|The first page of Major Cox's Gallipoli Diary|
One of the first hand accounts of Lemnos is that of New Zealand officer, Major Percy Edward Cox. His Gallipoli Diary records his experiences from joining up in October 1914 until August 1915.
The Diary also records some references to Lemnos. Below are some excerpts:
harbour is practically full of transports, colliers, and naval craft. The latter includes 1 Russian & numerous French ships, the whole fleet being headed by the splendid & formidable looking battle cruiser Queen Elizabeth. The inner harbour is protected from submarine or other attacks by a boom of nets & mines across the narrows thro' which we passed. It is rumoured that we may be here a couple of weeks owing to our having to wait for more troops which are necessary to our operations…. A few houses & military camps are to be seen ashore round the scantily grassed slopes of the surrounding hills. Lemnos appears to be an ideal Naval base & the British authorities were exceedingly shrewd in securing this new outpost for the Empire.
I went also & had a look round the villages. They are very crude - made of stones
& plaster and practically all inhabitants are Greeks. Island of Lemnos is about 50 miles
in length. — Soil is rather poor but cultivated on flats and it was grand to be
able to work on grass land — the first since we left N.Z. except of course for the
ornamental grounds of Egypt. Fine spring weather much like N.Z. in spring.
|Group of soldiers on the island of Lemnos. Denniston, George Gordon, 1885-1958 :Photograph albums relating to World War I including the Gallipoli campaign. Ref: PA1-o-863-05-7. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.|
To read the full Diary, go to the Victorian University of Wellington New Zealand website by clicking here.
Watch a video explaining Major Cox's diary by clicking here.
Source: 'Gallipoli diary: Edward Cox', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/video/gallipoli-diary, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jul-2014