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

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Lemnos Gallipoli Exhibition at Richmond Town Hall Extended - Until mid December!

Mayor Cr Philip Vlahogiannis, Cr Fristacky, Mayor Jim Grivokostopoulos, the Hon John Pandazopoulos, myself and members of the Richmond RSL. Photo Paul Soug 2015.
Thank you to all those who came along to Richmond Town Hall last night for the luanch of our Lemnos Gallkipoli Photographic Exhibition at Yarra's Richmond Town Hall.
The exhibition features 22 of the framed reproduced photographic images of Lemnos in 1915, as well as our exhibition booklet.
The exhibition was launched by City of Yarra Mayor, Cr Philip Vlahogiannis, where he highlighted the impact of WW1 on the Yarra community. I then made a short presentation explaining the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign and the story of the Lemnos photographic archive.
The event included a rolling audio-visual display, accompanied with traditional Greek music.
At the event, the Mayor announced that the photographic exhibition would remain on display until mid December. This is located in the main hall on level 1 of the Richmond Town Hall and is free and open to the public.
Around sixty people attended the event, including local govenrment representatives, some of the executuvei and members the Richmond RSL and Richmond Historical Society, as well as members of the public - including members of the local Richmond Greek community, including Sophie Arvanitou and many others. As well as Philip, Yarra Councillor Cl Jackie Fristacky and the Mayor of Manningham, Cr Jim Grivokostopoulos.
Two members of SBS Greek Program also attended, including Dina Gerolymou - thanks Dina for supporting our work.
 It was great to meet and discuss the work of the Richmond Historical Society, especially President David Langdon and Committee Member Anne Heywood. Anne has produced a boooklet on Richmond diggers and Lemnos, which she has shared with us.
It was also good to meet with Richmond RSL President Gareth Ward and Secretary Steve Bartling, who invited us to attend their Remembrance Day service to be held at 10.30am on the steps of the Richmond Town Hall and then moving inside to the exhibition hall.
And good to meet Peter Ford, son of a New Zealand Battle of Crete veteran - and a great enthusiast for promoting awareness of the Anzac link to Greece.
Thanks to all those members of our Committee who attended and helped - including the Hon John Pandazopoulos, Ange Kenos, Stan Kayalicos and John Salpigitidis.
Thanks to John Pandazopoulos and Paul Soug for their photographs and Ange for doing a sterling job selling more of our Committee badges.
And a big thank you to Barbara Higgins and the Mayor and Councillors office for all their help in putting the event and exhibition together.
For those unable to attend the exhibition and who would like a copy of our exhibition booklet, to download a copy click  here.
Photo Jim Claven 2015

I address the event. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Mayor Cr Philip Vlahogiannis opens the exhibition. Photo John Pandazopoulos 2015

Dina Gerolymou, Sophie Arvanitou and Mayor Cr Philip Vlahogiannis. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Committee members John Salpigditis and the Hon John Pandazopoulos. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015
Photo Dina Gerolymou 2015

Photo Jim Claven 2015

Photo Jim Claven 2015
Photo Jim Claven 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 30 October 2015

Zeeto ee Australia! - With the Australians at Vevi - Neos Kosmos & Presentation

Australian artillery after the battle of Vevi, April 1941. Source AWM

Neos Kosmos today has published a short article I have written on the lesser known battle of Vevi.
Vevi saw Australians, New Zealanders, British and Greek soldiers battle the advancing German Army in early April 1941. Successfully holding up superior enemy forces for three days, this battle saw the formation of the 2nd Anzacs - in the footsteps of the 1st Anzacs who had served in Greece at Lemnos and beyond in the First World War.
As we approach the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Greece and Crete in 2016, we should remember the important battles that took place on the Greek mainland, when Australians again came to Greece in 1941 - including the battle of Vevi.

If you can, please support Neos Kosmos by purchasing a copy at your local newsagent or contact Neos Kosmos. For more information, click here.
For those who are unable to get a copy, the article is reproduced below.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos for their support.
Vevi Commemoration - Coming Presentation
You are invited to attend my coming address on the battle of Vevi, hosted by the Thessaloniki Association "The White Tower", as part of their coming Sister-City celebrations.
It will be held at 3pm, Sunday 22nd November at the Thessaloniki Association Hall, High Street, Northcote. Attenance is free. All welcome.
You can download the flyer for the event by clicking here.

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee charter is to promote awareness of the Hellenic link to Anzac across both the First and Second World Wars.
From Lemnos, through mainland Greece, the Adriatic and Aegean, and to Crete - from 1915 to 1941 - the Anzac link to Greece is a rich and treasured connection between Australian and Greece that should be remembered and commemorated.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 29 October 2015

You are Invited - Major George Devine Treloar Memorial Fundraiser, Friday 6th November

One of the homes built by the Asia Minor refugees in Thrylorion with the help of George Treloar. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013
You are invited to attend the launch of a fundraising campaign to build the first major Memorial to Ballarat's Major George Devine Treloar, DSO, MC. The event has been organised by the Merimna of Pontion Ladies of Oceania, the Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria "Pontiaki Estia" - who are forming the George Devine Treloar Committee to make their Memorial proposal a reality.
The Pontiaki Estia and its members have been strong supporters of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial project.

When: 7pm, Friday 6th November 2015
Where: Pontiaki Estia Club Rooms, Sydney Road, Brunswick
Further details: 0421 804 968;

The George Treloar Memorial
The Memorial will commemorate Major Treloar's service in assisting the tens of thousands of refugees who fled Asia Minor following the end of the First World War and Greco-Turkish War. In his capacity as representative of the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, between 1922 and 1926 Treloar helped re-settle an estimated 108,000 refugees who had come to northern Greece. They were assisted with the provision of food and essentials, as well as help with employment and in the construction of new homes and villages. For his efforts, George Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and one of these villages was named in his honour by the Greek Government - Thrylorion, near Komotini. See below for a report on my visit to this village. In addition, the people of Ballarat also raised funds to assist these refugees at this time.
The Memorial will be a fitting commemoration of Major George Treloar and the residents of Ballarat in their assistance to these tens of thousands of refugees. This will be another important recognition of the Hellenic connection to Australia forged in the aftermath of the First World War.

The campaign already has the support of the City of Ballarat and the Ballarat RSL.
A preliminary location has been identified by the City of Ballarat - a new addition to Ballarat's avenue of memorials erected in the central large median strip on Sturt Street, Ballarat. This location already contains important memorials to Major Harold 'Pompey' Elliot (erected 2011; Sculptor: Louis Laumen) and Sir Albert Coates (erected in 2000; Sculptor: Louis Laumen).
For those interested in the erection of the Pompey Elliott statue in Ballarat, click here  for a link to the ABC Ballarat report with great photographs on the unveiling in 2011.
On 28th October 2015, Neos Kosmos Greek-language edition reported on the George Devine Treloar Memorial project. To read this article, click here.

Below is your invitation to this important event:

Major George Devine Treloar - A Short Biography

"George Devine Treloar (1884-1980), gentleman of fortune, was born on 23 April 1884 at Ballarat, Victoria, son of Thomas Reid Treloar, chemist, and his wife Jane, née Devine, both Victorian born. Educated at Ballarat's St Patrick's College, he was a bank clerk at Ballarat for five years, then a jackeroo in western Victoria before he farmed in Western Australia. While travelling by ship to Adelaide, he was recruited by actor-manager Julius Knight and toured Australia with his troup, playing in romantic dramas. Oscar Asche took Treloar to South Africa and England where he was acting when war broke out in 1914.
Having previously served at Ballarat as a lieutenant in the 3rd Victorian Rifles, Treloar immediately volunteered. Although rejected because of defective eyesight, he wangled his way into the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Rifle Volunteers in 1915 as a private and secured a transfer to the Coldstream Guards. He served in France, was commissioned and ultimately promoted to major, second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion. Buried twice by shellbursts on the Somme and almost bullet-riddled at Ypres, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross. In 1918 he commanded the Brigade of Guards Officers' School of Instruction and, following the Armistice, served with his battalion in the Rhineland Occupation Force.
After commanding the post-war Royal Military, Naval and Air Force Tournament at Olympia, London, in 1919, Treloar joined the British Mission to the White Russian armies as assistant military secretary to Major-General Holman. At Constantinople after the withdrawal of the mission, Treloar served with the Tsarist army as a colonel under Baron Wrangel. When the White Russians were defeated Treloar commanded a British camp for Russian refugees at Tousla on the Sea of Marmora. His attempt to set up as a timber concessions trader in Constantinople was frustrated by the Turks. He then became a representative of the League of Nations High Commissariat for Refugees in northern Greece.
In 1922-26 Treloar was engaged in the resettlement of Greek refugees from Asia Minor; at first he worked at Gumuldjina (Komotini) in Thrace and later in Salonika; by 1923 his mission was handling over 108,000 refugees. His efforts to organize food, shelter, medical care and resettlement precipitated disputes with indifferent league officials in Geneva and with a senior Greek official. Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and a refugee village (Thrilorion) near Komotini was named after him.
In Constantinople on 27 December 1923 Treloar married Kathleen May Douch whose father was an engineering consultant to the Turkish government. When the league's resettlement operation ended, Treloar suffered severe financial loss in a fraudulent mining investment and in 1927 returned to Australia to seek work..."
By Hugh Gilchrist
Australian Dictionary of Biography

George Treloar in Constantinople
I recently wrote an article for Neos Kosmos about the Anzac connection in Constantinople. This referred to the presence of Major George Treloar here in 1920. To read this story, click here.
I have also been able to discover George Treloar's wedding certificate. George and Kathleen were married in the Crimean Memorial Church, an Anglican Church, in Pera.

Built on land donated by Sultan Abdulmecit, the Church was constructed between 1858-68 in memory of British soldiers who had participated in the Crimean War. The church was completed by the end of the 19th century. Closed in 1978 due to the lack of a congregation, the Church re-opened in 1991.
Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul. Source: web
Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul. Source: web
George Devine Treloar and Kathleen May Douch were married in the Church on 31st December 1923, the Rev Father Borrough celebrating the marriage.
Thrylorion - A Commemorative Visit
In 2013, I had the pleasure of visiting the village as part of a commemorative tour of Greece. As Australians, we were welcomed by the villagers - descendants of those Asia Minor refugees saved through the efforts of George Treloar, the League of Nations and his helpers. The local community hall is decorated with reproductions of photographs taken by or of George Treloar, donated by the family of George Treloar.
Local villagers in traditional dress, welcome our delegation. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

The Hon John Pandazopoulos giving a media conference on the importance of George Treloar and the Australian-Greek connection. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Main Church, exterior. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Main Church, interior. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Wall of an old barn or home, possibly from the time of George Treloar. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

 War Memorial, main square, Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

OHI Day in Melbourne - Hellenic War Memorial and the Shrine of Remembrance

Congratulations to Terry Kanelos, Secretary and all at the RSL Hellenic Sub-branch for another great commemoration of OHI Day in Melbourne.
Our President , Lee Tarlamis JP, laid a wreath on behalf of our Committee.
Terry Kanelos addresses the assembled crowd. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Photo Jim Claven 2015

The Hon John Pandazopoulos, with John Salpigtidis. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Photo Jim Claven 2015
The service inside the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. Cr Serge Thomann, representing the City of Port Phillip, Inge Peulich MP representing the Leader of the State Opposition and Stephen Dimopoulos MP representing the Premier of Victoria. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Our Committee President Lee Tarlamis JP, wit Stephen Dimopoulos MP and Oakleigh Grammar school children at the Shrine service. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Lee Tarlamis JP, the Hon John Pandazopoulos, Stephen Dimopoulos MP and myself. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

OHI Day Media Reports - From Nick Andriotakis

Photo reproduced from Neos Kosmos
OHI day marks the first defeat of the axis powers in world war 2 when a defiant underdog Greece defended itself against Mussolini’s giant Italy and forced the Germans to invade Greece . Australia and other Commonwealth countries subsequently went to the aid of Greece and the formation of the second Anzac Corps was made . The Anzac and Greek resistance in the Battle Crete and Greece delayed the German invasion of Russia into the winter resulting in their defeat . Greece lost 11 percent of its population due to the German invasion and the Anzac legend intertwines Greece and Australia for ever .
Below are stories appearing today in the Sydney Morning Herald , The Sydney Telegraph and Kosmos .
Nick Andriotakis BE (Hons)
Joint Committee for the
Commemoration of the Battle of Crete & The Greek Campaign
Photo reproduced from Neos Kosmos
Photo reproduced from Neos Kosmos
Photo reproduced from Neos Kosmos

Photo reproduced from Neos Kosmos

OHI Day Message from our Vice President

Many know that Greece created democracy, but few know that it also saved it.....
On this the 75th Anniversary of "OHI Day "or "OXI Day", let us reflect on the significance that such a small three letter word as ""ΟXΙ" made to the outcome of World War 11.
The free world watched as one by one countries across Europe surrended to Hitler's Axis forces. At 3.00 am on October 28, 1940, the Italian Ambassador (Emanuele Grazzi) arrived at the Greek Prime Minister's (Ioannis Metaxas) residence in Kifisia (northern suburb of Athens) and demanded Greece's surrender. The Prime Minister replied "Alors c'est la guerre" - "Well, that means we are at war". This was later interpreted by the Greek people as a resound "ΟXΙ".
This was one of the most consequential "David vs Goliath" victories for freedom and democracy in the modern world and, at the time, an act that inspired and gave hope to the free world. Yet over time, this story of Greece's victory has become forgotten.
Each year Greeks around the globe celebrate this significant day with parades, wreath laying ceremonies and other commemorations.

The Washington OXI Day Foundation 

Just as the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee has been active in promoting Lemnos' connection to Anzac, one group which has been very active in promoting this important date in modern history has been the "Washington "ΟΧΙ Day" Foundation" (the Foundation). A group which was foundered a few years ago by Andy Manatos, a Greek American who has worked for several US Administrations. This Foundation's events and ongoing activities have resurrected the incredible Oxi Day story and assured it becomes part of the collective public memory. Through participation in their ceremonies and their nomination for prospective winners of various Oxi Day Awards, hundreds of national policymakers and opinion leaders with a national audience learn of modern Greece's heroic feat. Please see links below for more information.

One of the major projects which the Foundation organises is the "Philotimo Scholarship Competition".
"Philotimo" a Greek word meaning - "friend and honour" or a combination of any of the following words - pride, integrity, friendship, fellowship, kindness, courage, compassion, caring, honour, trust and .........many more. You are not a true Greek if you haven't got "filotimo".

Some quotes about the Greeks:
"If there had not been the virtue and courage of the Greeks, we do not know which the outcome of World War 11 would have been." Winston Churchill
"When the entire world had lost all hope, the Greek people dared to question the invincibility of the German monster raising against it the proud spirit of freedom." Franklin Roosevelt
"Historical justice forces me to admit, that all the enemies that stand against us, the Greek soldier, above all, fought with the most courage." Adolf Hitler
"Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks."  Winston Churchill
Chronia Pola and Happy "ΟΧΙ Day" to all.

Christina Despoteris
Vice President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 26 October 2015

Come to Richmond Town Hall on Friday and here about Yarra's Lemnos Heroes

Flowers on the graves of diggers, East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
This Friday evening, on the 97th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros ending the war in the Middle East, the City of Yarra and the Lemnis Gallipoli Commemorative Committee will be hosting an exhibition and reception.The exhibition is the Committee's photographic exhibition featuring 40 of the most iconic images from the huge archive of photographs taken by the Anzacs - diggers and nurses - on the Island of Lemnos in 1915. Entrance free, all invited.

Two Diggers from Yarra are buried on Lemnos - Richmond's Private Frank Hanley and Fitzroy's Private James May.
The grave of Private Frank Hanley, East Mudros Military Cemetary, Lemnos. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Richmond-born labourer Frank Hanley was a labourer when enlisted as Private 1857 into the 5th Battalion 21st January 1914 with the consent of his mother (Ellen Hanley). His address was 3 Prince Patrick Street Richmond. He died of wounds received in action at Gallipoli on 18th August 1915, while aboard the Hospital Ship Scotian, anchored in Lemnos’ great Mudros Bay, Lemnos. He is buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery.
The grave of Private James May, Portianos Military Cemetary, Lemnos. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Fitzroy-born James Henry May was 29 years and 6months old, when he enlisted in South Australia on 14th December 1914 as Private 1355 in the 12th Battalion, 3rd Brigade. He was living in Port Augusta, South Australia, with his mother. Like Frank, James was also a labourer. He embarked from Adelaide on 15th February 1915, aboard the HMAT Itonus (A50). He died at Moudros on Lemnos of wounds received at Gallipoli and was buried at Lemnos’ Portianos Military Cemetery.

The Committee is very glad that the City of Yarra has agreed to host this event.
You are all invited to attend this exhibition and reception:

6.30pm, Friday 30th October 2015
Richmond Town Hall.

RSVP 92055096 (leave a message) or

Thanks to Mayor Clr Phillip Vlahogiannis for supporting and promoting this event.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos Maps - UK Official War History

The maps of Lemnos Imbros and Tenedos reproduced here are from a large map of the Dardanelles area produced for the UK Official History of WW1 - Naval Operations.
These Islands had been liberated and joined to Greece in 1912 during the Balkan Wars. They were offered by Greece for use during WW1 and were occupied by Allied forces. They all played a role in the Gallipoli campaign, especially Lemnos as the principal forward base for the whole campaign.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee