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 July 2014

Stop Press - Canadian Goverment to Erect Monument to Nurses on Lemnos

Dear readers
We have recieved news from the Canadian Ambassador to Greece, Mr Robert Peck, that the Canadian Govenment is planning to erect a monument to the Canadian nurses who served on Lemnos in 1915.
He reports that they have been in discussions with local authorities, a site has been identified and there is an expectation that it will be erected and unveiled during the Centenary year. A great boost to Lemnos for 2015.
70 Canadian nurses served in the 1st and 3rd Canadian General Hospitals on Lemnos in 1915, nearby to the Australian Hospitals with their 130 nurses. Two Canadian nurses sadly died during the campaign - the only nurses to die during the Gallipoli campaign. For further information on the Canadians on Lemnos, click here.
Canadian Matron Jaggard's grave at Portianos Military Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Members of our Committee have been in discussion with Canadian authorities regarding this proposal for many months. We were very keen to see this memorial erected on Lemnos.It will become another great element on Lemnos' Gallipoli trail.
Will keep you posted on developments.
I have written to the Amabassador on behalf of our Committee to congratulate him. Well done Ambassador Peck and the Canadian Government.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 28 July 2014

You're Invited! Melbourne's Pontiaki Estia to hold fundraiser for the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial - 29th August

It is with great pleasure that the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee announces the forthcoming fundraising event at Melbourne's Pontiaki Estia.
This is especially moving given the connection between Lemnos, Pontus and Asia Minor. Many Lemnians are descendents of the Greeks of Asia Minor and even the Anzac Private Peter Rados, who died at Gallipoli in 1915, hailed from Asia Minor.
The dinner dance will take place at 7pm (until late) on Friday 29th August 2014 at the Pontiaki Estia, 540 Sydney road, Brunswick.
Free entry and wonderful live music. Meze plates and drinks for sale, as well as a raffle.

Book your ticket by calling 93811761
For the location of the Pontiaki Estia click here.
Download the event promotional leafelt by click here. Please distribute to your friends and get the word out!

Efharisto para poli!
Thanks to Litsa and Nick, and all at the Pontiaki Estia for their assistance to our worthy cause.

Pontiaki Estia
The Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria referred to as “Pontiaki Estia”. We are a Greek NFP cultural community association that provides a meeting place for Pontic Greeks, Greeks of other regions and people of other backgrounds who are interested in the history, culture and traditions of the Pontic Greeks. Our traditional dancing group can be booked for private and public events (e.g. conventions, weddings, dinner dances, festivals) to showcase our dances, traditional attire and instruments in a lively display.
Photographs courtesy of the Pontiaki Estia.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Lemnos Hero – Private Peter Rados, the Greek Digger from Asia Minor

Peter Rados' enlistment papers. NAA
Australian records reveal that some eighty-three diggers in the First World War had either been born in Greece or were of Hellenic background. Twelve of these sailed to Lemnos and served at Gallipoli in 1915.
One of these diggers would sadly die during the campaign – Private No.170 Peter Rados
A cook by profession and resident in Sydney in 1914, Peter enlisted in A Company of the 3rd Battalion AIF on 18th August 1914. On enlistment, Peter stood 5ft 6 inches tall, with brown eyes and dark hair. They medical officer recorded that he had a scar on his chest. Peter recorded his religion as Greek Orthodox.
Colour patch of Peter Rados' Unit. AWM
Peter’s Unit was among the first infantry units raised, having been formed within a fortnight of the declaration of war. Like the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions it was recruited from New South Wales and, together with these battalions, formed the 1st Brigade. The Unit Diary records the Battalion as being formed at Randwick on 17th August 1914.
The 3rd Battalion embarked just two months later. He embarked on the HMAT Euripides from Port Macquarie on 19th October 1914. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving at Alexandria on 3rd December.
The Unit then proceeded to the main Anzac camp at Mena, arriving on 5th December. In Egypt, Peter and his Unit were kept busy preparing for their coming engagement, with route marches and training in “musketry”, night fighting and assaults.
Peter Arrives on Lemnos

3rd Battalion troops practice embarkation from the HMTS Derfflinger in Mudros Harbour. AWM
Peter and his unit departed Alexandria on 5th April aboard the HMTS Derfflinger, arriving at Lemnos at 9.30am on 8th April.
Photographs show the 3rd Battalion practicing their embarkation and landing techniques in Mudros Harbour. Amongst all these preparations for the coming landing, they received lectures on “Notes on the Turkish Army”, “Enemy Ruses and Espionage” and “International Law”, as well the cooperation between Artillery and infantry in the attack. 
3rd Battalion troops on Lemnos about to re-embark. AWM
Physical training was also an important part of their training. We see them marching on the shore and even enjoying a swim in the waters of the harbour.
While they practiced embarking from their transport vessel the former German ship, the Derfflinger, the Unit Diary records Peter and his comrades landing at Murdros village a number of times. On the 17th April, 50% of the battalion were allowed to wash their clothes at Mudros village.
3rd Battalion troops enjoy a swim in Mudros Harbour. AWM
To Gallipoli
The battalion departed Lemnos at 6.15am on the 24th April on the 5 hour voyage to their anchorage point prior to leaving for Anzac Cove. They arrived at their anchorage at 10.55pm and departed for Anzac Cove at 12.30am on 25th April. Arriving at 4am, they would be part of the second and third waves. The Battalion was ashore by 8.30am.
Peter thus took part and survived in the landings at Anzac Cove. By the end of the first evening, Peter was one of the 16,000 men that had landed on the beaches. Fortunately, he was not one of the over 2,000 Australians that were killed or wounded on that first day.
Anzac Cove, where Peter landed on the morning of 25th April 1915. Photographed in February 1919. AWM
Peter is killed defending Anzac Cove
Peter survived the landings only to be killed in action on 19th May 1915 at the Peninsula along with so many others. He was only 24 years old.
His Unit diary records the fierce Turkish attack Peter’s Unit sustained on the 19th. Waves of closely packed Turkish infantry attacked the whole defence line at 2.45am. The Battalion had expected an attack and were ready for it, inflicting many casualties on the attacking forces.
However the Australians suffered many casualties as the Turks retreated. The Diggers had emerged from their trenches to fire on the retreating Turks, exposing themselves to the fire of the Turkish defenders in the opposing enemy trenches. The Battalion records that 1 Officer was killed and 2 wounded, with 41 other ranks killed and 49 wounded. Peter Rados was one of those killed.
Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli peninsula, 1915. AWM
He was initially buried in Shrapnel Gully on the Peninsula, the service conducted by the 1st Brigades famous and brave Chaplain William McKenzie, from Bendigo, Victoria. 
Memorial pin celebrating Chaplain William Mackenzie of the 1st AIF Brigade. He was the Chaplain who buried Peter Rados. AWM REL34299
He now lies at grave plot G 21 near Anzac Cove, in Ari Burnu Cemetery. Another 150 of his Australian comrades are also buried here.
Peter Rados' grave, Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove. Photo: Jim Claven 2013
Peter Rados – of Athens or Artaky?
But like many Anzac records, the files contain a mystery – where was Peter born?
When he presented as a volunteer at the Randwick Recruitment Centre on 18th August 1914, Peter stated his place of birth as being Athens in Greece. As if to support this, he listed his next of kin as Peter Rados, resident of 28 Arcades Avenue Athens.
Yet his Service Record File reveals that this may have been a ruse.
Letter from Mr Jack Zervos, of Sydney's Panellilion Club. NAA
After his death, the File records mail being returned from this address, with the annotation “whereabouts unknown”.  He left a will leaving all his property to a Mr Jack Zervos, of 37 Park Street Sydney, NSW. This was the address of the Panellilion Club, of which Mr Zervos was the proprietor. In 1916, Mr Zervos was writing to inquire about Peter’s Will.
At the end of the war, Peter’s brother Nick Rados began corresponding with the Australian Army regarding the whereabouts of his brother Peter. He was writing on behalf of Peter’s family. Nick was a resident of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.
This correspondence reveals the secret to Peter’s origins.
For while it is not totally clear, it is more than likely that Peter had been born in Asia Minor, probably in the village of Artaky, on the coast of the Sea of Marmara.
The Rados’ of Asia Minor
On 29th January 1919, Nick wrote that Peter had used the address of his parents on his enlistment.  His actual place of birth – and “where his people were from” – was in Asia Minor, then part of the Ottoman Empire. Nick wrote that Peter feared that to list his real place of birth may have affected his enlistment, as he had been a “Turkish subject”.
One of Nick Rados' letters to the Australian Military authorities. NAA
Yet even the supposed address of his parents is suspect. For Nick writes in the same letter that the last place his parents were heard from as living was in Smyrna. From Smyrna his parents had appealed through the American “Ambassador” (consul) for news of their son’s fate, “28 months before”.  Nick records that as Peter’s parents had not been heard of since, then Nick was the next of kin.
In May 1919 Nick wrote again to the Australian military authorities. He wrote that Peter had four surviving sisters living in Artaky, now known as Erdek and part of the what would become Turkey, but then under Allied military supervision since the end of the First World War.
Erdek, formerly Artaky, on the Sea of Marmara coast.
The shore of Propontis (Marmara Sea), showing Artace and the Gallipoli peninsula.

Erdek lies on the southern coast of the sea of Marmara, not many miles from where Peter was killed at Gallipoli.
His sisters were Mareka aged 15, Antho aged 13,  Smaro  aged 11 and Georgia aged 10. As Nick wrote:
 “they were in a very poor condition as they have lost all during the war. Their father and mother died two years ago through the hardship of the war. Strato Largina is acting as their guardian he living in the same town as they do.”
The peoples of the Aegean coastal region had suffered particularly during the First World War. If they were not evacuated as potential fifth columnists, they would have suffered the privations of being part of the war zone. Allied submarines would have been visible from Erdek – the famous E11 British submarine voyaging nearby on a number of occasions.
Smyrna, the last location of Peter Rados' parents.
Nick requested that the Australian authorities do what they can to ensure that Peter’s effects and property was awarded to his sisters who were in dire need in Asia Minor – “as an act of charity”.
In June 1919, The Australian Army acted writing to Mr Jack Zervos in Sydney asking him to consider this request.
We don’t know what was the response of Mr Zervos to these pleas for help - or the fate of Peter’s  young sisters in far off Asia Minor.
What we do know is that they were soon to face the horrors of the war in Asia Minor and the subsequent catastrophe for the Christian community there. One can only hope that they made their way to safety in Greece or beyond.
An Asia Minor Greek Returns
Given his roots lay in Asia Minor, it is interesting to speculate what would have gone through young Peter’s mind as he looked on Lemnos – only recently liberated from Ottoman rule itself. He would no doubt have felt an affinity with its people and their lives.
Lemnians celebrate their liberation and union with Greece in 1912.
I wonder whether he meet up with Pavlos Gyparis and his two battalions of Greek volunteers, one of Greeks from Asia Minor - like Peter! - who volunteered to help the Allied cause at Gallipoli
And his landing at Gallipoli would have been somewhat of a homecoming, walking again on the soil of Asia Minor, not too far from the place of his birth and where his family resided.
His death and burial on the Gallipoli shore was an unfortunate homecoming for this son of Asia Minor. But in a way, given his roots in nearby Erdek, his grave at Ari Burnu is strangely appropriate.
In 1920, the Australian Army sent Nick Rados his brothers war medals – the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal:
“as one of the mementos of the gallant service rendered by the late No. 170 Private P. Rados”

Vale Peter Rados. Lest we forget.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Melbourne's Chinese Museum - Remembering the Chinese Anzacs

Trooper Billy Sing, whose father came from Shanghai, seated at his sniping position at Gallipoli, August 1915. AWM C00429

When World War One was declared in 1914, Australia rallied behind the Allied efforts.
More than 330,000 mobilised personnel were called to action.
As a new nation, these Australians came from a diverse and multicultural background, with nearly 30% born overseas.
A small proportion were Australians of Chinese descent. Billy Sing, Caleb Shang and Hunter Poon are some of the well-known Chinese-Australians who served in the frontline.
Trooper Billy Sing, of the 5th Australian Light Horse, achieved honours and fame as sniper at Gallipoli, being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his service.
Other stories remain untold.
As the centenary of World War One dawns on Australia, its history and stories are fast slipping from public memory. In the lead up to the centenary of World War One, the Chinese Museum has been researching these untold stories of Chinese-Australian war contributions both at home and abroad. Some of this research will be presented in an exciting new exhibition which seeks to reignite public and community interest in World War One and to present an alternative, community-centred commemoration of World War One which cannot be achieved through history books.
The exhibition runs from the 14th July to December 2014.
For details, click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

The Anzac Centenary - Remembering the terrible cost of war

The letter advising that Alex Amery is missing. Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Amery.

Recently The Age published an article highlighting three new exhibitions telling the story of the terrible impact of the First World War on both the soldiers who served and those they left behind - stories of terrible grief and suffering.
As we enter the Centenary of the First World War, it is important that we consider the real impact of war on society through the stories left to us from the individuals and families who suffered.
Alex and Eliza Amery circa 1895. Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Amery.
One of the features of the Melbourne Museum exhibition is the story of Alex Amery and his family. Alex was killed at the end of the war, one of the thousands of diggers missing in action - his body never being found like many others.
His mother was overwhelmed with grief and died not long after hearing this terrible news. The Age article weblink below includes Kerryn Amery, one of Alex's descendents, telling of the grief and illness of Alex's mother, Eliza.

The letter advising that Alex Amery is missing. Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Amery.
The three exhibitions are:
World War I: Love & Sorrow is at Melbourne Museum from August 30
Australia Will Be There: Victorians in the First World War is at the Shrine August 4-October 12
The Great War - A Graphic Legacy is at Geelong Art Gallery until August 24

To view and read the article, please click here.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A global guide to the First World War - British Acacemy Interactive Documentary

The Guardian has brought together the Imperial War Museum and the British Academy to produce an amazing interactive documentary on the First World War and its global effects.

Ten historians from 10 countries give a brief history of the first world war through a global lens. Using original news reports, interactive maps and rarely-seen footage, including extraordinary scenes of troops crossing Mesopotamia on camels and Italian soldiers fighting high up in the Alps, the half-hour film explores the war and its effects from many different perspectives. You can watch the documentary in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic or Hindi thanks to our partnership with the British Academy.
Warning: contains images some viewers may find disturbing.
Click here to view the documentary - First World War Interactive Documentary

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lemnos Gallipoli Gala Dinner - Greek News Report

Michael Mannousakis and Bianca Gerrard at our gala dinner. Photo Charalmpos Petrakis 2014
Our recent successful Gala Dinner was attended by Greek journalist Charalampos Petrakis. He has written a report of the function in Greek - with photographs - for the Greek News Website
Click here to read the report.
Thanks to Charalampos Petrakis and
Jenny Mikakos MP, Steve Kyritsis President of the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch and others at the Gala Dinner. Photo Charalmpos Petrakis 2014

Monday, 14 July 2014

Lemnos and Gallipoli - New book with chapter on Lemnos

Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee member, Dr John Yiannakis of Curtin University, has written a chapter in a major new book on the Anzac story.
The book is titled - "Lest We Forget - Marginalised Aspects of Australia at War and Peace" - and is published by Black Swan Press.
John's article is entitled -  "Lemnos and Gallipoli; Towards redressing a marginalised history".
Dr Yiannakis participated in last years inaugural Lemnos Anzac Conference, delivering a paper.
The book costs $28 and will be published this month.

All those interested in the Lemnos link to Anzac should get themselves a copy.
You can order the book by clicking on the following link - Lest We Forget Book Ordering Website
A brochure on the book can be viewed on the following link - Let We Forget Book brochure

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Lemnos Hero - Private Frank Brent - TV Interview with a Gallipoli Veteran

Frank Brent being interviewed by the BBC in 1964. Source: BBC
In 1964 the BBC interviewed many First World War veterans for a major TV series, The Great War.
One of the veterans interviewed was Private 168 Frank Thomas Brent, a digger in the AIF's 6th Battalion.
Frank was a digger who had been born in Lincoln in England. A 25 year old clerk, he joined up in Melbourne on 20th August 1914 only a few weeks after the outbreak of war. He wrote of his previous military experience as being 4 years with the A.S.C. (Imperial).
On enlistment, his address was given as Nar-Nar-Goon in Gippsland but this was amended to Springvale Post Office, Victoria. His next of kin was recorded as his mother, Margaret, who lived in Kennington, London, England.
He embarked in Melbourne aboard the HMAT Hororata A20 on 18th October 1914.
The HMAT Hororata crossing the Indian Ocean in November 1914, part of the first Australian and New Zealand convoys. Private Frank Brent was on this ship. Source: AWM

In the interview he describes leaving Lemnos on the evening of the 24th April, the voyage to Gallipoli aboard the Galeka - refusing food and being unable to sleep because of the landing to come, the landing itself, the 6th Battalions capture of Anzac Ridge, the 6th Battalions move to Cape Helles further south to take part in attacks there, the disorganization of the campaign, the dangers of shrapnel wounds and bombardments from your own sides' artillery. He recounts his feelings at the deaths of his friends on the battlefield.
This is an amazing recording.
Frank and the 6th Battalion aboard the Troopship Galeka at Lemnos, prior to the departure for the landings. Source: AWM
Frank and the 6th Battalion's experience at Gallipoli was one of taking part in some of the fiercest engagements of the campaign, sustaining massive casualties.
They took part in the Anzac landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave, and going on capture Anzac Ridge on that day as Frank recounts. Following his unit's relief by the British Royal Naval Division, Frank reported his experience of those first days on Anzac and the terrible cost in casualties:
 "Then on the 28th Royal Naval Division came an we were evacuated from the line into these little humpies just in the sand hills and it was then for the first time since the landing that we'd been able to look around for our cobbers. On the first day we were just mixed up and running around like a lot of rabbits - nobody could see who was who and what was what. And it was then for the first time that we realized what the taking of Anzac Ridge had cost, because hardly any of our mates were left."

Ten days after the landing, Frank and the 2nd Brigade was transferred from Anzac to Cape Helles to help in the attack on the village of Krithia. The attack captured little ground but cost the brigade almost a third of its strength. The Victorian battalions returned to Anzac to help defend the beachhead, and in August the 2nd Brigade fought at the battle of Lone Pine - a battle that raged over 4 days from 6th August - ending with over 2,000 Australian casualties.
Frank was wounded at Gallipoli on 18th August - with a severe gunshot wound to his thigh.
A view of Anzac Ridge, where Frank served. This image shows the 22nd Battalion relieving the 6th Battalion. Source: AWM
He was repatriated to Malta, then England.
Frank's Battalion would return to Lemnos for rest and recuperation and also in December after the evacuation of the peninsula. Below members of Frank's Battalion march to Therma, passing local Lemnians. Thus photo could have been taken either before the Anzac landings or after the August offensives.
6th Battalion soldiers pass some local Lemnians on the road to Therma. Frank could have been amongst them. Source: AWM
Below they play a famous football match against the Royal Navy team from HMS Hunter on Lemnos in December.
Frank's Battalion in "battle" against the HMS Hunter football team, December 1915, Lemnos. Source: AWM

After recovering from his wounds, Frank re-joined his unit and served on the Western Front for the rest of the war. Frank describes in the interview taking part on the terrible Battle of Pozieres in France in July 1916.
During leave in England in October 1917, Frank married a young lass from the Beckenham - Agnes Etherington, the daughter of a postman.
Frank would be promoted through the ranks, ending the war as a Company Sergeant Major (he had been promoted to this rank in May 1917). He was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in November 1917. The citation states that this was:
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. He took command of a party, and attacked an enemy strong point, capturing twenty prisoners and two machine guns. He also rendered valuable assistance in consolidating the captured position, and set an example to his men."

Franks Distinguished Conduct Medal citation. Source: NAA
He was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
He would live in England after the war. He is reported to have carried the Australian flag at the Anzac Commemoration Service in London in 1953. He died in London in 1966. His son Alan (95 years old) and grandson Paul are alive and living in Ireland.

Springvale and Anzac
Continuing the Australian and Springvale connections, Frank's sister Ethel Brent married an Australian soldier - William Henry Fleming (No 780, 8th Batalion) and moved to Australia in 1919. While William was living in Carlton when he enlisted in 1914, the Fleming family had a connection to Springvale in Victoria. He listed his next of kin as his brother Thomas, who resided on Racecourse Road, Springvale.
William Henry Flemings enlistment papers, recording his brothers address and his marriage to Ethel Brent. Source: NAA

After the war the Fleming family played an active role in fighting for veterans and their families welfare. Another brother, Victor Fleming, with his brothers and a couple of cobbers (around the kitchen table of his corner shop) decided that Springvale needed to bring together its servicemen and actioned the birth of the Springvale RSL on January 13th 1920.
William Fleming was the first President of Springvale RSL. Frank Brent was one of the first vice Presidents of Springvale RSL. William and Ethel's ashes are in the memorial garden in Springvale RSL.
I would like to thank Frank's grandson Paul Brent who lives in Ireland for additional information on the Brent and Fleming families.

Watch Frank's interview by clicking below:
BBC 4 Collections - The Great War Interviews Part 1 - Frank Brent

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Saturday, 5 July 2014

New Zealanders and the locals on Lemnos

Just like the Australians, our Anzac cousins, the New Zealanders at Gallipoli spent time on Lemnos and interacted with the locals in 1915.
Below is a sequence of lovely photographs, showing an Australian and New Zealand soldier of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles talking to and making friends with some local Lemnian children and giving them a donkey ride.
Who knows the descendents of these children may be living in Australia or New Zealand today.

Source: Imperial War Museum, London

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Our Gala Dinner Dance - Melbourne Greek Newspapers Reports

For all of our Greek-language followers and supporters, click on the links below to read the reports on our recent Gala Dinner in the local Greek media:Neos Kosmos Gala Dinner Article June 2014
Ta Nea Gala Dinner Article June 2014

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

BBC Radio - 1914 Day by Day

BBC Radio is having a series of programs recording events from WW1 day by day.
Historian Margaret MacMillan chronicles the road to war in 1914, drawing on newly researched archives throughout Europe.
Click here to listen to the program recreating the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand:
BBC Radio - Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
Click below for the link to the podcasts of these programs:
BBC Day by Day 1914

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

BBC Live History - The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

BBC has commenced a series of live "history" programs. A major event of WW1 is recreated, with reporters reporting from the actual places of events and in "real time".
The first episode concerns the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, on 28th June 1914.
Read and watch this program by clicking the link below:
BBC 28 June 1914 - Archduke Ferdinand Assassinated
The funeral of Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie took place in Vienna on Thursday 3 July 1914.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

ABC Radio launches day of WW1 historical programs

To mark the centenary of World War One, ABC Radio National last weekend hosted a series of special broadcasts. The Great War: Memory, Perceptions and 10 contested questions explores 10 critical questions about the war and Australia’s place in it. Have a listen to these great programs.

The ten programs are:
1. Endgame. The Hundred Days offensive brought an end to the stalemate in the trenches and saw the collapse of the Central Powers, but should the allies have occupied Germany at the end of the war, and if they had, could they have prevented WW2? This program looks at the crucial role played by the US in bringing about victory for the Entente, the legacy of the conflict on the 20th century and beyond, and how we should remember The Great War today.
Crowd in Martin Place, Sydney celebrating the news of the signing of the armistice. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
2. Other Voices, Other Battles.The colonies of Britain and France fielded millions of men from places like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, West Africa, Madagascar and Indo-china – not to mention India, and thousands of  labourers from the Chinese mainland. Could the Entente powers have survived the war without the assistance of these troops and workers? And how did the issue of race determine where these men served, the kind of work they were made to do, and the casualty rates amongst them?
Two members of a Chinese Labour Company carrying their equipment during the British retirement in France, 24 March 1918. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
3. God and Country.  What part did religion play in WW1, and what impact did the conflict have on morality and belief? Throughout the war, churches and religious leaders on all sides were enthusiastic supporters of the slaughter, viewing the conflict as a war for civilisation against a godless and barbaric enemy and using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But was the Great War a holy war?
Archbishop Daniel Mannix campaigned prominently against conscription (Donaldytong/Wikipedia Commons) 
4. The view from Berlin.  Did Germany engineer the war for its own territorial ambitions, or was it a victim of the complicated diplomatic web that bound it to an unstable Hapsburg empire? The issue of German culpability is still hotly debated today, not least amongst German historians. We take the view from Berlin to find out how the war was perceived within the borders of the Central Powers.
Did the Kaiser steer Germany towards war? (WikiImages/pixabay)

5. The Pen and the Sword. How important is WW1 literature - the ironic poetry of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, the vivid memoirs of Robert Graves - to the way we remember the war today? In this program, we look at the canon of literature that emerged out of the Great War, its impact on how we understand the war today, and also at the literature that didn’t stick in the popular mind - the material that's been left behind and long forgotten.
Siegfried Sassoon, one of the most famous war poets, who was treated for shell-shock after declaring his opposition to the war in 1917 (George Charles Beresford/Wikipedia Commons)

6. Hell and Healing. Shellshock, poison gas, concussion, the loss of limbs and disfiguring facial wounds. Along with trench foot, these were the kind of injuries common in WW1. Industrial warfare forced doctors and nurses to find new ways to treat the wounded, maimed and psychologically damaged. What insights did the war give us into human suffering, and how have future generations benefited from this?

Camel ambulances flying the Red Cross Banner, with cacolets used to transport wounded on the camels. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
 7. The Enemy Within. No issue divided the people of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and America more than that of conscription. In each of these countries, Anarchists, syndicalists, Marxists, Christian pacifists, women's groups and intellectuals all appealed to our unease over conscription as part of their wider opposition to the war. So were the soldiers at the front let down by some of the people at home?
Anti-conscription leaflet by the Australian Labor Party (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
8. Sideshows. Entente commanders believed that the war would be decided on the Western Front and that everything else was a “sideshow”, but the Great War also raged in Italy, Austria, Russia, Palestine, Turkey, and New Guinea. These theatres of the war clearly weren’t just sideshows for those who took part. So how were they experienced by the soldiers on the ground, and how important were they to the outcome of the war itself?
The Australian Infantry Signal School in front of the Sphinx and Pyramid. (Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)
 9. Lions and Donkeys. Many of us were taught in school that WW1 was mishandled by incompetent military leaders. "Lions led by donkeys" became a common phrase used to compare courageous soldiers with their bumbling commanders. But how accurate is the stereotype of the red-faced General, safely holed up in chateaux miles behind the lines, wasting the lives of brave soldiers in futile and badly planned battles?

Group portrait of five decorated Australian Flying Corps officers 1919-20 (Australian War Memorial/ The Commons)
 10. The Contested Beginning. After 100 years and millions of hours of academic research the causes and origins of WW1 are as contested as ever – why? Over the century almost every European leader and nation has been blamed for the outbreak of the war. Many ism’s have also been blamed; colonialism, nationalism and even a non-ism - stupidity. But today there are some historians who argue that no one nation, leader or event was to blame, but that Europe simply slid into war.
The first page of the edition of the Domenica del Corriere, an Italian paper, with a drawing depicting Gavrilo Princip killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo (Achille Beltrame/Wikipedia Commons)
For the link to these programs, please click below:

ABC Radio World War One programs

Jim Claven 
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee