Gallipoli Rosemary returns to Keswick Barracks
The Gallipoli Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) story began in the pack of a young, wounded soldier, who left Anzac Cove in 1915 on a journey to Australia.
The Digger was repatriated to the Army Hospital at Keswick in South Australia and it was here that the Rosemary found a new home. The little bush settled in well and she and her offspring provided the thousands of fragrant sprigs that adorned the lapels and hats of many who attended Anzac and Armistice Day ceremonies over the decades that followed.
After the Repatriation Hospital was established in 1942 during WW2, some of Rosemary’s offspring took a short trip to the Daw Park hospital grounds to be planted in hedgerows around the new buildings. Today only a few remain long after the original had disappeared from Keswick.
In April 2021 another young Digger from these Keswick Barracks, with help from the Avenues of Honour Project, collected cuttings from these old gnarly survivors, and on Anzac Day 2023 Rosemary was repatriated to Keswick to be planted at the base of the Lone Pine (Pinus halepensis), another descendant from Gallipoli, planted in commemoration of those young Australians who served and are left behind.
David Lawry OAM