The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Today marks the 106th anniversary of the start of the four-day Battle of Lone Pine, one of the deadliest battles of the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the Battle of Lone Pine demonstrated the courage, skills and determination of our Australian soldiers.
“The Battle of Lone Pine in 1915 came just months after the Australian landings on Gallipoli. In just a few days our forces suffered more than 2000 killed or wounded,” Minister Gee said.
“Part of a series of battles known as the August Offensive, Lone Pine was planned as a diversion to keep the Turkish reserve forces from supporting their lines where the main Allied attack was occurring.
“The objective was to take and hold the Turkish line, and draw the Turkish reserves away from the action occurring higher up on the heights of Chunuk Bair and Hill 971.
“At 4.30pm on 6 August 1915, the attack began. As the sun was setting, the Australians rose from their trenches and charged into no man’s land to attack the heavily fortified Turkish trenches.”
Within twenty minutes of the attack, Australian soldiers had seized the first of the Turkish trenches. Over the next three days a fierce and intense battle was fought with the Australian troops ultimately claiming victory in the battle. However, Australia’s losses were heavy.
“From the actions at Lone Pine, seven Australians received the Victoria Cross — the most ever awarded to Australians from one battle,” Minister Gee said.
“One of those awarded a Victoria Cross was John Patrick Hamilton who has a special connection to the Central West of New South Wales. Born in Orange, Hamilton was working as a butcher in Lithgow before enlisting into the Australian Imperial Force. Orange has not forgotten Hamilton. A statue of him stands on Anson Street.
“News of the battle and the extraordinary courage displayed there reached Australians on the home front. Lone Pine was to become synonymous with the ANZAC name and legend.
“The anniversary of Lone Pine is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the selfless service and courage of the Australians who served in the First World War and we must always remember them.”
For more information on the Battle of Lone Pine, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au