Help us promote Lemnos' link to Anzac - Make a donation now

Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Lemnos' Role Honoured at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital's New Murals

On 13th November 2018 Austin Health unveiled a collection of three 5m x 1.2m mosaics in honour of our World War (WW) I and II veterans. The artworks particularly recognise Indigenous soldiers from the Gunditjmara tribe as well as Australian nurses Grace Wilson (WWI) and Lemnos, Vivian Bullwinkel (WWII) who served during the wars. The artworks will add to the significant collection of war artefacts and heritage works on display at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

I was honoured to participate in the unveiling of the first mosaic of Grace Wilson and Lemnos on behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee along with family members of Grace Wilson and Melbourne Legacy Community Services Manager Ken Tsirigotis.

 It’s wonderful to see the nurses taking pride of place at the entrance and for the role of indigenous soldiers to be acknowledged. It was also a fantastic turnout including by a large number of children from local schools as well as Arlene Bennett from our Committee and the Nurses Memorial Centre, the State Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines MP and Labor Candidate for Jaga Jaga Kate Thwaites.
Congratulations to all those involved in making this permanent tribute a reality including Austin Health - Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and the artist.
Other photos from the unveiling are reproduced below:


Lee Tarlamis
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

New Olive Tree for Lemnos Square

Photo Sandra Khazam October 2018

Great news from Albert Park's Lemnos Square.
A key part of our commemorative installation at Lemnos Square in Albert Park was the olive tree. This combined with our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial, flag poles and information boards to complete our commemoration of the Hellenic link to Australia's - and Port Phillip's - Gallipoli story.
Photo Jim Claven  2017

Some of our members and supporters may have noticed recently that our lovely olive tree at Lemnos Square had sustained serious damage. We don't know what happened but it would appear that someone unknown had damaged the tree and "severely pruned" it - for want of a better word.
Photo Jim Claven August 2018
Our Committee alerted Port Phillip Council to the damage and the great news is that they have replaced the Olive Tree. The tree is now protected too.
A big thank you to all at Port Phillip Council, including Sandra Khazam, for their excellent and timely work in restoring this important component of Lemnos Square.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

First World War Aussie Banter - C.J. Dennis' Digger Smith Glossary

I was reading C.J. Dennis' famous book "Digger Smith" published by Angus and Robertson in 1918 and noticed that it includes a glossary of common terms that "the Digger" uses. They contain many phrases commonly used at the time and are reproduced below. One of my favourites is the word "cove" meaning a bloke.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee


Monday, 12 November 2018

Hellenic Anzac Story and the re-development of NSW War Memorial

NSW War Memorial, Sydney. Photo Jim Claven 2015
The NSW War Memorial is one of Australia's most important and moving commemorative sites. The impressive architecture of the building includes an army nurse and the excellent display, elements from the Greek campaign of 1941.

Photo Jim Claven 2015

Photo Jim Claven 2015.

This year witnessed the refurbishment of the NSW War Memorial, including the inclusion of soil from battlefields across the world (including the important battles at Vevi Pass, Tempe Gorge, Cape Spada and Retimo during the Greek and Crete campaigns of 1941) and the loan of a 2,500 Corinthian Grecian Urn (in the AWM's Collection - ART 30402) for display in the Memorial.
We congratulate the work of the NSW-based Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete & The Greek Campaign in these developments and urge anyone visiting Sydney to take the time to visit the new displays at the NSW War Memorial.
It is fantastic that the battlefields such as Vevi, Tempe, Retimo and Cape Spada have been honoured in this way. Well done.
Jim Claven, Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
The following information has been provided by Nick Andriotakis BE (Hons), the Secretary of the NSW-based Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete & The Greek Campaign.

Dear Friends
Yesterday was Remembrance Day and 100 years since the signing of the Armistice which resulted in the end of the First World War also known as the “ Great War.” I would like to bring to your attention for reflection two outstanding Australians (see also attachments) both born in Greece who served Australia in the Great War . They were amongst nearly 2,500 Australians of Greek heritage who served Australia in both World Wars.
Nicholas Rodakis
Sergeant Nicholas Rodakis MM, DSC (US), AIF was born in Athens in 1880 and enlisted in the First AIF in February 1916. He fought in the Western Front and was attached to a United States army unit, and in September 1918, Rodakis’ platoon was cut off behind enemy lines. As the unit fought to survive, Rodakis rescued an American officer in no-man’s-land before capturing a German machine gun. He then defended his position for hours, before returning to the allied lines under cover of darkness, picking up wounded as he went. For his actions, Rodakis was awarded the United States Distinguished Service Cross - the American equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Download a summary of Constantine's service by clicking here.
Constantine Aroney
Constantine Aroney was born in Kythera in 1893 and at the turn of turn of the 20th Century he came to Australia and was living in Melbourne . He served Australia in both World Wars, first enlisting in the First Australian Infantry Force in 1915 at age 20 years and 11 months. He served as a private in the First Anzac campaign at Gallipoli and then onto France and Belgium part of the 24th Battalion. In October 1939, he enlisted in the Commonwealth Military Forces and seven months later he transferred to the 2nd Australian Imperial Forces , serving in the second Anzac Campaign in Greece and Crete as well as Syria Palestine and , North Africa. Hence Constantine Aroney was a rare “Dual Anzac.” While serving in Greece, Aroney’s cultural background proved extremely valuable with his knowledge of the Greek language and customs . Following the debacle on mainland Greece, when the Allied forces were overrun by the German Army, Aroney managed to escape to Crete in an open boat, taking 23 Anzacs with him, whom he cared for with the help of Greeks on Crete – a heroic feat for which he was awarded the British Empire Medal.
Download a summary of Constantine's service by clicking here.
Yesterday was also the official opening to the public of the NSW Anzac Memorial Anzac Centenary Extension which realised architect Bruce Dellit’s original concept for the Memorial . Dellit had originally envisioned two water features running on a north-south axis to the Memorial, but due to the impact of the Great Depression only the Pool of Reflection north of the Memorial was ever built. Now a contemporary interpretation of the water cascade on the southern side of the Memorial , a symbol of hope for future generations, completes the original 1930s concept design. A walkway through the Cascade allows Memorial visitors to enter the new Hall of Service, exhibition galleries and education facilities, providing a contemporary understanding of the history and impact of conflict.
Included in these extensions is The Oculus, which is centred above the Hall of Service and is an architectural reference to the Well of Contemplation in the existing Hall of Memory and visually connects the two. Beneath the Oculus lies soil collected (where possible) from 100 battle sites of significance to NSW military history set into a ring in the floor.
Four of those soils have been collected from Greece - Vevi Pass , Tempe Gorge , Cape Spada and Retimo and are included in the ring on the floor.
Photos supplied by Nick Andriotakis:


Located at the heart of the Anzac Memorial is a bronze sculpture of the fallen warrior . The sculpture “ Sacrifice “ is based on the story of the Spartans from ancient Greece who were raised as warriors and were told to come home with their shield , or on it - a warning to be victorious or die. Rayner Hoff created an image that depicts the weight of the dead young warrior carried on his shield by his mother, sister and wife nursing infant child. The sculpture uses the Spartan Warrior analogy being returned to his loved ones dead on his shield to evoke the emotion experienced by the families of the young men who died in the Great War 1914-18.
In 2017 in cooperation with the NSW Anzac Memorial a submission by The Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney was made to the Australian War Memorial to loan to the NSW Anzac Memorial for display in the new extensions a 2,500 Corinthian Grecian Urn (ART 30402) held by the AWM .

The following is an extract from our submission to Dr Brendan Nelson , Director of the Australian War Memorial
“The Greek soil holds 1944 Anzacs from both campaigns of which 795 are Australians and nearly half of these were never found or their remains identified. The Greek soil also holds the ancestors of the Greek Australian community and so the Anzac legacy is forever intertwined between the two countries. In 1946 a 2,500 years old Greek Corinthian urn was donated by Greece to Australia and was presented to Prime Minister Chifley. The urn contained soil from the graves of Australians buried in the cemetery at Phaleron outside Athens. This was the first time in history that Greece had presented Greek soil to a foreign country. In a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia, the Prime Minister of Greece stated: “The Greek people will always remember with deep emotion the unparalleled heroism of the Australian soldiers, who, in the dark hours of our recent history, fought against the common enemy in Greece and Crete in comradeship with our soldiers. The Australian soldiers who are buried in Greece are the everlasting symbol of the friendship between our two countries and of the heroic contribution of Australia in the struggle for liberty and justice”
Dr Nelson acknowledged the importance of the Grecian Urn and agreed to loan it to the NSW Anzac Memorial . Below is an extract from his email to myself and the Consul General
“The connections between Australia and Greece that grew out of the Greek Campaign and the Battle of Crete are undoubtedly of great importance to both countries and particularly to the large Greek-Australian community here in Australia. I am delighted to hear that the Anzac Memorial will be including soil from four sites in Greece in their Hall of Service, I am sure that this will indeed strengthen the connection between our peoples.
Thank you for your interest in deepening the bonds between our two countries and sharing the story of Australian and Greek service and sacrifice together in the Second World War with the wider community."

The Grecian Urn is now on display at the NSW Anzac Memorial at the beginning of the exhibition galleries .
You may view photos of the Greek soils and the Grecian Urn in the link below but more importantly I encourage you all to take your friends and family to view both at the outstanding refurbished NSW Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park , Sydney .

Nick Andriotakis BE (Hons),
Secretary ,
Joint Committee for the
Commemoration of the Battle of Crete & The Greek Campaign


Saturday, 10 November 2018

Remembrance Day 2018 at the Oakleigh Cenotaph

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee was invited by the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL Sub-Branch to take part in their service held to commemorate Armistice Day 1918.
The service included a catafalque party (members of the Great War Re-enactment Society), the Oakliegh Band and wreath laying.
A very good speech was given by Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL President, Mr Douglas Pendergast. In his address Douglas pointed out that the Oakleigh District contributed one of the highest enlistments for WW1, with 10% of the then population of 4,800 joining up into the Australian Imperial Force. General John Monash praised the community for the service of its volunteers when he attended a fundraiser for the planned cenotaph in the 1920's. It was good to hear Douglas acknowledge the role of Lemnos and the Australian nurses who served there in his address.
The service was well attended with many members of the community, parliamentary, local government, local school and police attending. I was personally happy to meet visitors from my birthplace of Glasgow, one of whom was a service woman. I was wearing the medals of my maternal grandfather, Corporal John Dunnion who served on the Western Front with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
One feature of the service was the recognition of the role of France in WW1.

The Great War Re-enactment Society also expressed an interest in participating in the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee events - watch this space.
Our President Lee Tarlamis OAM and myself laid the wreath on behalf of our Committee. A number of members were also able to attend, including Mr John Salpigtidis and Mr Nikolaos Kydas.
The Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL has been a supporter of the work of our Committee for many years. Thanks to Douglas Pendergast, Ann and Jim Barker and all at the RSL for the invitation to participate in their great service.
Photos from the service are reproduced below:

Photo Nik Kydas 2018
Cr Tony Athanasopoulos (Glen Eira CC), Douglas Pendergast, Steve Dimopoulos MP for Oakleigh, myself and Lee Tarlamis OAM.
Myself. Committee member John Salpigitidis and Lee Tarlamis OAM.
Myself, Lee Tarlamis OAM and Cr Paul Klisaris (Mayor of Monash CC).
Photo Nik Kydas 2018


Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 9 November 2018

Centenary of Armistice of Mudros commemorate at Melbourne's Icon Shrine of Remembrance

Opening slide from my presentation.
Amidst the classical columns and architectural features of Melbourne’s iconic Shrine of Remembrance yesterday witnessed the commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice of Mudros.
The service was organized by the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee as a new addition to the Shrine’s annual program of commemorations. This service was the first of what will be an annual event. The service was preceded by an historical presentation in the Shine Education Centre by myself, in which I explained in words and pictures the story of the negotiation of the Armistice and its significance.
Promotional poster for the Armistice presentation at the Shrine. Photo Michael Claven 2018
Jim Claven delivers his presentation at the Shrine Education Centre. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2018
Jim Claven delivers his presentation at the Shrine Education Centre. Photo Ann Bendouli 2018
To read my presentation, please click here.
The service in the Sanctuary featured with the laying of wreaths and the reading of the Ode, culminating at noon, the exact hour one hundred years ago that the Armistice came into effect.
At this time, the guns fell silent across the various battlefronts of the Ottoman Empire – from Syria and Mesopotamia, to Thrace and the waters of the northern Aegean. The First World War was now over for hundreds of thousands of soldiers – including thousands of Australian soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses – and thousands of Allied prisoners of war would being to make their way home.
What better location for such a service, recognizing this important but little known part of the Hellenic link to Australia’s Anzac story. As we remembered the signing of the Armistice aboard the great British warship HMS Agamemnon – named after Homer’s great Achaean King who had besieged Troy – we looked up at the classical columns and reliefs of the Shrine, based as it is on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
The Armistice of Mudros commemorative service in the Sanctuary of the Shrine. Photo Roma Siachos 2018
Jim Claven lays the wreath on behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, Photo Roma Siachos 2018
The central stone in the Sanctuary. Photo Roma Siachos 2018

The service in the Shrine Sanctuary. Photo Michael Claven 2018

Murray Thompson MP prepares to lay a wreath on behalf of the Victorian Opposition. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Steve Kyritsis lays a wreath on behalf of the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Wade Noonan MP lays a wreath on behalf of the Victorian Government. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
The service in the Shrine Sanctuary. Photo Michael Claven 2018

Dimitris Michalopoulos, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic lays a wreath on behalf of the Hellenic Republic. Photo Roma Siachos 2018
The service recognized the role of the Island of Lemnos and its great Mudros Bay as the location for the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire, an Island that had played a key role in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. And so now in 1918 a great Allied fleet comprising ships of many nations – including Australia and Greece – sailed through the Dardanelles Straits and on to occupy the Ottoman capital, Constantinople. While coming years would see the eruption of further conflict and culminate in the Asia Minor catastrophe, the Armistice was nevertheless a significant step in the ending of the First World War across the region and another Hellenic link in Australia’s Anzac story.
Myself, Mr Dimitris Michalopoulos, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic and Mr Lee Tarlamis, OAM, President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, addressed those in attendance in the Sanctuary.
Jim Claven gives his address in the Sanctuary. Photo Nikoloas Kydas 2018
Lee Tarlamis OAM gives his address in the Sanctuary. Photo Nikoloas Kydas 2018
Dimitrios Michalopoulos, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic, gives his address in the Sanctuary. Photo Nikoloas Kydas 2018

Lee noted that on this day we commemorate the service of all service men and women of all the nations who fought across the Middle East and beyond, from Syria to Mesopotamia, and from Thrace to the shores of the Aegean, those who died and those who were wounded, their loved ones at home, and we acknowledge the upheavals and sorrows experienced by millions of civilians across the region.
To read Lee Tarlamis' speech in the Shrine Sanctuary, please click here.
To read Jim Claven's speech in the Shrine Sanctuary, click here.
To read the Order of Service for the Commemoration, click here.
The event was well attended. The event was particularly honoured to have in attendance two descendents of service personnel who had served on Lemnos during the First World War. Ms Mary-Anne Gourley is the grand-daughter of Lieutenant Commander Lieghton Bracegirdle, DSO and Three Mentioned-in-Despatches (MiD) who commanded the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train throughout the Gallipoli campaign. Ms Judith Gunnarsson is the daughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt who served on Lemnos with the 3rd Australian General Hospital also during the Gallipoli campaign.
Ms Mary-Anne Gourley at the service. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Dignitaries included the Consul General of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Dimitrios Michalopoulos, as well as Mr. Wade Noonan MP and Mr. Murray Thompson MP representing the Victorian Government and Opposition respectively, as well as former MP Bruce Mildenhall. The RSL was represented by Mr. Marcus Fielding of the Victorian Branch, Col (Ret) Jan McCarthy ARRC of the Nurses Sub-Branch, Mr. Steve Kyritsis OAM of the Hellenic Sub-Branch and Mr. Ange Kenos of the Essendon Sub-Branch. Ms Arlene Bennett represented Melbourne’s Nurses Memorial Centre.
Dimitris Michalopoulos, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic (centre), with from left – Jim Claven, Ann Bendouli, Murray Thompson MP, Lee Tarlamis OAM and wade Noonan MP. Photo Roma Saichos 2018
Murray Thompson MP (left) and Steve Kyritsis (centre). Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Bruce Mildenhall (right) with Wade Noonan MP. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Many of members of Melbourne’s Hellenic community were present. The Lemnian Community of Victoria was represented by Ms Ann Bendouli and Ms Sofia Siderellis. Ms Natasha Spanos of Oakliegh Grammar was represented by Ms Natasha Spanos, accompanied by two students, Alexander Logan and Floria Takos. The Greek Orthodox Community of Dandenong and Districts Greek School was represented by Mrs. Vassiliki Lambropoulos and Mrs Eleni Balkani.
Students Alexander Logan and Floria Takos with Natasha Spanos, all of Oakleigh Grammar. Photo Ange Kenos 2018

Representatives of the Greek Orthodox Community of Dandenong and Districts Greek School. Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Mr. Tarlamis thanked all of those who attended the event and those who assisted in its organization, including Col (Ret) Jan McCarthy who read the Ode, Mr. Allan Leggett our piper, Mr. Ange Kenos, President of the Essendon RSL, our flag bearer and the Lemnian Community of Victoria for providing the refreshments. He also thanked the Shrine of Remembrance and its staff for both allowing the event and for assisting on the day, in particular Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright, Ms Leonie Pratt, Mr. Dale Capron, Ms Leigh Gilburt and Ms Shirley Devery.
Members and friends of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee in the Shrine Sanctuary, including Judith Gunnarsson (second from right) and Arlene Bennett (third from right). Photo Ange Kenos 2018
Piper Alan Leggett performs at the Shrine. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2018

Lee Tarlamis OAM and Jim Claven with Col (Ret) Jan McCarthy, ARRC. Photo Ange Kenos 2018

Malcolm and Flora Macdonald (right and second from right). Photo Ange Kenos 2018

Despina Leggett (right). Photo Ange Kenos 2018

Virginia (left) and Michael Claven (right) with Jim Claven. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2018
Next Year
The Committee looks forward to its next Armistice of Mudros commemoration, which is scheduled to be held in the Shrine Sanctuary at 11.45 on 31st October 2019, and hopes that many will be able to attend this function and those into the future.
Photo Michael Claven 2018
Armistice of Mudros Commemoration on Lemnos
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee has also been assisting the authorities on Lemnos with their services commemorating the centenary of the Armistice of Mudros which will be held in early November. Ms Christina Despoteris, Vice-President of the Committee is representing the Committee at these commemorations. The program for these events can be downloaded here.
Committee member Terry Kanelos will also be attending these services, representing the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee