Verdun Acorns



This plaque is in Lichfield’s Garden of Remembrance.  It seems that the planting of acorns from Verdun was not unique to Lichfield and that there are oaks grown from Verdun acorns at many other places in the country, including Kew Gardens, Coventry, and Reading.

In a forum (1), I found a possible explanation for this. It suggests that a box of chestnuts and acorns were sent from Verdun to the London and North-West Railway Company, so that they could be sold to raise funds  for the benefit of the War Seal Foundation (L & N-W Section). It also says that sample boxes were sent to towns and cities along the route of the railway (of which Lichfield would be one?).

I’m going to have a look throught the newspaper archive to see if there is any information on this. In the meantime, it would be great to know if anyone has ever heard of this before or has any further information. I wonder who Mr Knights was?

Oak tree thought to be grown from an acorn, from an oak tree grown from a 'Verdun Acorn'.


Edit 16/4/2012

I had a quick look through the British Newspapers archive and there is this snippet from the Western Times, Tuesday 24th July 1917.

“A resident of Ealing has presented the town with two chestnut trees and an oak tree grown from chestnuts and an acorn gathered by the Mayor of Verdun from the devasted forests of Vaux and Douaumount. They are to be planted in the Walpole Park as a memorial to the defence of Verdun’.


5 thoughts on “Verdun Acorns

  1. Pingback: From little acorns… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  2. Google Books lists quite a few journals mentioning the Verdun acorns incl.
    Gardner’s World 1917
    RHS Journal
    London calling 1954
    Architectural Digest 1991
    mostly snippets so you can’t read the full text online


    • Thank you very much for this Roger. Especially interested in the 1917 version. I think you can order journals from the library so I think I might have to do more research the old school way! With so many it does seem there was prob something ‘official’ about the planting of these acorns?


  3. Someone in the Civic society should be able to tell you about Mike Knights–check out their website.And also the Monks Walk Group are having having a working party on 21st April, but you can just come along to find out more about the garden behind the Library(10.30-2.00)
    Have you seen the gravestone set into theFriary wall behind the Library?


  4. Great info on Verdun acorns. I am researching Verdun oaks and chestnuts for the Woodland Trust as part of a Centenary Woods project and will use this. I know about the oaks in Kew (now removed due to damage) and Coventry (in the War Memorial Park and Stanley Park) but have not been able to track down any information about a tree in Reading. Are you able to give me any further information for this? I have also contacted the Friends of Walpole Park, Ealing, but they were not aware of the Verdun trees and were unable to locate them in the park.


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