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

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Inaugural Fundraiser A Success

The speakers and some of the dignitaries present at our event photographed in front of the statue model designed by Peter Corlett, OAM. Photo LGCC 2013

Thank you to all who joined us for our inaugural fundraiser at the Victorian Parliament.
Many of Melbourne’s Lemnian and wider Greek community were in attendance, as well as many State politicians and councillors.
Ms Eleni Lianidou, Consul General of Greece, with the Hon Ken Smith, MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament, and the Hon Bruce Atkinson, MP, President of the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament. Photo LGCC 2013
We were honoured with the presence of Ms Eleni Lianidou, Consul General of Greece, the Hon Ted Baillieu, MP, former Premier and Chair of the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee.
Lee Tarlamis MP opens the event. Photo LGCC 2013
Opening the event, our President Lee Tarlamis MP outlined to the story of Lemnos’ link to Anzac and to Port Philip, the proposed location of our memorial. He also directed people to view our photographic display featuring some of the amazing images from the archive of the Australian War Memorial and modern images from Lemnos reinforcing Lemnos’ Anzac heritage.
The HMS Agamemnon in Mudros Harbour, Lemnos, where the Armistice of Mudros was signed in 1918.
In what was the first commemoration of the Armistice of Mudros, President Lee Tarlamis called on those assembled to hold a minutes silence in honour of its 95th anniversary. The Armistice of Mudros was signed on the British warship HMS Agamemnon on the 30th October 1918 between the Allies and the defeated Ottoman Empire, bringing to an end the war that had begun at Gallipoli in 1915.
Ms Eleni Lianidou, Consul General of Greece, addressed the crowd, saying that she was glad to be present representing the Hellenic Republic, at this gathering which is so important for both Greeks and Australians.She wished us well in our endeavour to erect our new memorial.
The Hon Ted Baillieu addresses the crowd. Photo LGCC 2013
Ted Baillieu talked about the role of the Victorian Centenary Committee, and the importance of making personal connections to our Anzac heritage. He also shared a personal story regarding his grandfather who served at Gallipoli and spent time on Lemnos, luckily avoiding transport from Alexandria aboard the HMT Southland which was torpedoed off Lemnos in 1915.
Mr Derryn Hinch addresses the crowd. Photo LGCC 2013
Derryn Hinch, veteran journalist and broadcaster, talked about his personal interest in our Anzac heritage and how he was moved by visiting Gallipoli and re-counted the famous and generous tribute to the Anzacs by Kemal Ataturk inscribed at Anzac Cove –
“Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
Peter Corlett, OAM, addresses the crowd. Photo LGCC 2013
Peter Corlett, OAM, explained his design concept and his inspiration from Classical Greek sculpture. He explained the components of the memorial to the assembled crowd and encouraged them to inspect the model unveiled at the event.
Below is a close up of the model that was launched, showing the figure of an Australian nurse standing facing the wind, looking out into Mudros Bay for the next hospital ship to arrive, while behind her a sick or injured soldier sits recovering.
Close of the memorial design by Peter Corlett, OAM. Photo LGCC 2013
Cr Amanda Stevens, Mayor of Port Phillip addresses the crowd. Photo LGCC 2013
Cr Amanda Stevens, Mayor of Port Phillip, expressed the Council’s support for the project, re-emphasising the links to the area, and the importance of the three themes of the nurses, the injured soldiers and Lemnos itself embodied in the design.

George Calombaris addresses the crowd. Picture LGCC 2013
Celebrated Melbourne Chef, George Calombaris, spoke to the audience, telling us of his Lemnian links – his grandfather being from Mudros on Lemnos. He also described how Anzac biscuits might have been re-invented by the local villagers with a Greek twist! We’re sure the diggers in 1915 would have loved that.
Professor Bruce Scates (on the right) in conversation at the event. Picture LGCC 2013
Monash University’s Professor Bruce Scates encouraged those in attendance to tell their personal Anzac story as part of the University’s Centenary 100 stories project. Copies of the Universities 100 Stories project booklet can be obtained from the Committee. Dr John Basarin, of the Friends of Gallipoli, addressed the event detailing the Anzac Tour he is organising to Lemnos and Gallipoli in 2015. For more information please contact the Committee or see this weblink - Gallipoli 2015 Tour
Lee Tarlamis, with Marcus Falay and Dr John Basarin of the Friends of Gallipoli. Picture LGCC 2013
A copy of Lee’s address to the event is attached at the following link:
In concluding the meeting we were able to announce donation pledges in excess of $40,000 raised at the event, with a number of other pledges expected to be confirmed soon.
We’d like to especially thank Committee members Christina Despoteri, Ken Volaris, Malama Varvara, Ann Bendouli and Tony Whitfield for their help on the night.
Again, thank you all for your support and looking forward to reaching our fundraising target soon.
Lee Tarlamis, President
Jim Claven, Secretary

Some other great photographs from our event.

Committee Executive Member Ms Malama Varvara, and Ann Bendouli, at the event reception desk. Thanks Malama and Ann. Photo LGCC 2013
Members of the Committee (and a few guests) in front of our memorial model. Photo LGCC 2013
Committee member Christina Despoteri and Secretary Jim Claven. Photo Jim Claven 2013
Peter Corlett, OAM, explains the memorial design to the Hon Bruce Atkinson MP and Derryn Hinch. Photo LGCC 2013
Cr Anita Horvath of the City of Port Phillip, with Committee members Nik Kydas and Peter Volaris. Photo LGCC 2013
Members of the Committee, Steve Kyritsis of the Hellenic RSL and Murray Thompson MP in discussion. Photo LGCC 2013
Members of the Committee Martin Foley, MP and Helen Constas. Photo LGCC 2013
Ian Tresize MP (on the right, who has taken part in an Anzac Tour of Greece in 2013) and Sharon Knight MP. Photo LGCC 2013
The Hon John Pandazopoulos, MP, with Derryn Hinch and another guest. Photo LGCC 2013
Mr Sam Tarlamis senior (from Tsimandria) with his son, our President, Lee Tarlamis, MP. Photo LGCC 2013
Ms Vicky Mastihi and Mr John Cook (John took part in the 2013 Anzac Tour of Greece). Photo LGCC 2013
Committee member Ken Volaris, Jenny Mikakos MP and Eleni Lianidou view the memorial model. Photo LGCC 2013
Peter Corlett, OAM, at right, explains the memorial design to members of the Alfred Hospital Nurses League, Ms Maree Dillon on the left and Ms Rosie Bushnell, centre. Photo LGCC 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Remembering the Armistice of Mudros - 30th October 1918

The great British warship HMS Agamemnon in Mudros Harbour, where the Armistice was signed in 1918.

Today - 30th October - marks the 95th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros, which ended the war between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire, the war that began at Gallipoli in 1915.

The story of the Armistice is an interesting one that has been overshadowed by the Armistice ending the war with Germany which took effect on 11th November and is annually commemorated as Remembrance Day.

Today is the day to remember this earlier Armistice. Signed on the Aegean Island of Lemnos, in Mudros Harbour, that had seen the assembly of the invasion flotilla in 1915. The British choose the warship HMS Agamemnon as the location of the signing - its classical allusions to the Achaean King who had led the attack on nearby Troy in Homer's Iliad.

The war ended in the waters that sheltered the three war cemeteries containing the dead from the campaign in 1915 - at the Commonwealth Cemeteries at East Mudros and Portianou and on the Turks Head Peninsula, where the Muslim cemetery lies containing the graves of Turkish prisoners of war who died on Lemnos in 1915.

One of the last to die in the First World War and be buried on Lemnos was the Bendigo-born Stoker John Godier, a sailor aboard Australia's HMAS Brisbane, who died of illness a few weeks after the Armistice was signed. Lest We Forget.
The grave of Stoker John Godier of Bendigo at East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

The Bendigo Advertiser has published my article detailing the story of the Armistice, John Godier and our memorial statue event tonight.

You can read the article from yesterday's Bendigo Advertiser by clicking on the following link:
Remembering the Armistice of Mudros - Bendigo Advertiser 29th October 2013

Thanks to Rod Case and the Bendigo Advertiser for publishing this important story.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Ohi Day Commemorated in Melbourne

Another moving Ohi Day commemoration was held on Monday 28th October at Melbourne's Hellenic Memorial and Shrine of Remembrance. The classical features of the interior of the Shrine are very poignant for this commemoration of Greece's resistance in WW2. 
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee was well represented by President Lee Tarlamis, Secretary Jim Claven, the Hon John Pandazopoulos, Ange Kenos, Christina Despoteri, Lambis Eglezos and Steve Kyritsis, President of the Hellenic Sub Branch of the RSL, as well as others. 
The commemorative service was followed by a lunch at the Hellenic RSL Memorial Hall in South Melbourne.
Thanks to Steve and all at the Hellenic Sub-Branch of the RSL.

The Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance 

A point for those who have not seen our Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. One of the most beautiful aspects of this commemoration is its location. The service in the interior of the Shrine is added too by the classically inspired columns and motifs. The design of the Shrine was based on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the classical world. For a history of the Shrine in Melbourne read Professor Bruce Scates' excellent book A Place to Remember - A History of the Shrine of Remembrance.
These are all images of the interior of the Shrine. Photographs Jim Claven 2013
The Man with the Donkey memorial outside the Shrine. Photograph Jim Claven 2013.

Shepparton Commemorates Ohi Day and its link to Lemnos

Members of the Greek Ex-Servicemen's Association and Lee Tarlamis MP at Lemnos Primary School, Shepparton. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

Jim Claven, Secretary of the Committee, and the Hon John Pandazopoulos MP, addressed the Shepparton Ohi Day commemoration at the Shepparton RSL on behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, last sunday, 27th October 2013.
The event was organised by the Greek Ex-Servicemens Association. Other Committee representatives present included President Lee Tarlamis MP, and Sofia and Con Kotanidis.
These events have been held for the past 11 years and involve the local Shepparton Greek community. Approximately 100 people attended the event.
The Ohi Day service at the beautiful St George's Greek Orthodox Church, Shepparton. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
The commemoration encompassed a Church Service at St George's Greek Orthodox Church, wreath laying at the Cenotaph and a speech over lunch at the Shepparton RSL.
Ohi Day commemoration and wreath laying at the Shepparton Cenotaph. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

Lee Tarlamis MP and the Hon John Pandazopoulos MP lay a wreath at the Shepparton Cenotaph. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Ms Jenny Houlihan, Mayor of Greater Shepparton, and Mr Peter McPhee, President of the Shepparton RSL, took part in the commemoration.
Ms Jenny Houlihan, Mayor of Greater Shepparton lays a wreath at the Ohi Day commemorations at the Shepparton Cenotaph. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
A minutes silence is held at the Shepparton Cenotaph. The Hon John Pandazopoulos MP at left, Ms Jenny Houlihan, Mayor of Greater Shepparton next and Mr Peter McPhee, President of the Shepparton RSL centre. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Jim Claven's address stressed the following points
  • Ohi Day provides an opportunity to commemorate the links between Greece and Australia forged in WW1 and WW2, including the coming 95th anniversary of the Armistice of Mudros on 30th October, ending the war that began at Gallipoli in 1915;
  • The importance of Lemnos to the Anzac campaign;
  • That over 2,200 recruits from the Shepparton region enlisted in WW1 with a significant number of these seeing service at Gallipoli and on Lemnos. These included the famous - such as Lieutenant Colonel Murray Bourchier, who led the charge at Beersheeba and was awarded the Distinquished Service Order - and the less well known - such as Shepparton-born Driver Thomas Maidment, who served in the 1st Field Ambulance at Gallipoli and on Lemnos;
  • Two local Anzacs that died during the Gallipoli campaign and are buried on or near Lemnos - Private Frederick Sargent who is buried at East Mudros on Lemnos and Lieutenant John Shallberg who was buried at sea near Lemnos;
  • The story of Lieutenant Ernie Hill, a cabinet maker from Ballarat, who served with Corporal Albert Jacka VC at Gallipoli and on Lemnos, moved to Shepparton after the war and was instrumental in having the new soldier settlement township established to the east of Shepparton and named Lemnos - in remembrance of his experiences on the Island in 1915;
  • Along with Ernie Hill - who would become a successful orchardist at Lemnos - a number of the new ex-soldier settlers who came to Lemnos Shepparton had served at Gallipoli and had known Lemnos - like Private Hec O'Neill from Echuca; and,
  • Ernie would also be instrumental in setting up and playing in the local Australian Rules Football Club - the Lemnos Ramblers Football Club (now the Shepparton Swans).
Lemnos Football Club shield. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
The Committee also mounted our display of selected photographs from the Australian War Memorial archive showing the Anzacs on Lemnos in 1915. Of  special interest was the image of local Greek villagers receiving medical attention in the 3rd Australian General Hospital on the Island.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee photographic display at the Shepparton RSL. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

The Committee had discussions with the Shepparton RSL and the Mayor of Greater Shepparton as to how we work together to enhance awareness of the Lemnos link to Anzac and to Shepparton.

President Lee Tarlamis, with Ms Houlihan and Mr McPhee and another representative of the Shepparton RSL at the Shepparton Cenotaph.  Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Thanks to the Greek Ex-Servicemen's Association and the Greek community of Shepparton and the Shepparton RSL for putting on such a wonderful event and making us welcome.
We look forward to working together to build the remembrance of the Lemnos, Anzac and Shepparton connection into the future.
St George's Greek Orthodox Church, Shepparton - on Knight Street. Corporal George Knight was an Anzac from Albert Park who is buried on Lemnos. The Church was erected the year before the famous Shepparton Anzac Ernie Hill passed away in 1966, aged 75. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

Friday, 25 October 2013

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Statue Fundraising Event Sold Out!

We are extremely glad to announce that our inaugural fundraising event for the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Statue is a sell out.
Thank you to all those who have booked and paid for tickets to attend this important function on 30th October at Victoria's Parliament House.
We apologise sincerely to those who have missed out but space is limited.

More Opportunities to Support the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Statue
For those unable to attend,  donations to help us make our Statue to Lemnos' role in Australia's Anzac story can be made by completing and returning the back page of the Statue Prospectus. The Prospectus can be found by clicking on the link below. If you require further information regarding donations please contact us.

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Statue Prospectus
We are also planning further fundraising events.

Thank you all on behalf of the Committee.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Lemnos Gallipoli Committee Meet with Mayor of Port Phillip

The 14th Battalion Colours, St Kilda Town Hall. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Today Lee Tarlamis MP and Jim Claven, President and Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, along with Peter Corlett, OAM, commemorative sculptor, met with the Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr Amanda Stevens.

It was a great pleasure to meet with her to discuss our planned Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial statue and our forthcoming fundraising event on 30th October, which is now sold-out.Mayor Stevens will be speaking at the 30th October event.

While visiting the St Kilda Town Hall, we also viewed the AIF's 14th Battalion Colours which are displayed at the entrance to the main council hall or the former ballroom.
14th Battalion Association returning the Colours to the Municipality, 1930. Source PPCC sk0048

These Colours were presented to the Council in 1930 in honour of the 3,000 St Kilda men who served in the First World War, including Captain Albert Jacka, VC, who was also served as Mayor of St Kilda on his return from the war. The 14th Battalion was mainly recruited from Prahran, St Kilda and Bendigo and became known as "Jacka's Mob".

The 14th Battalion was present on Lemnos for periods, during its part in the Gallipoli campaign, to practice the landings and for periods of rest and recuperation. The men from St Kilda - along with their other 14th Battalion comrades - rested at the Anzac Camp at Sarpi in September and October, and returned to the Island following the evacuation of the peninsula in December 1915.Albert Jacka was famously photographed on the Island in 1915.
These Colours survived the fire at St Kilda Town Hall in 1991.
Seeing these Colours today impressed upon us the strong connection between the Port Phillip area and Lemnos.
The 14th Battalion Colours, showing their battles honours including the landings at Anzac and Sari Bair in 1915. Photographs Jim Claven 2013

Lemnos Links - HMAT Orvieto Embarkation List Released

Victorian troops marching to departure ships at Port Melbourne. The HMAT Orvieto is at left, the flagship of the convoy. October 1914. AWM image
One of the first and largest transport ships to depart from Port Melbourne in the First World War was the troopship, HMAT Orvieto. It departed Port Melbourne on the 21st October 1914 with almost 1,500 servicemen and women aboard as part of Victoria's contribution to the convoy of vessels heading for Egypt and ultimately Gallipoli.

As part of its program of activities for the coming Centenary of Anzac in 2015, the Victorian Government has released the Embarkation List for this vessel and is encouraging the public to visit the website as a way for Victorians to connect with their Anzac ancestors in advance of the Centenary. The List also contains information from the Service Records of the Anzacs. This resource has been prepared with the assistance of Monash University.The List is published on a new website detailing important Centenary activities and resources.

As the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Hugh Delahunty MP, said at the launch of the Embarkation List and website:

"The men and women who boarded the Orvieto that day were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Victorians enlisted from both small towns and large. From all walks of life, professionals, tradesmen, labourers and farmers, married and single - they answered the call of duty."

This is a great opportunity for Victorians to get personally connected to the Centenary and to add to the personal stories of the Anzacs who served at Gallipoli and beyond.

Lemnos was a key and vital element in the Gallipoli campaign which touched the lives of all who fought and served there. The Embarkation List of the HMAT Orvieto is another demonstration of the link between Lemnos, Gallipoli and the Anzacs. For amongst the 1,500 aboard the ship were three who would die during the Gallipoli campaign and remain on Lemnos, in its Commonwealth War Graves.

Here are brief stories of these three Victorian Anzacs:

Second Lieutenant Alfred Charles Harrop Jackson (6th Battalion). Alfred's AIF Service Records reveal that he was born in Hawthorn, the son of Annie Jackson of 8 Highfield Grove Kew. A clerk by occupation, he enlisted into the 5th Battalion on 2 September 1914. He had served 3 years with the cadets and was promoted to Lance Corporal and transferred to the 6th Battalion prior to his departure from Australian aboard the HMAT Orvieto on the 21st October 1914. He was promoted to Corporal and then Second Lieutenant in the field at Anzac in May 1915. He was seriously wounded in the final stages of the attack on German Officers Communication Trench on 7th August 1915, part of the ill-fated Allied August Offensive. The attack failed and cost dearly in casualties. Alfred's Battalion lost 6 officers and 140 other ranks in a single nights fighting. Alfred's part in the final assualt was noted by the Official Australian Historian, C.E.W. Bean. He wrote:

“Another leader, Lieutenant Jackson, stood outside the trench and, walking up and down, beckoned to the men to come forward with him. He was hit first by a bullet and then by a bomb, and was carried back into the trenches, but died a few days later."

Alfred was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital "dangerously ill" on the 9th August and died the same day. He was aged 27. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery, Plot II, Row D, Grave 53.
East Mudros Military Cemetery. Lemnos. Photograph Jim Claven 2012

Letter to Private Francis Carter's mother informing her of his death. February 1916. NAA.
Private Francis Thomas Carter (5th Battalion). Francis' AIF Service Records reveal that he was born in Brighton, the son of John Potts and Catherine Carter of 212 North Road, Brighton, their house being named "Lemnos". He was nearly 24 years old, when this young carpenter enlisted at Ripponlea on the 19th August 1914. He served at Gallipoli, being wounded in May 1915. He became ill with enteric fever in August. He was transferred from Anzac to Lemnos, being cared for at the 1st Canadian Stationary Hospital and subsequently the Australian doctors and nurses of the 3rd Australian General Hospital at West Mudros.He died at the 3rd Australian General Hospital of the illness on the 8th September 1915 and was buried in Portianou Military Cemetery, the Army Reverend D McPherson officiating. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. His grave is at Plot IV, Row C, Grave 255.
Private Francis Thomas Carter's grave, Portianou Military Cemetery. Photograph Jim Claven 2013

Private Roy Clifford Woolcock (5th Battalion). Roy's AIF Service Records reveal that he was born in country Victoria at Trentham. He was a 21 year old engine cleaner when he enlisted at Albert Park on 19th August 1914. He was recruited into the C Company, 5th Battalion. He became ill with influenza and was transferred to Lemnos. He was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital on 22nd September and then 3rd Australian General Hospital on 28th September the Turks Head Peninsula, West Mudros, Lemnos. He was reported "dangerously ill" on 14th November 1915 and he died of enteric fever seven days later, on the 21st November. He was only 22 years old. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is buried in Portianou Military Cemetery, Lemnos, Plot V, Row A, 74.

Private Roy Clifford Woolcock's grave, Portianou Military Cemetery. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
These are just some of the stories of Lemnos' connection to Gallipoli and the Anzacs. Indeed Lemnos is embedded in the story of Anzac. The story of the HMAT Orvieto - like many Anzac stories has a Lemnos connection. In approaching the Centenary of Anzac we must make sure that this connection is not forgotten as it has often been in past.
Thanks to Monash University and the Victorian Government for this important initiative. Here are some links to the Centenary Website, Embarkation List and associated media:

The Victorian Government Press Release is at the weblink below:
Victorian Families to renew connections to their Anzac Ancestors - Media Release

Below is the weblink to the HMAT Orvieto embarkation list:
HMAT Orvieto Embarkation List

Below is the Victorian Government's Centenary Website link:
Anzac Centenary 2014-18 - Sharing Victoria's Stories

Herald Sun Article on the HMAT Orvieto:
Heroes of the HMAT Orvieto - Herald Sun 21 October 2013