A highly-polished section of cherry tree, mounted on a plinth and with a silver plate recessed into the top surface which reads "Lone Tree Sept 25th 1915." Underneath, a handwritten note reads:
"'Lone Tree' was a flowering Cherry shelled to a stump in the Battle of Loos in September 1915. It was the principle feature of 'Lone Tree Ridge' - attacked by (inter alia) the Northamptonshire Regiment , which found its protective wire too thick for their wirecutters. In this battle the British used gas for the first time (it drifted back into their own lines) and suffered 60,000 casualties, mostly in the first 24 hours. The Lone Tree flowered again after 1918."
It belonged to my mother's late godfather, Cyril Enoch, and was presumably a memento of the battle belonging to his father. The mainstream history is that the cherry didn't survive its shelling and then soldiers' souvenir taking but a similar tree was re-planted in 1995, close to the position of the original. The re-planting took place on the 80th anniversary of the opening day of the Battle of Loos, and is a memorial to all those who lost their lives in that battle. That tree is still there.