench complex, in total confusion, amid screams of anguish and despair, Lone Pine became a furious nightmare of hand to hand combat. "We were like a mob of ferrets in a rabbit warren" one trooper said. "It was one long grave, only some of us were still alive in it".

Hundreds of ferocious one-on-one struggles broke out in the maze of trenches. Turks killed Turks and Australians killed Australians in the confusion. Both sides hurled bombs at each other which were lobbed back and forth until they exploded. The Turkish trenches were floored with the bodies of the dead and wounded of both sides.

This horrific battle was a rarity for the ANZAC because it was a "success" at the price of 2,200 Australians killed or wounded and about 7,000 Turks killed or wounded.

The Turks had cut down all but one of the Aleppo pines that grew on the ridge to cover their trenches. This tree was whittled away by shell fire in the early battles. Australian soldiers called it "Lonesome Pine" after a popular song of the time.

Some pine cones from the ridge were brought back to Australia and thousands of pine trees now grow in Australia propagated from the Gallipoli cones. One tree raised from the seed now grows in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Gallipoli.

Approximately 910 Australians died at Lone Pine, 6-9 August 1915.

Lone Pine

Lone Pine