By Ted McKeown and Lydia Bushell in Glebe Society Bulletin 10 of 2020
The following article (now slightly updated) was penned by Liz Simpson-Booker and appeared in Glebe Society Bulletin 2 of 2015:
The Gallipoli Pine
On 6 August 1915, the 1st Australian Infantry Division launched a major offensive at Plateau 400 at Gallipoli, Turkey. The ridges were once clothed with the Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis). However, they had been cut down to cover and line trenches, leaving one solitary pine. Hence it became known as Lone Pine Ridge. In the three days of fighting the ANZACs lost 2,000 men and the Turkish losses were estimated at 7,000.
Lance Corporal Benjamin Charles Smith of the 3rd Battalion sent back several pine cones to his mother at Inverell, NSW. Mrs McMullen sowed some of the seeds some 13 years later. Two seedlings were grown, and one was presented to the town of Inverell. The Duke of Gloucester planted the second tree at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Glebe Society has donated a Gallipoli Pine sapling (Pinus halepensis) to the University of Sydney to commemorate those who served in World War I. The sapling presented to the University of Sydney was propagated by the Yarralumla Nursery from seed collected from the tree at the Australian War Memorial.
The Heritage Subcommittee has been able to identify over a dozen Glebe men who were associated with the University of Sydney as academics, support staff or students and who enlisted in World War I. As part of this investigation, members of the Heritage Subcommittee recently met with the Sydney University’s World War One Centenary Project Officer to review entries on their Beyond 1914 – The University of Sydney and the Great War database and to look for commonalities with the list compiled by Rod Holtham of those from Glebe and Forest Lodge who served in WWI.’
From Ted and Lydia …
The sapling donated to the University of Sydney was duly planted by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, on the eve of Anzac Day 2015.
Unfortunately, the site where the sapling was planted was right in the middle of what was to become the Chau Chak Wing Museum, which unites the Nicholson and Macleay Museums and the University art collection under one roof. So ‘our’ pine was sent away on an extended vacation but has now been replanted near the main University gate and in front of the new Museum.
As mentioned above, there are a number of commonalities between those who served from Glebe and Forest Lodge and those who served from the University, right on our doorstep. We can thoroughly recommend that anyone interested in this aspect of our common history consult the University’s website https://heuristplus.sydney.edu.au/heurist/?db=ExpertNation&ll=Beyond1914. You can contact Elizabeth Gillroy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information on this project or with details of students, staff and graduates of the University who are eligible for inclusion on the database.
The Beyond 1914 database forms a major part of the University’s contribution to the history of the Australian experience of the Great War. It is produced from information provided to the University between 1916 and 1938 by more than 2,000 former staff, students, graduates and their families and which is now held in the University Archives. It was used to compile the University of Sydney’s Book of Remembrance, first published in 1939. As an interactive, searchable website, Beyond 1914 holds digitised archives which offer a unique insight into the lives of these University men and women before, during and after the war.
This project has now been augmented by a similar database relating to the men and women from the University who served in World War II, and the significant contributions they made to Australia’s postwar recovery in the 1950s and to the growth of Australia’s industry, economy and community throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.
Chau Chak Wing Museum
As mentioned above, the Aleppo pine is located outside the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney. More information is provided here about the Museum.
The Museum has brought under one roof the collections of the Nicholson and Macleay Museums. I’m sure many of us remember the magic of visiting those two beautiful museums in the Quad. Added to that is the University’s Art Collection. Seventy percent of the items on display at the Chau Chak Wing Museum have not been seen publicly for over 20 years.
The Chau Chak Wing Museum was designed by Johnson Pilton Walker.
Visits to the Museum are free but need to be booked for COVID reasons. Entry is free and the museum features 18 new exhibitions across four floors of galleries, engaging public events and a hands-on learning programs for students.
Free entry, open 7 days, Weekdays 10am -5pm; Thursday evenings until 9pm. Weekends 12pm- 4pm, closed 23 December-6 January.
For more information: https://www.sydney.edu.au/museum/
Some of the Glebe-related items in the Chau Chak Wing Museum
While this image from the museum’s collection is not currently on display, members may enjoy The Business of Photography, an exhibition turning a lens onto the first commercial photography studios in NSW.