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

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Xmas message to our Committee from the City of Port Phillip

The Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Cr Bernadene Voss, on behalf of the Council wishes our Committee a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous 2017, with thanks for our support and work to commemorate the connections between Port Phillip, Lemnos and Gallipoli in the figures of our Memorial at Albert Park.
The Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial is located at Foote Street Reserve, Albert Park. The City of Port Phillip has been a strong supporter of the creation of our Memorial.
On behalf of the Committee, we extend our best wishes to the Mayor, the Council and the people of Port Phillip for their continuing support.
Jim Claven, Secretary
Lee Tarlamis, President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

101st Anniversary of the end of Gallipoli Campaign Commemorated

Sir Angus Huston AK AFC, Ms Natalie Suleyman MP and Lee Tarlamis, our President as the Shrine Sanctuary. Photo Jim Claven 2016
Yesterday - 20th December - the Friends of Gallipoli Inc (FOGI) held its annual commemorative service marking the withdrawal of Anzac forces from the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.
The key organiser of the event is Dr John Basarin OAM, a published author and historian of the Gallipoli campaign.
As with previous years, an invitation was extended to the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee to take part in this commemoration. Myself and our President, Lee Tarlamis, laid a wreath as part of the ceremony.
The event was attended by Sir Angus Huston, AK, AFC, who was a key supporter in the erection of the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial.
The service commenced at the Memorial with its annual award to an individual who made a significant contribution to Australian and Turkish friendship. This year's winner was Sir Angus Huston AK AFC. The presentation is photographed above.
Also in attendance was Ms Natalie Suleyman MP, representing the Premier of Victoria, along with other State and Federal MP's. Mr Ersel Ozdemir, the Consul-General of the Republic of Turkey was also in attendance. Both Ms Suleyman, Mr Ozdemir and Sir Angus Huston addressed the main service within the Sanctuary of the Shrine of Remembrance.
The service concluded with the reading of the Ode by Mr John Cullen OAM representing the RSL Victoria.
Below are photos of the service taken by myself:
FOGI is "a non-political, non-religious, not for profit organisation established to assist, facilitate and undertake cultural and educational projects, including student exchange, to enhance friendship between Australia and Turkey, which has its roots in the tragic Gallipoli campaign of 1915."
You can find out more about FOGI at its website -
Their major activity has been to erect the Australian Turkey Friendship Memorial at the Domain, near the Shrine of Remembrance.
Dr John Basarin and other members of FOGI have been supporters of our own Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Memorial in Albert Park.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 19 December 2016

Wishing You All a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

On behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, our members and supporters - we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This year has seen as continue our work to promote awareness of the role of Lemnos in the Anzac story and the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.
It has again been a pleasure to work with our supporters in both Australia and in Greece and indeed across the world.
Most importantly, this year saw our first annual commemorative service held at our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Melbourne's Albert Park. This was a very moving occasion, bringing together our Committee with representatives of Melbourne's Hellenic community, as well as RSL and government representatives. As with the unveiling of the Memorial in 2015, the event was well attended. We thank all who made this event the success it was and look forward to our next event in 2017.
We also assisted the recent work on Lemnos itself to formally identify the various commemorative sites across the Island. We hope that this work will be an important step in the erection of appropriate commemorative memorials at these locations in coming years.
Last year saw the welcome erection of memorial to the 3rd Australian General Hospital on the Turks Head Peninsula.
Next year will see the publication of our major commemorative publication on Lemnos and the Anzacs.
The success of our Memorial has brought us support from many of Melbourne's Hellenic community and we have worked to asssist other groups to achieve complementary aims - such as the erection of a memorial to Major George Devine Treloar in Ballarat and assisting in the commemoration of the Battle of Crete and Greece.
We also look forward to promoting attendance at the forthcoming Anzac commemorations on Lemnos scheduled to be held across 19th-21st April 2017.
Again, thank you all and wishing you a happy festive season and a well earned rest.
We look forward to working with you all again next year.

Lee Tarlamis, President
Jim Claven, Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Lemnos Commemorative Events - April 2017

East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos, April 2015. Photo Jim Claven 2015

We have been advised that next years Gallipoli campaign commemorative events to be held on the Greek Island of Lemnos will be conducted on  April 19th, 20th and 21st. The main commemorative event will take place on April 20th.
The commemorations on Lemnos usually include commemorative events at both of the Islands War Cemeteries (at East Mudros and Portianou) and at the Anzac Memorial at Mudros harbour front.
Anzac Day Commemorative Service in Greece
Also for your information we anticipate that the Australian Embassy in Athens will conduct its annual Anzac Day service at Phaleron War Cemetery in Athens on April 25th.
These events may be followed by WW2 commemorative events in Kalamata and on Crete - as they have been in the past.
As more details are confirmed and come to our notice we will endeavour to publicise them on this website.
However if you are planning to visit Lemnos to coincide with its commemorative events or the Anzac Day service at Phaleron, we urge you to contact the authorities on Lemnos or the Australian Embassy in Athens directly to confirm arrangements.
We cannot accept any responsibility for any changes in arrangements.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 12 December 2016

You are Invited - End of Gallipoli Campaign Commemoration, The Shrine, Tuesday 20th December 2016

Ari Burnu Cemetery, Gallipoli. Photo Jim Claven 2015
The Friends of Gallipoli Inc (FOGI) again extend an invitation to all for their annual commemoration of the end of the Gallipoli campaign.
The guns fell silent in the ANZAC Sector at Gallipoli in the early hours of the 20th of December 1915. The 101th anniversary of this important event is to be commemorated at the Shrine of Remembrance with a wreath laying ceremony at the Sanctuary.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) will be the guest of honour at a ceremony to mark the end of the war at Gallipoli, between the ANZACs and the Turks.
The commemoration will take place on Tuesday 20th December 2016.
The commemoration will commence at 11am at the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial. The Memorial is located 200 m. north east of the Shrine (photo below).
This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance commencing at 12 noon.
This is the fifth service held by FOGI to commemorate this event.
All members of our Committee - and members of the public - are welcome to attend. Our Committee will be laying a wreath at the ceremony.
Thank you to Dr John Basarin OAM and all at FOGI for both the invitation and for again putting on this important commemoration.
Photo Jim Claven 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

HMHS Britannic and Lemnos - Lest We Forget

RMS Britannic postcard. Goossens website

This month marks the 101st anniversary of the arrival of the HM Hospital Ship Britannic's arrival in Moudros Bay. Today we remember this hospital ship, those who sailed in her, those she cared for and those who suffered in her sinking off Cape Sounion in 1916. Lest we forget.
RMS Britannic logo. Goossens website
The Britannic was the sister ship of the famous Titanic which sank in the north Atlantic Ocean in April 1912.
A White Stat Line ship, Britannic had been converted to a Hospital Ship during WW1.
In June, the British resolved to convert large ocean liners as troop transports for the Gallipoli campaign, such as the Mauretania and Aquitania. Mounting casualties, saw the Aquitania converted into a hospital ship in August 1915, with the liner Olympic taking her place as a troop ship in September. In November 1915, Britannic was requisitioned as a hospital ship.
HMHS Britannic converted to a hospital ship. Goossens website

The public rooms on the upper decks were transformed in wards for the wounded. Lower on the ship, the large first class dining room and the reception rooms became operating theatres and main wards. The medical personnel would occupy the B-deck cabins, while the rest medical orderlies and the less wounded patients would be accommodated on the lower decks. Surviving photos show that the partially covered first class promenade was also used as a ward. With all these modifications the ship's tonnage arrived at 48.158 tons and she could carry 3.309 casualties (the second largest capacity for a hospital ship after the Aquitania).
The hull was painted in white with a green band from stem to sternpost broken in three places by large red crosses. This color scheme was the international identification of hospital ships. Protection at night was crucial and the ship needed to be clearly identified. For this purpose two large red crosses were placed on both sides of the boat deck. Each one was lit at night along with a band of green electric bulbs, covering more than 2/3 of the ship's length. This way it was impossible for enemy vessels to be mistaken about the status of the Britannic.
The Britannic at Lemnos
Her maiden voyage took her from Liverpool to Lemnos' Moudros Bay via Naples, returning to Southampton.
She departed Liverpool on December 23 1915 on her maiden departure bound for Mudros. She made a call at Naples Italy early in the morning on December 28, where she would load coal and departed in the afternoon and arrived in Mudros on December 31, where she took on board some 3,300 casualties.
HMHS Britannic in Moudros Bay, Lemnos, c1915/16. Goossens website

While at Lemnos one of her patients died of tuberculosis - Private 1411 Arthur Howe of the Essex Regiment from Little Bromley, Essex. He was buried in Lemnos' East Mudros Military Cemetery on January 2, 1916.

The grave stone of Private A Howe, East Mudros Military Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2015
On January 3, 1916 she departed Lemnos bound for Southampton where she arrived on January 9.
After the conclusion of the Gallipoli campaign, Lemnos' great Moudros Bay was used as a staging post for the transporting of sick and wounded Allied soldiers from the various active battle fronts nearby. These soldiers would have been transported from the Salonika front.
The Britannic returned to Lemnos on two other occasions during her service as a hospital ship - October 3-5, 1916 and October 28-30, 1916 - on each occasion returning to Southampton with her cargo of sick and wounded soldiers.
On the October 3-5 journey one of her patients died - Corporal J Seddon. One of the Britannic's medical staff on this voyage was Vera Brittain. During her stay on Lemnos she famously visited Portianou Military Cemetery and the graves of the two Canadian nurse buried there. She then wrote her poem the Sisters Graves at Lemnos. For more on Vera's visit to Lemnos, see our blog post by clicking here.
On the October 28-30 journey a patient died on the return journey - Corporal G Hunt.
The Sinking of the Britannic - 21st November 1916
The Britannic sank on her planned fourth voyage to Lemnos. Having departed Southampton on November 12 1916, she called in at Naples November 17-19 and proceeded to Greek waters. She sailed with 1,065 - 673 crew, 315 Royal Army Medical Corps and 77 Nurses .
The sea south of Cape Sounion. Photo Jim Claven 2012
She never arrived at Lemnos. After sailing around Cape Matapan (the scene of the great naval battle in WW2), she made her way towards the Kea channel, between Cape Sounion and the Island of Kea. As she sailed through the channel she was struck by an explosion on November 21 1916 - presumed now to have been a mine (rather than a torpedo as was thought at the time) and sank in less than an hour.
It is thought that the mine had been laid by the German submarine U73 that had been laying mines the week the Britannic voyaged through the channel.
Over 1,000 of the crew were saved but 21 crew and 9 members of the Royal Army Medical Corps were lost at sea. Many of these were killed by the propellers of the ship as they tried to leave the sinking vessel in lifeboats. A number of these were buried or memorialised at Mikra Military Cemetery, Thessaloniki or at Piraeus Naval & Consular Cemetery.
One of the nurses - Violet Jessop - recording the story of the sinking in her memoirs. You can read excerpts of her account in the excellent website below by Michail Michailakis.
The wreck of the Britannic remains were it sank.
A recent BBC documentary has been released detailing the story of the Britannic, its sinking and showing footage of the wreck as it remains.
For more information, there are two excellent websites - Hospital Ship Britannic by Michail Michailakis and
HMHS Britannic by Reuben Goossens.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Last Battle - New Book on the story of Soldier Settlement - Media Release

11 November 2016
FROM DIGGERS TO DIGGERS: the challenges of returned soldiers turned farmer settlers in “The Last Battle”
They fought for their country in the “war to end all wars”, yet those who survived returned to another, unforeseen battle that many didn’t win.
“The Last Battle” by Professors Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer reveals the largely untraced history of soldier settlers who struggled to transition from the frontline to the farm, as part of Australia’s first soldier settlement scheme.
With a need for jobs for Australian soldiers returning from World War One, the government’s solution was to assign land where they could make a fresh start.
However, a lack of recognition of the traumas experienced, inadequate support services, and little strategic consideration of the land being allocated and appropriate training meant many soldier settlers were doomed to fail. Fewer than half succeeded in staying on their properties.
“A century on and we’re still learning about the impacts of war and its ripple effect upon veterans and the wider society” says Professor Oppenheimer, Chair of History at Flinders University.
This book isn’t just a historical account; many of the challenges faced 100 years ago, such as access to services for those with physical and psychological injuries, have enormous relevance today.”
“How does society deal with the legacy of war? There’s a focus on the 50,000 who died, but what about the subsequent sacrifices of those who came home? They survived the war, but how did they survive the peace? It’s as powerful a question today as it was in 1916.”

Professor Oppenheimer says “The Last Battle” draws on recently uncovered archives to reveal very personal stories from the little studied inter-war period.
It’s often said Australia was blooded in war; really society was transfomed upon the veterans’ return and that’s a story we don’t know enough about.”
“It’s summed up by the poignant words of one veteran who said he thought the Western Front was bad, but it was nothing compared to what he had to deal with coming home.”
“The government saw work as the solution, and little realised it was setting many up to fail. The problem was compounded because land was the province of the states, but the initative was federal,” Professor Oppenheimer says.
“There’s a widespread misconception that the men were ‘given’ the land, when in fact they were 'loaned' monies to purchase the blocks, stock and equipment - and many ended up going bankrupt.”
“From dealing with marginal land, droughts, floods and rabbit plagues, to the struggle of living remotely where access to services like hospitals could mean days or weeks off the farm – it’s clear that it wasn’t for lack of determination or courage that so many struggled and failed.”
“The book does, however, challenge the notion that the scheme was entirely a failure, and reflects on those who experienced success. For all those who left the land, there were those who stayed, some prevailing through nous, or the misfortune of others, or sheer luck. Many of those settlers’ lands can still be found in family ownership today, three or four generations on.”
“Some of the most important contributions were those of the women and children on the land - their physical and emotional support often making all the difference to their men; their hard toil often making the difference between success and failure on a holding”
Professor Oppenheimer says.
The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia 1916-1939 (Cambridge University Press) is being launched at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra on November 11. It is available online and through all good book retailers.
Copies are available for media review upon request.
Professor Oppenheimer will deliver a public lecture in Adelaide on November 16 as part of Flinder University’s Investigators Lecture series.
About the authors
Professor Bruce Scates holds the Chair of History and Australian Studies at Monash University and is the Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies.
Professor Melanie Oppenheimer holds the Chair of History, and is Dean of the School of History and International Relations, at Flinders University.
For further information and interviews please contact
Karen Ashford, Director of Media and Communications, Flinders University
T: 08 8201 2092 M: 0427 398 713 E:

Media Release supplied to
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Donation of Unique Australian WW2 Greek Campaign Memorabilia to the State Library of Victoria

The Consul-General of Greece, Her Excellency Christina Simantiraki joins with veterans family members and supporters witness the donation of the Grant and Moran WW2 collections to the State Library. Photo Craig Tolson  2016
Today was another great day in the commemoration of the Hellenic connection to Anzac.
Two Greek campaign veterans families have donated their extensive collections of memorabilia to Victoria's State Library.
Horsham's Private Syd Grant and Ballarat's Lieutenant Henry Moran served with the Australian 2/8th Battalion as it fought its way across the length of Greece in April 1941. This Battalion was mostly recruited from residents from Victoria's western district.
Both diggers fought in the great battle of Vevi in northern Greece, alongside British, New Zealand and Greek troops, facing German SS troops and successfully holding them up for three days. They went on to serve in the defences of the key passes through central Greece.
Henry was evacuated from Kalamata but Syd was not. Helped by local Greek villagers, he made his way down the Mani to the little village of Trachila where he was helped by the people until he was evacuated to Crete and on to Alexandria.
Henry fought on Crete, defending the Allied troops as they withdrew to the southern port of Sfakia, where he was eventually evacuated to Egypt.
Both soldiers had served in the battles of the western desert and returned to Australia.
Syd's collection encompasses over 300 unique photographs, correspondence home and written and audio memoirs. Henry's collection includes a rare copy of the Allied Crete newspaper - the Crete News - as well as video memoirs recorded by his daughter, Joan, who attended the donation ceremony today.
A number of the extended family of Syd Grant attended - including his two daughters, Catherine and Elisabeth and son David. The children of Henry Moran attended - Mick, Jim and Joan.

The Consul-General of Greece, Her Excellency Christina Simantiraki holds up Henry Moran’s copy of the Crete News from 1941, with Henry’s children – Jim, Joan and Mick. At left Betty Kosmas of Papaflessas Brotherhood (left) and Jonathan Rossi (right). Photo Jim Claven 2016
Along with these descendants, the Consul-General of Greece, Ms Christina Simantiraki, attended and spoke at the event. She said how she was moved by the donation of these personal collections that would demonstrate the deep connection between Greece and Australia forged in war. It was fitting that such collections would be held in Melbourne, given its large Hellenic-background community. She added that as someone with a Cretan background, she particularly enjoyed Syd's photographs of Crete in 1941.

The Consul-General of Greece, Her Excellency Christina Simantiraki, talks with Catherine Bell, the daughter of Syd Grant. Syd’s son David at left and other daughter, Elisabeth centre. Photo Jim Claven 2016
Catherine Bell, the daughter of Syd Grant, spoke of how emotional it was to donate such material but that it was important that these records be preserved and accessed by future generations. She spoke of her father's love of Greece and its people, his gratitude for the people who helped him when he was on the run - at great peril to themselves. He returned to Kalamata and Trachila in the 1970's and was welcomed by the people. He named his farm in Victoria "Kalamata" in their honor. For years later, he would travel to Northcote to buy his precious Kalamata olives!Dr Kevin Molloy accepted the donations on behalf of the State Library and encouraged other families with simialr memorabilia to consider donating thier material to the Library's expanding Greek Anzac collection.
Others who attended the event were members of Melbourne's Peloponnese community, including Ms Betty Kosmas of the Papaflessas Brotherhood.
Members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee were also in attendance - Lee Tarlamis, Deb Strewart, Arlene Bennett (pictured above, left to right) and Christina Despoteris.
On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to have assisted both the Grant and Moran families in making these important donations.
Me (at left) join Christina Simantiraki and the Syd Grant extended family. Photo Ioanne Kikkides  2016
Below are some of the photos from the Syd Grant collection:
A gathering in Kalamata Greece of Greeks and a few Australians .G.Maxwell with hands on his hips. He is now a prisoner 28 April 1941. Syd Grant Collection

Two of the many Greek girls who fed us with bread and water standing at the entrance of an old church at Trachila  Greece 30 April 1941. Syd Grant Collection

A terror for the plonk at Neon Corinth [Neo Khorion or Neo Chorio] Crete May 1941. Syd Grant Collection

Greek campaign Veteran former Lieutenant Henry Bernard Moran holding his copy of the Crete News, 20 years ago. Courtesy of family of Henry Bernard Moran, 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
& Member, Battle of Greece and Crete Commemorative Council