Newport Lakes Primary schoolchildren have planted one of 500 “Gallipoli oak trees” creating a living Anzac memorial.

The school was among 500 primary schools to participate in the National Trust’s Gallipoli Oaks Project by planting a seedling descended from a Gallipoli acorn in the schoolground on Friday.

The trust’s Anna Foley explained the oaks’ links to Gallipoli.

“At the core of this project is the story of how a young Australian soldier, Captain Winter Cooke from Murndal, near Hamilton, noticed some unusual holly bushes while stationed at Gallipoli that had acorns like oak trees,” she said.

“Captain Winter Cooke remembered that his Uncle Samuel in Hamilton was a bit of a tree enthusiast … so sent a package of acorns to him from Gallipoli almost 100 years ago.

“Schools will plant seedlings that are direct descendants of those acorns from Gallipoli.”

Schools can register for the project at