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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

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
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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