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, 26 February 2015

Lemnos Hero - Nurse Violet Duddy Plaque Unveiling in Queenscliff

Nurse Violet Duddy, photographed with other 3rd AGH nurses in Abbeville France, 23 June 1918. AM E02578

All of our members and supporters who are able are urged to attend the unveiling of the Nurse Violet Duddy Memorial Plaque by the the Queenscliff Historical Museum, President and Committee of Management.
The event will take place on Monday 16th March, 2015 at 11:15am at Queenscliff Cemetery, 159 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale.
Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served at the Queenscliff Historical Museum 49 Hesse St Queenscliff (next door to the Post Office) where the Nurse Violet Duddy Exhibition will be on display.
Please RSVP by Tuesday 10th March, 2015 to Queenscliff Historical Museum via email - or post to P.O. Box 135 Queenscliff, Victoria 3225.
All enquiries to Queenscliff Historical Museum on 5258 2511
For directions to the unveiling see this map:
Thanks to  Maggie Stowers, Volunteers Researcher, Queenscliff Historical Museum, for this information.

Nurse Violet Duddy - A Lemnos Nurse
Violet was a New Zealand-born Australian Army Nursing Service nurse in WW1 - having been born in Hastings in 1886. She was 29 years old when she enlisted on 22 July 1915 and had completed her nursing training at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital.
She served with Matron grace Wilson's 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos from August. She would have witnessed the vicissitudes of the nurses as they battled to provide nursing care to the sick an wounded of Gallipoli under the trying conditions in the Island's Allied medical services.
Along with the rest of the Australian nurses on Lemnos, Violet returned to Egypt in January 1916 and went on to serve in France, with the 3rd AGH.
She was promoted to Sister in 1918 and was Mentioned in Despatches "deserving special mention" in 16th March 1919. 
She returned to Australia after the war. She died in 1961.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

State Library of Victoria WW1 Exhibition - Features Australian Nurse Alice Kitchen

The State Library of Victoria has put together a magnificent exhibition of posters, photographs, diaries and ephemera from WW1. Get along to see it if you can.

One of the features is a display regarding Nurse Alice Kitchen who served in Egypt (treating the wounded sent from Gallipoli and Lemnos), France and England.
 She was born in Amherst, near Ballarat, and served with the 1st Australian general Hospital in Cairo.
Of her time in Egypt, Alice wrote famously:

"It is all too dreadful and every day we hear of someone we knew being killed or wounded."

The display includes her diary, medals and photographs. Well worth a visit.

As the AWM website story about Australia's WW1 nurses records on the situation in Egypt during the Gallipoli campaign:
"By the end of 1914, around 300 AANS nurses had left Australia for Egypt. On the long sea voyage, they were kept busy assisting with vaccinations and operations, and training male orderlies. The nurses were posted either to the 1st Australian General Hospital (1AGH), established in the grand Heliopolis Palace Hotel in Cairo, or to 2AGH in Mena House, a former royal hunting lodge. With the rapid influx of patients from Gallipoli in April 1915, the facilities were soon overcrowded, and equipment and supplies inadequate. Nursing staff worked around the clock. 1AGH took over a nearby amusement park, turning the ticket office into an operating theatre and the skating rink, scenic railway, and skeleton house into wards. Within three months it was operating as a 1,500-bed hospital. Some of the badly wounded were returned to Australia on hospital ships, accompanied by nurses."
Some of the WW1 posters displayed at the exhibition are worth seeing too:


Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Viewing of Our Nurse Sculpture A Success!

The Nurse - The Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Yesterday evening commemorative sculptor Peter Corlett OAM revealed the final clay model of the nurse sculpture which will form the major part of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
This is a major milestone in making our Memorial a reality.
In front of representatives of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Executive, major sponsors and supporters, and the media, Peter revealed his creation.
The happy viewers celebrate Peter's work. Photograph Dean Colls 2015

Peter explained the process by which he designed his sculpture. Drawing on the stories and photographs of the nurses on Lemnos - including the famous Matron Grace Wilson - as well as classical sculpture, Peter has created a lasting symbol of the 130 nurses who served on Lemnos in 1915. When fully assembled in Albert Park, she will be joined by a seated soldier, sheltering him from the horrors of war on the peninsula.
Peter explained that this final clay sculpture will now begin the process which will see it cast in bronze. He will also now finalise the sculpture of the seated soldier.
The sculpture with some of the photographs used by Peter as inspiration. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

Our President, Lee Tarlamis, thanked Peter for his tireless work and explained the road that we have travelled to get to this important point. For the last three years, the Committee has worked to ensure that the role of Lemnos in Australia's Anzac story is appropriately remembered and commemorated as part of the Centenary of Anzac. This sculpture and the Memorial it will form a major part is a key part of that commemoration. It's final erection at Albert Park will provide a lasting reminder of Lemnos role and a great legacy for future generations.
Lee pointed out that the next milestones will be the creation of the bronze nurse sculpture itself, followed by the completion of the soldier sculpture, the engraved stone plinth, memorial signage and eventually the  assembly of the memorial at Albert Park planned for August this year. He pointed out that everything is on track for this event.
While most of the funding for the sculpture has been secured, more is needed. Lee also explained our new project - a complementary book, a major and authoritative re-telling of the Lemnos role in Anzac, focusing on the photographs from 1915 and the words of the Anzacs themselves.
He also mentioned our forthcoming fundraising event - the Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition to be held on 22 march at the Thessaloniki Association in High Street Northcote. He urged all to attend.
Lee thanked all those who have supported our work - including the City of Port Phillip, the Marble Centre, the Lemnian Community of Victoria, the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch and George Petrou - as well as all the sponsors and members of the community who have purchased our badges or attended our functions. Well done.
Peter Corlett explaining his inspiration. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Lee Tarlamis addresses the crowd. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
As well as our Executive members, those attending included representatives of the City of Port Phillip, the ETU, nursing community amongst others.
Peter with his creation. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Litsa Athanasiadis of the Pontiaki Eastia with our nurse sculpture. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Our Treasurer Terry Paule admiring the work. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Louise Skacej, sculptor and Peter's model for the nurse. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

The event was also attended by media representatives - SkyNews, the Herald Sun and Neos Kosmos.
Everyone enjoyed Peter and Willys' hospitality and welcome to Peter's studio at their home. And another thank you to Louise Skacej (aka the nurse!) and her partner Dean Colls for all their help on the night. Thanks to Peter, Willys, Louise and Dean - much appreciated!

Note SkyNews will be running a news item on this event tomorrow (Friday 20 Feb) or Saturday 21 Feb. Keep an eye out for it!

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Below are some images of the sculpture. Photographs by Jim Claven 2015


Monday, 16 February 2015

Your Invited - Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition!

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee is please to announce our latest fundriasing event - our Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition!
This exhibition showcases forty of the most important images from the photographic record of Lemnos' role in Australian's Anzac story.
Sourced from various collections in Australian and overseas, they feature the photographs taken by the Anzac's themselves as well as by other famous Allied official photographers.
All images are in the highest resolution and beautifully framed.
All attendees to the Exhibition will received an accompanying booklet, telling the story of Lemnos and Gallipoli, of the photographers and will contain reproductions of the selected images themselves, as a momento of your attendance.
This is our Committee's major fundraiser for the year. Book a ticket and come along.  A number of items will be available for sale - including our famous commemorative badges as well as original paintings by Melbourne commemorative artist, George Petrou.
All proceeds will go towards the realisation of our commemorative projects, including our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial and the associated commemorative publication.
Make sure you book your place - this event is sure to sell-out.
Download the leaflet above for details.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commmemorative Committee

Friday, 13 February 2015


Images from last years festival. Photo Jim Claven
Melbourne's famous Greek community publiic festival - the Antipodes Festival - is on again.
It is being held on the 14 & 15 February and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee will again have a presence there. This will be the 3rd year that we have participated in this event and it is a great opportunity to promote the work that we do. It does however take a great deal of work to set-up and staff the stall across the two days.
That's why we are seeking volunteers throughout both these days to help staff our stall. It doesn't matter if you only have an hour or two to spare - it will all help.We need volunteers for Staturday evening (6-10pm) and Sunday morning (from 10am), but ny time you could volunteer would be appreciated.
Please contact Jim Claven (0409 402 388 - or Lee Tarlamis (0411 553 009 - if you are available to help.
We need volunteers for Staturday evening (6-10pm) and Sunday morning (from 10am), but ny time you could volunteer would be appreciated.
Images from last years festival. Photo Jim Claven

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

2015 Premier's Spirit of Anzac Prize Winners - Congratulations!

Recently the Victorian Premier, the Hon Daniel Andrews announced the 2015 Premier's Spirit of Anzac Prize winners at Parliament House.
The Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize (Prize) was established in 2004 and the first study tour took place in April 2005. The annual competition is aimed at engaging Year 9 and 10 students to better understand veterans’ service through exploring what the ‘Spirit of Anzac’ means to them.
Diggers and nurses enjoy a refreshment at a Lemnos cafe, 1915. AWM
Twenty eight students have been competitively selected from around Victoria and 12 of these students (state recipients) were selected to participate in a study tour which will travel overseas to significant sites in Australia’s service history. The overseas study tour will visit Lemnos (Greece), Gallipoli and the Western Front in the March/April school holidays.
Myrina, 2013. Photo Jim Claven
The remaining 16 students (regional finalists) will be invited to attend the Premier’s ANZAC Day Luncheon and participate in a three day study tour to Canberra visiting the Australian War Memorial and other military and cultural sites in late June 2015.
The number of entries has significantly increased in 2014-15 to over 650 applications, up from the 472 entries received in 2013-14 and 135 in 2011-12.
Two teacher chaperones have been selected to travel with the students on the overseas study tour and a further two teachers will support the three day Canberra study tour. Teacher chaperones were selected through a competitive process, which included panel interviews.

2014-15 Recipients 
The following 2014-15 state recipients and regional finalists selected are as follows:

The nurses of the 3rd AGH arrive on Lemnos 1915. AWM


The 2015-16 competition
The 2015-16 competition is now open and the new topic is: What does the “Anzac spirit” mean today in a diverse and multicultural Australia? To what extent can your definition be related to the events and people of the Great War? Students are asked to refer to examples of the Anzac spirit from Australia's involvement in wars and conflicts from Gallipoli through to the present day, and relate those experiences to positive values in their community and activities of Australia today.
For more details about the program, click here.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli on 25 April 2015
The Prize is separate from the delegation of 80 students and 13 teacher chaperones who will attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli on 25 April 2015. For more details about this program, click here.

Local school children on Lemnos commemorate the Anzacs at East Mudros MC, 2013. Photo Jim Claven
The Committee congratulates all winners as well as those student participants in this important program. for those selected to take part in the overseas program, we know that you will value your tour of Lemnos - gaining an appreciation of its role in the Gallipoli campaign and to visit the graves of the 148 Australians who are buried there.
Graves at East Mudros MC, Lemnos . Photo Jim Claven
Thanks to Ms Jennifer Steadman, Veterans Branch, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, for this information.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 9 February 2015

Ballarat's Memorial - Pompey Elliott

Last weekend I had the opportunity to view the above memorials in Ballarat - erected along the large median strip in the middle of the main street. A memorial that took my eye was that to Brigadier General Pompey Elliott. As the commander of the AIF's 7th Battalion, Pompey had assembled at Lemnos prior to sailing for the Gallipoli peninsula.
The best biography on Pompey Elliott is by Ross McMullin, published in 2002.
For a short biography of Elliott's life click here.
Below are my photographs of  the memorial to Pompey Elliott.