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

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Armistice of Mudros Story - The Gallipolian (UK)


The latest edition of the UK-based The Gallipolian magazine has published my historical article on the signing of the Armistice of Mudros at Lemnos in October 1918.
A version of this article had also been published in the Greek language in the Hellenic Navy Journal.
It is great to bring this story to a wider audience.
You can read and download the relevant pages by clicking on the links below:
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 1
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 2
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 3
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 4
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 5
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 6
Claven - Armistice - Gallipolian - 148 Winter 2018 7
The Gallipolian is published by the UK-based Gallipoli Associaion. They welcome new members and I urge anyone interested in the Gallipoli campaign to do so. Membership enquiries to:
membershipsecretary@gallipoli-association.org
Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Lemnos' Australian Pier Memorial Unveiling Story - The Gallipolian (UK)

The Australian Pier Memorial, East Mudros, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2018
The latest edition of the UK-based The Gallipolian magazine has published my story concerning the Gallipoli commemorations on Lemnos in April 2018, including the story of the unveiling of the new Australian Pier Memorial north of Mudros.
It is great to bring this story to a wider audience.
You can read and download the relevant pages by clicking on the links below:
Jim Claven - Australian Pier Unveiling - The Gallipolian 148 Winter 2018 1
Jim Claven - Australian Pier Unveiling - The Gallipolian 148 Winter 2018 2
Jim Claven - Australian Pier Unveiling - The Gallipolian 148 Winter 2018 3

The Gallipolian is published by the UK-based Gallipoli Associaion. They welcome new members and I urge anyone interested in the Gallipoli campaign to do so. Membership enquiries to:
membershipsecretary@gallipoli-association.org
Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 25 January 2019

Lemnos Hero - Major Stanley Argyle, Medical Officer and Premier

Stanley Seymour Argyle, Premier of Victoria. Portrait from Parliament of Victoria.

Today we honour the service of the only Gallipoli veteran who served on Lemnos in 1915-16, who returned to Australia and was later elected a State Premier - Stanley Argyle.
Born in Kyneton and resident at Cotham Road in Kew, Stanley was a medical practitioner working at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital (where Lemnos' Matron Grace Wilson would later serve after the war).
Stanley enlisted in the AIF in November 1914 and was appointed to the 2nd Australian General Hospital. Later he would be transferred to the largely South Australian-raised 1st Australian Stationary Hospital and would come join it at its East Mudros location on Lemnos on 26th April 1915. Here he would see installed an X-Ray machine and seventy electric lights powered by a new generator - serving the patients at the hospital, who sometimes rose to number 400. Stanley was known as the "AIF radiologist" and had been one of the pioneers of this new technology in Australia, working as the radiologist at the Alfred Hospital prior to his enlistment.
Stanley served in Egypt and France, returning to Australia in 1917 and resuming his position at the Alfred Hospital.
Entering Victorian politics as the member for the electorate of Toorak in 1920, Stanley would serve as Victoria's Premier from 1932 until 1935.
In so doing, Stanley is the only Gallipoli campaign veteran to have led a State Government in Australia.
Another Gallipoli veteran - Stanley Melbourne Bruce - would serve as Australia's Prime Minister - but he served with the British Army and not the Australian forces during the campaign.
Another important connection between Australia's Anzac story and Lemnos.

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 14 January 2019

Dunkeld and Lemnos ... Another Lemnos connection in Victoria

Dunkeld War Memorial, Victoria. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2019

Recently our President, Lee Tarlamis OAM, made a visit to the central Victorian country town of Dunkeld.
At Dunkeld Lee came across its War Memorial and special dedication to Australia's WW1 submarine, the AE2. the AE2 is famous for having been the first Allied naval vessel to have breached the Turkish defences at the narrows in the Dardanelles. After an engagement, the submarine was scuttled to ensure it didn't fall into enemy hands and the crew went into captivity for the rest of the war.
Dunkeld War Memorial detail. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2019
One of those crew members was Stoker Michael Williams, born in Dunkeld in 1894.
What is not so well known is that the AE2 has a strong connection to Lemnos.
Firstly, the submarine sailed in one of the convoys which would ultimately bring the Australian troops to Lemnos.
Secondly, the submarine itself came to Lemnos prior to the landings on 25th April, and no doubt its crew looked out on the Island and the villages across its shores.
And finally, the submarine would sail from the port of Mudros on its journey to the Dardanelles that would see it pass the narrows.
It is also true that those crew members who survived Turkish captivity - sadly not Michael - would be released following the signing of the Armistice of Mudros at Lemnos in October 1918.
This demonstrates again the Hellenic link to Anzac, connecting local Australian communities and their Anzac history to the Greek Island of Lemnos.
Below are some of the photos taken by Lee of the Dunkeld Memorial.

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee





Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The Day Australian Nurses met the Commander of Allied Fleet at Gallipoli

HMS Nelson during the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915-16. Photo IWM
Sailors from the Lord Nelson on Lemnos, 1915. Photo IWM
During their over five months service on Lemnos' turks Head Peninsula the Australian nurses of the 3rd Australian General Hospital (3rd AGH) had had to endured summer heat and winter storms in their tents on the exposed peninsula. And they had treated thousands of wounded and sick Allied soldiers from the Gallipoli trenches and battles.
Staff Nurse Lucy Daw (second from left), rugged up against the winter cold at the 3rd AGH, Turks Head Peninsula, Lemnos. Photo Albert Savage, SLNSW
On a few occasions the nurses were able to enjoy a few hours respite aboard some of the great warships that came to Lemnos' great Mudros Bay during the campaign. Invited by the naval officers, they would enioy afternoon tea or dinner, sometimes with a musical concert. And most importantly an improvement on their rations at Lemnos!
We know about one of the most important of these occasions due to the surviving diary of one of those nurses - South Australian Staff Nurse Lucy Daw - who served with the 3rd AGH on Lemnos throughout the campaign, keeping a detailed and very informative diary of her experiences of Lemnos and the Gallipoili campaign. Historians are extremely indebted to Lucy for her diligence in keeping this diary as it contains many unique references to many events and experiences on Lemnos.
And so Lucy recorded the day she enjoyed a few hours respite on the HMS Lord Nelson, the flagship of the Allied Dardanelles Naval Squardon.
The afternoon tea took place on Sunday 5th December 1915, Lucy having been invited aboard along with twelve other nurses from the 3rd AGH.
Rear-Admiral Wester-Wemyss, photographed in 1918. Photo National Portrait Gallery (UK)
They were the guests of Rear-Admiral Rosslyn Wester-Wemyss, the former Military Governor at Mudros, who had recently assumed command of the Squadron following Vice-Admiral John de Roebeck’s return to England on Leave.
Lucy noted the Vice-Admiral’s monocle and wrote in her diary that he “was a Typical Englishman, they make very fine hosts.” They all enjoyed “a very nice” afternoon tea.
This is just one of such occasions where the Australian nurses enjoyed a respite from their work. And one of the only references to the event.

Thanks to Gil Daw for providing me with a copy of Lucy Daw's war diary.

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Medical Officers on Lemnos - An Albert Savage Photograph Identified


It is always nice to find a photograph of the soldiers and nurses one is researching for the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli Campaign. This photo is one taken by the 3rd AGH's resident photograph Sergeant Albert Savage, one of many he took during the Gallipoli campaign and after, depicting the life of the hospital during the First World War.
Who were these medical officers?Thanks to a post on the National Archives of Australia website the medical staff in the photograph can be identified - with many if not all of them having served on Lemnos in 1915-16.
The photograph was published in an Australian newspaper - probably the Sydney Mail which published many of Albert's photographs. The title for the newspaper clipping lists the medical officers as follows:
“Medical Staff of the 3rd AGH Abbassia.” This was subsequently published in the Australian press (possibly the Sydney Mail) with the following title: “Officers of the 3rd AGH at Abbassia, Egypt. The hospital was formerly at Lemnos, but after the evacuation of Gallipoli it was removed to Abbassia. No. 1 and No. 2 hospitals are in France. Back row (left to right): Captain Lawton (Melbourne), Captain Mathews (Sydney), Capain Kellaway (Melbourne), Captain Eberle, Lieut Glen, Captain Macleod, Liuet Hill (NSW), Captain Lowe (Sydney), Captain Anderson (Western Australia). Second Row: Liuet. Marshall (Sydney) Major Reid (Sydney), Captain Steuart (Melbourne), Major Stewart, Major Morton (Sydney), Major Wassell, Lieut Hazlitt (Sydney), Captain Markham. Bottom Row: Major Gibson (Brisbane), Lieut.-Colonel Martin (of the Lister Instutute, London, and formerly of Sydney University), Liuet.- Colonel Stawell (Melbourne), Colonel Newmarch GMG OC (Sydney), Lieut.-Colonel Mcknight, Major Trethowan (Western Australia),Major Smith (Sydney).”
Along with the other medical staff at the 3rd AGH, many of these officers played an important and vital role in providing medical care on Lemnos under first Colonel Fiaschi and then Colonel de Crespigny - such as Major Stewart, Major Morton, Major Gibson, Major Trethowan and Lieutenant-Colonel Stawell - amongst others.
One of these officers - Captain Anderson - photographed his time on Lemnos, his archive is now in the State Library of Victoria.
Thanks to "blacksmith" for posting the image of the newspaper article on the NAA website.

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee 

Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year - from Lemnos 1915!

As the old year draws to an end and while we all begin to celebrate the coming of the new year, think of the soldiers and nurses on Lemnos in December 1915 as they prepared to celebrate their New Year on this lovely northern Aegean Island!
The troops had been evacuated from Gallipoli and were resting in Lemnos' rest camps, meanwhile the medical staff - including over 100 Australian nurses - were caring for the sick and wounded in the field hospitals that dotted Mudros Bay. And we know that they celebrated New Year in style from the writings of the diggers and nurses left to us.
The weather was fine and camp concerts were held, with songs and speeches. Eyewitness accounts tell that on the stroke of midnight the sirens of the ships anchored in the Bay began to sound, bands played and crowds of soldiers joined in banging tins to "make a great noise.” Rockets were fired into the sky, lighting up the whole place. And then the “fun begins” as Lance Corporal Albert Coates wrote, with drunken diggers pulling down their tents!
Sister Anne Donnell of the 3rd AGH wrote of having a merry time, clasping the hands with others and singing that old Scots favourite “Should Old Acquaintance” (written by Robert Burns) and wishing that the war would soon be over.
But best of all is the coming together of these young Australians and their Hellenic hosts.
One Western Australian digger recuperating at the medical facilities on the Turks Head Peninsula spent New Year’s Day enjoying the hospitality and dancing at an unnamed nearby village, possibly Portianos.
He wrote home of the great hospitality and hearty welcome he received in the homes of locals, who opened their homes for the celebration. William wrote that "lift the latch and walk in’ appeared to the order of the day.” He describes the local village square, cobbled with a single tree, being taken over by villagers taking celebration with “their national dance.” With words recognisable to anyone familiar with Greek traditional dancing, William writes of the dancers linking up “per medium of hand-kerchiefs” and rotating three shuffles forward and two back, all to the music of a “three stringed violin in the hands of an ancient minstrel."
On behalf of all in our Committee, we wish all our friends and supporters a Happy New Year and looking forward to working with you all again in 2019!
Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee