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

Monday, 29 December 2014

Forgotten Photographs of WW1 - New BBC Documentary

The BBC have released a new documentary on the photography of individual soldiers in WW1. It includes photos that were salvaged from garbage - an amazing story.
The documentary explains the camera's they used, how much they cost, how they took them to war and the types of photographs they took.
The photographs tell the story from the point of view of the soldiers themselves. They include images of the famous Christmas Truce on the Western Front in 1914.
Even though they were specifically against orders after 1914 (in the British Army), the soldiers continued to take them.Some even sold their photos to the press - including those of the Christmas Truce. Historians believe that it was the appearance of these images that led to the banning of soldier's photography.
Conversely, the German Army didn't forbid photographs - and the German Photography Society sent cameras to soldiers at the front.
Just as on Lemnos in 1915, British - and other (including German) - soldiers took photographs of their war experiences, their friendships.
Lets hope this program is shown in Australia soon.
A link describing the program is contained here.
I have reproduced some of the images here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 26 December 2014

Lemnians raise funds for the British Red Cross - during WW1!

We have known for a long time - from the diaries and records of the Anzacs - that the local Lemnians welcomed them and supported them during 1915. They sold them food, they accompanied them on trips to the Therma baths and welcomed the diggers into their churches and their families. And the Anzacs treated the Lemnians villagers in their field hospitals, equipped with the latest x-ray and dental facilities.
And some acted as guides and labourers on the beaches and gullies at Anzac.
Yet there are few records of the views of the locals.
I have recently come across a newspaper report of demonstrating the active generosity and support of the local villagers for the Anzacs and the Allies who came to their Island in 1915 - raising major funds for the British Red Cross. Here is a transcript of the article from the Western Daily Press (Bristol, United Kingdom) from Saturday 4 March 1916:

“Greek Sympathy for the Allies – Subscriptions for British Red Cross, 
LONDON, Friday
Reuter’s Agency states that gratifying evidence of the goodwill existing between the inhabitants of the military zone at Mudros, in the Island of Lemnos, and the Allied forces is provided by the voluntary subscriptions of the villages within that zone to the British Red Cross. The people of their own accord approached the Assistant Provost Marshall at Mudros asking him to accept for the purpose a sum of £384 8s 9d, which had been subscribed in eleven different villages. The Bishop of Lemnos is collecting in the village of Castro for the same purpose at the request of the inhabitants.”

The British Red Cross - and its Australian Branch - provided a range of important services during WW1 - including providing aid to wounded and sick soldiers, voluntary aid detachment volunteers in field hospitals, as well as a wounded and missing information service for relatives. Over £380 would have been a significant amount for these local villagers. Today is equivalent to£38,000 or $72,799AUD. This is an important aspect of the Lemnos link to Anzac that we should remember during the festive season.
Lest we forget.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hronia Polla from the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee!

Young village girls walking and singing along the East Mudros Road, Lemnos 1915. Photographed by a member of the British Royal Naval Division. Source: Montbrehain, Great War Forum
Wishing all our friends and supporters a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you for your support and all the work which has delivered many successes over 2014.
We look forward to working with you all in 2015 and see you at the unveiling of our new major memorial statue in Melbourne to the role of Lemnos, the nurses and the soldiers who they cared for, on 8th August 2015.
Please download our 2014 Xmas Card by clicking on the following link:
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Xmas Card 2014
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Season's Greetings From Lemnos!

Season's greetings from the Lemnos Friends of Anzac to all our friends and supporters in Australia.
Thanks to Stelios Mantzaris, President of the Lermnos Friends of Anzac, for all his and his teams good work promoting the Lemnos Anzac story on Lemnos, Greece and beyond.
We look forward to working together as we enter 2015 - the Centenary of the Gallipoli campaign and the Anzac link to Lemnos.
Much has been achieved and more needs to be done - We will do it and make 2015 the year of Lemnos and Anzac!
Thank you and best wishes from your friends in Australia - to you, your family and the Lemnos Friends of Anzac!
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

They Came To Help - Walking Thessaloniki's Anzac Trail

Thessaloniki quay during the great fire in 1917.
Neos Kosmos recently published my article on the WW1 Anzac trail in Thessaloniki and Macedonia.
Read about the experiences of Maryborough's Second Lieutenant Ned Herring, Wonthaggi's Nurse Edith May Jeremiah and Healesville's Jessie Matron McHardie White.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos.
If you want read the web version of the story, click here.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 14 December 2014

75th Anniversary - First Australian Troops Depart Port Melbourne for the Middle East and the Second World War

Women and children at the wharf in Port Melbourne farewell the advance party of the 6th Division. Second from right is Mrs Doreen Martin from Mildura who was fare-welling her husband, VX4768 Signalman Bernard Vincent Martin. Photographer Ted Cranstone. 15 December 1939. AWM image
75 years ago today the first departure of Australian troops for overseas service in the Second World War took place from Port Melbourne.They sailed aboard the former P&O Liner Strathallan.
These troops were the advance party of the Australian 6th Division - 47 officers and 58 other ranks, along with a party of New Zealand forces -25 officers and 88 other ranks. The latter had boarded in Sydney.
Leading the Australian contingent was Colonel George Vasey, later promoted Major General, and General Blamey. Both Blamey and Vasey would serve in the Greek campaign with the rest of the 6th Division, Vasey leading the Allied forces against the invading Germans at the Battle of Vevi in Greece in 1941. Vevi would be the first encounter between Australian and German troops since 1918.
As these first Australian troops departed from Port Melbourne they would be walking in the footsteps of their forebears, the diggers who left Port Melbourne for Lemnos and Gallipoli, for Egypt and Western France.
These troops would be the first of the over 993,000 Australians who served in the armed forces during the war. Some 27,073 would be killed in action or died on active service, 23,477 wounded and 30,560 taken prisoner, with 8,296 dying in captivity.
Lest we forget.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Below are some images from the Australian troops departure in 1939 - leaving their camp at the Melbourne Showgrounds to Port Melbourne (reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial).

Today's Media Release from Australian Veterans Affairs Minister:
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, paid tribute to the first Australian troops to leave our shores for service in the Second World War 75 years ago today.
On 15 December 1939, just over 100 Australians boarded the liner Strathallan bound for Palestine. Sailing with them was a small contingent of New Zealanders. Together they formed an advance guard, sent to prepare for the arrival of the main body of Australian and New Zealand troops the following month.
From their training grounds in Palestine, the Australians went on to the campaigns against the armies of Germany, Italy and Vichy France in North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Greece and Crete. Later the survivors returned to the southern hemisphere to face the Japanese in South East Asia and the Pacific.
These first men to leave Australia were at the vanguard of Australia’s overseas effort during the Second World War. They and those who followed left knowing they had the support of the entire country.  With them went Australia’s best wishes and the nation’s prayers for their safe return.
Among the first personnel to leave Australia were some who would never return. In that war some 40,000 Australians lost their lives on active service. Many more suffered wounds and thousands endured years of captivity in Europe and later in Asia. 
The Anzac Centenary period is a time for all Australians to commemorate a Century of Service, and to honour the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our nation’s uniform, including the more than 102,000 who lost their lives in Australia’s service.
We remember the efforts of all those who served during the Second World War, from those who first left these shores on December 15 1939, to those who defended the home front and others who served later in the war.  As a nation we honour them all.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

They Came to Help - Thessaloniki and the Anzacs - Neos Kosmos 12 Dec 2014

Neos Kosmos, 13 December 2014. Photograph Vicki Kyritsis
Neos Kosmos has today printed my article telling the story of the Australian soldiers and nurses who came to Thessaloniki in the First World War as part of the Salonika campaign, 1915-18. Read about Australia's Ned Herring and Miles Franklin as they came to Thessaloniki and Macedonia to defend Greece and Serbia in the First World War.
Buy yourself a copy of today's Neos Kosmos.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos again for supporting awareness of Greece's Anzac trail.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 12 December 2014

Australians in WW1 - Western Front Trail Website

The Australian Government has created an amazing website - the Australian Remembrance Trail in France and Belgium.
The Trail is a series of linked projects and sites significant to Australian service that have been conducted in a spirit of partnership and collaboration with local communities and authorities. It recognises and enhances the longstanding efforts of French and Belgian communities in remembering and commemorating Australia’s involvement on the Western Front.
The 12 sites on the Australian Remembrance Trail on the Western Front covers many of the places Australians fought in France and Belgium from 1916 to 1918.It provides invaluable background information as well as maps with detailed map descriptions, like the one below:
Map 1 Passchendaele, Australian Remembrance Trail, DVA.

If you are planning your trip to the battlefields of the Western Front - as I have - make sure you look over this invaluable free guide.

Click here to start exploring the Trail.

Congratulations to the Australian Government (throuh the Department of Veterans Affairs) for creating this website and the Trail.
An Australian Remembrance Trail - In Greece?
Wouldn't it be great if the Australian Government supported the creation of an Australian Remembrance Trail in Greece - covering both WW1 and WW2, from Lemnos, Salonika and Corfu, through Vevi and Brallos Pass, to the Corinth Canal, Kalamata and on to Crete - not to forget the famous caique trail across the Aegean to freedom.
The over 70,000 Australian servicemen and women deserve to have their service recognized, graves visited and their remembrance supported.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Matron Grace Wilson - Alfred Hospital Honour Board

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial supporter Judy Moore has sent the Committee three photos of a honour board erected inside the Alfred Hospital  by the Alfred Hospital Nurses League. It recognises the distinguished contribution to nursing as the Alfred by a number of nurses, including Matron Grace Wilson.
This is more evidence of the recognition of Grace Wilson's role at the Alfred Hospital and in the Port Phillip area. Thanks to the Alfred Hospital Nurse League - have sold many of our commemorative badges - for erecting this honour board.
Thanks to Judy for taking the time to take these images - in a busy corridor and under bad lighting - and sending them to us to share.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Friends of Gallipoli - Shrine Wreath Laying - 20 December 2014

The Friends of Gallipoli group will be laying a wreath in the Sanctuary at the Shrine to commemorate the beginning of peace at Gallipoli when the guns fell silent at the ANZAC sector in the early hours of the 20th of December, 1915.
This will take place at 12.00pm on Saturday 20 December, 12.00pm.
All are welcome to attend.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Remembering the Armistice of Mudros - Remembrance Magazine (The Shrine)

All those interested in the Lemnos Gallipoli story should get themselves a copy of the latest edition of the Melbourne Shrine's magazine - Remembrance.
They have published a a 5 page illustrated article I have prepared telling the story of Lemnos role in Anzac and the forgotten armistice of WW1 - the Armistice of Mudros.

Thanks to David Howell at The Shrine for his support.
Copies of the magazine can be obtained from the Shrine Shop and ABC Metro stores (RRP $8.95).
Details of the Articles in the Magazine
The latest edition of the Shrine's biannual magazine has just been released. This bumper edition of Remembrance features a series of articles by those closely involved in the development of the Galleries of Remembrance. Dr Michael McKernan shares his experiences in regional and rural Victoria following the publication of his book, Victoria at War 1914-1918, while historian Jim Claven discusses the forgotten Armistice of Mudros. ABC's Richard Stubbs tells of his first pilgrimage to the battlefields of Gallipoli and Chris Creese explores a family legacy tied to the hospital ship Devanha.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 1 December 2014

Royal Red Cross Medal - Australian WW1 Nurse Recipients.

Cased R.R.C. medal, Garrard and Co. Ltd., 24 Albemarle Street, London, England, 1914-1918; awarded to Elizabeth Batten, Senior Sister in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve at the Royal Free Hospital
The Royal Red Cross is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing. It was established on 27 April 1883 by Queen Victoria, with a single class of Member. A second and lower class, Associate, was added during World War I in 1917.
The Royal Red Cross (RRC) was the first example of an Order exclusively for women. Men became eligible only in 1976.
The award is made to a fully trained nurse of an officially recognised nursing service, military or civilian, without restriction to rank who have:
'shown exceptional devotion or competency in performance of nursing duties with the Army in the field, or in Naval and Military or Air Force hospitals or in an Auxiliary War hospital over a continuous or long period or who has performed some exceptional act of bravery or devotion to the post of duty'.
Holders of the second class who receive a further award are promoted to the first class, although an initial award can also be made in the first class. Holders of the first class who receive a further award are awarded a bar.
Royal Red Cross is awarded in two levels - First Class with post-nominal RRC and for a lesser degree of service in a Second Class (known as the Associate) with post-nominal ARRC.
 The badge for RRC is in the shape of a golden cross, 1.375 inches wide, the obverse enamelled red, with a circular medallion (now bearing an effigy of the reigning monarch) at its centre. The words "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity" are inscribed on the upper limbs of the cross, with the year "1883" in the lower limb. The reverse is plain except a circular medallion bearing the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch.
The badge for ARRC is in the shape of a silver cross, 1.375 inches wide, the obverse enamelled red, with broad silver edges around the enamel; a circular medallion (now bearing an effigy of the reigning monarch) at its centre. The reverse has a circular medallion bearing the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch, as well as the words "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity" inscribed on the upper limbs of the cross, with the year "1883" in the lower limb.
The ribbon for both grades is dark blue with crimson edge stripes.
To recognize further exceptional devotion and competency in the performance of actual nursing duties or some very exceptional act of bravery and devotion at his or her post of duty, a bar may be awarded to a recipient of the RRC. The bar is linked to the cross and is made of red enamel. A rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress to denote a bar to the RRC.The RRC was last awarded to an Australian in 1982. No Australian men received the Royal Red Cross or Royal Red Cross (second class).
Australian recipients in the First World War included Lemnos nurses such as Matron Grace Wilson, Principal Matron Gertrude Davis and Sister Catherine McNaughton as well as Salonika Front's Principal Matron Jessie McHardie White.
The full list is:


Matron Evelyn Augusta CONYERS
Matron Ellen Julia GOULD
Matron Ethel GRAY
PplMatron Jessie McHARDIE-WHITE


Matron Alice Ellen CASHIN
Matron Mary Mackenzie FINLAY
Matron Margaret GRAHAM
Matron Adelaide Maud KELLETT
Matron Ethel Tracy RICHARDSON

Headsister Margaret ANDERSON
Matron Alma BENNETT
Matron Beryl Anderson CAMPBELL
Matron Alice Ellen CASHIN
Matron Ethel Sarah DAVIDSON
Sister Clarice Molyneux DICKSON
Matron Annie Elizabeth DOWSLEY
Matron Teresa J DUNNE
Sister Katie Payne HODGE
SNurse Estelle Venner KEOGH
Sister Ida O'DWYER
Sister Minnie Farquharson PROCTOR
Sister Clara Louise ROSS
Sister Louisa STOBO

Sister Jessie Helena BUCHANAN
Sister Eva Helen CHAPMAN
Matron Alice Mary COOPER
Matron Edith CORNWELL
Matron Rose CREAL
Matron Jessie Ross GEMMELL
Headsister Julia Mary HART
Sister Nellie Francis HILL
Sister Eleanor Wibmer JEFFRIES
Headsister Constance Mabel KEYS
Sister Catherine McNAUGHTON
Sister Gertrude France MOBERLEY
Sister Laura Cumming PRATT
Matron Alice Marion PRICHARD
Sister Anastasia ROCHE
Sister Christine SORENSON
Matron Ethel Maud STRICKLAND
Sister Alice Joan TWYNAM
Ethelda Runnals UREN
Sister Evelyn Clara WILSON

Pmatron Gertrude DAVIS

This information is from the Faith Hope and Charity - Australian Women and Imperial Honours 1901-89. To go to the website, click here.For further information on the Royal Red Cross, click here.

Lest we forget the Australian nurses who served in WW1

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee