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

Friday, 5 February 2016

The Lost Anzac Photos of Lemnos and Tobruk - Major Donation of Unseen Anzac Photos and Memorabilia to Melbourne's State Library


Representatives of Melbourne’s Greek community – Cr Jim Grivakostopoulos, Mr Paul Mavroudis, Mr Bill Papastergiadis, Mr Paul Sougleris and Mr Tony Tsourdalakis – viewing the amazing collection of photographs and memorabilia donated by the two Anzac families, including Evelyn’s unique photos of Lemnos in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2016
Hundreds of original photographs taken and collected by two Anzac’s whose combined service stretches across Australia’s involvement in both the First and Second World War’s were today donated to the State Library of Victoria.

Dr Kevin Molloy, Collections Manager of the State Library of Victoria, accepting the donation on behalf of the Library. Photo Jim Claven 2016

Mr Gil Easton, WW2 veteran and donor, addresses the event. Seated next to him is Mr Bill Rudd, another veteran of the battle of El Alamein. Seated at left is Ms Judith Gunnarson and other members of the Evelyn Hutt family, Mr Bill and Ms Deb Stewart, Evelyn’s grand children. Photo Jim Claven 2016
The donations bring to the public photographs never before seen by researchers and the wider public. The collections were received by Dr Kevin Molloy, Manuscripts Collection Manager, on behalf of the State Library of Victoria. The donors have been assisted in making their donations by historian and freelance writer, Mr Jim Claven, Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
The donation took place in the Collections Centre of the State Library of Victoria. This historic handover of precious Anzac photographic records and memorabilia was well witnessed. Those present were:
    • Evelyn’s family – daughter Judith Gunnarson, grand-daughter Deb Stewart (who is also a member of our Committee executive) and grandson Bill Stewart
    • Gil Easton and his wife Lucia
    • Mr Bill Rudd, Anzac WW2 veteran, who served in the Middle East including the battle of El Alamein where Gil Easton also served.
    • Mr Lee Tarlamis & Ms Christina Despoteris (the President and Vice-President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee)
    • Ms Arlene Bennett (Nurses Memorial Centre and who is also a member of our Committee executive).
    • Representatives of Melbourne’s Greek community, including Mr Bill Papastergiadis (President of Greek Orthodox Community of Victoria and Melbourne), Mr Paul Mavroudis (President, Thessaloniki Association "The White Tower"), Mr Tony Tsourdalakis (Secretary, Pancretan Association of Melbourne & Secretary, Melbourne-based Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council), Mr Paul Sougleris and Mr Jim Grivakostopoulos (Messinian Brotherhood).

      The Sister Evelyn Hutt's Collection
      The first collection contains over 300 hundreds of photographs and postcards collected by Australian Sister Evelyn Hutt who served across various fronts in the First World War – from Lemnos and the Gallipoli campaign, Egypt, Western France, England and Italy. The collection cover her service in Egypt, Malta, Gibraltar and England.
      Photographs and albums from the Evelyn Hutt Collection. Photo Jim Claven 2016
      Most significantly Evelyn’s collection includes approximately 75 photographs taken during her stay on Lemnos, the Island in the northern Aegean that was the forward base for the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.
      Often forgotten in the story of Gallipoli, Lemnos was the assembly and training base, the forward supply base, the base for forward medical services, where Allied forces returned for rest and after the evacuation of the peninsula, and the location of over 1,200 Allied war graves.
      Sister Evelyn Hutt. Evelyn Hutt Collection.
      Evelyn’s photographs are a great addition to the Australian archive of Lemnos’ role in Gallipoli.
      Lemnos 1915. Evelyn Hutt Collection.
      Highlights in the collection include images of the field hospitals and the Anzac rest camp on Lemnos, revealing the rudimentary accommodation and diggers on hired donkeys travelling over the Island – probably going to the famous hot springs baths at Therma.
      The Sarpi camp itself, diggers wading in the waters of Lemnos’ Mudros Bay and barges full of troops in the waters of Mudros Bay – as well as the field bakeries and kitchens that fed the nurses and diggers on the Island.
      Lemnos 1915. Evelyn Hutt Collection.
      Lemnos 1915. Evelyn Hutt Collection.
      The great water distilling and pumping station erected on the peninsula, not far from Evelyn’s hospital.
      Local life, revealing women and children outside their homes, farmers ploughing fields, village women at Portianou and visiting the Australian hospital, the Island’s windmills and the ornately decorated interiors of an Greek Orthodox church. One photograph shows a nurse and soldier conversing with a local Lemnian woman and her child, at the foot of one of Lemnos’ famous windmills (reproduced below).
      Lemnos 1915. Evelyn Hutt Collection.
      Along with the photographic collection, the donation includes many items of Evelyn’s memorabilia including a Turkish soldier’s flag and small Koran, as well as a Peruvian coin, the gift of a dying soldier on Lemnos, worn by Evelyn as a brooch for years afterwards in his memory. Also included is a gift from US sailors of a signed US Flag in celebration of Armistice Day 1918 while Evelyn was in Genoa.
      Some of the memorabilia from the Evelyn Hutt Collection. Photo Jim Claven 2016
      Evelyn’s collection has been donated by her daughter, Ms Judith Gunnarsson, supported by Evelyn’s granddaughter Ms Deb Stewart and grandson Mr Bill Stewart. Judith stated that she was glad that the collection would be preserved by the State Library and be made available to a wider public.

      Mr Bill Papastergiadis, Mr Paul Sougleris and Mr Tony Tsourdalakis viewing the amazing collection of photographs and memorabilia donated by the two Anzac families, including Evelyn’s unique photos of Lemnos in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2016

      Cr Jim Grivakostopoulos, with Ms Judith Gunnarsson, admires the Peruvian coin brooch given to Sister Evelyn Hutt by a dying digger on Lemnos or in Egypt in the First World War.  Photo Jim Claven 2016


      Mr Tony Tsourdalakis and others viewing Evelyn’s WW1 map of the Balkans, including Greece. In the centre is Dr Kevin Molloy, Collections Manager of the State Library of Victoria. Also present Mr Lee Tarlamis, President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. Photo Jim Claven 2016


      Cr Jim Grivakostopoulos viewing Evelyn Hutt’s photographic collection of Lemnos in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2016
      The Private Gil Easton Collection
      The second collection contains over 140 photographs taken by Private Gilwyn (or Gill) Easton during his service in the Middle East in the Second World War. Gill served as part of the Australian forces who defended Tobruk – a siege that lasted 242 days and witnessed some of the most intense fighting of the war - and took part in the great battle of Alamein, which saw the turn of the tide of the war in the Middle East.
      Gill’s original photographs expand the visual memory of these great chapters in Australia’s Anzac story.
      Private Gil Easton. Gil Easton Collection.

      Highlights of Gill’s photographic collection are images depicting the siege of Tobruk, recording the ordinary life of the digger during war, some of anxious preparations, the reality of warfare and others of relaxation and camaraderie.
      Church at Tobruk, during the siege. Gil Easton Collection.

        Gil Easton Collection.

      Gil Easton Collection.

      Downed German plane. Gil Easton Collection.

      Gil Easton Collection.
      Egypt, Palestine and Syria during their periods of leave and recuperation in Palestine and Syria, recording the ordinary life on the streets of Cairo, Tel Aviv and Tripoli. They show the streetscapes of wartime Tel Aviv, Gaza beach surf carnival, the races at Heliopolis, a tour of the Cairo Zoo and buying a newspaper at Tel Aviv’s Ned Kelly newspaper stand.
      Gaza - Anzac Surf Carnival. Gil Easton Collection.

      Tel Aviv. Gil Easton Collection.
      And finally, there are photographs of the preparations for the coming battle of El Alamein – a battle that would turn the tide in the Middle East. Most importantly the photographs record a number of Gill’s fellow Anzac’s and relatives who also served with him in the Middle East.
      Gil's unit with mascot, prior to the battle of El Alamein. Gil Easton Collection.

      Mr Paul Mavroudis, Ms Christina Despoteris and Dr Kevin Molloy listen to Mr Gil Easton explaining his collection. Photo Jim Claven 2016

      Two WW2 diggers together - Mr Bill Rudd and Mr Gil Easton  - both veterans of the Middle East and El Alamein - review the collections. Photo Jim Claven 2016


      Mr Gill Easton, Ms Judith Gunnarsson and Mr Bill Rudd. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
       "I hope that these photographs will be of use to researchers and the descendants of the diggers that I served with all those years ago. Thanks to the State Library of Victoria for accepting the responsibility of preserving them for future generations”, Mr Easton said.
      Mr Jim Claven said that it had been a privilege to have come to know Judith, Deb and Gill and to have assisted them in making this historic donation to the Victorian public.
      "The images of Lemnos and those Tobruk captured in these collections are stunning and unique. The record the life of our Anzac volunteers in vivid images across both World Wars. They will be an invaluable addition to our national estate.”

      Mr Jim Claven describes the importance of the Anzac collections of Sister Evelyn Hutt and Mr Gil Easton. Photo Lee Tarlamis 2016.

      He added that both donors hope that their actions will prompt others to consider donating similar collections to the State Library of Victoria or other similar public institutions.
      “These photographs are an important part of our shared history. They bring to life major events in our past and record the experiences of ordinary Australians as they took part in these titanic struggles across two world wars. Most importantly, they serve to remind us of those who did not return and paid the ultimate sacrifice, some of whom are recorded in the images donated today.”


      Mr Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, addresses the donor families and their guests. Photo Jim Claven 2016

      The donations were witnessed by representatives of Melbourne’s Greek community. Mr Bill Papastergiadis, President of Greek Orthodox Community of Victoria and Melbourne, said that it was an honour to witness the donation of these important photographs.
      “Both preserving and bringing to the public collections such as these commemorate the Hellenic link to Anzac. Looking at these photographs reinforces the strong links between Australia and Greece – going all the way back to when Australian soldiers and nurses walked the shores and village streets of Greece in 1915.”
      “The story of the relationship between Greece and Australia has often been characterized solely on the migration of Greeks to Australia following the Second World War. Rather, it is a deep and complex story with many threads that united these two countries. It is this complex history and shared values and aspirations that have helped forge such a strong bond between the two countries. In my view, Australia and Greece are inextricably linked and using an Australian expression, the two countries are “best mates””.

      Mr Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, addresses the donor families and their guests. Photo Jim Claven 2016
      Also present were Mr Paul Mavroudis, President of the Thessaloniki Association “the White Tower”, and Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne. Both congratulated both families for making this donation, Tony adding:
      “This year is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Crete and Greece. I am sure that there are many similar collections lying on old boxes or in sheds, in danger of being lost. I urge everyone with an Anzac in their family to check if there are photographs or other records and memorabilia in need of preservation.”
      The Sister Evelyn Hutt family, with Ms Arlene Bennett (second from left) and Mr Lee Tarlamis (right). Photo Jim Claven 2016
      Mr Lee Tarlamis and Ms Christina Despoteris, President and Vice-President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, added that it was pleasing that the work of the Committee had brought to light these amazing historic collections. They hoped that more donations would flow into our public institutions to preserve these vital documents of the Hellenic link to Anzac.
      Mr Claven is also Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee which last year erected a major new Memorial Statue in Melbourne’s Albert Park to Lemnos’ role in the Gallipoli campaign. He is currently writing a major new commemorative publication on Lemnos and Gallipoli.


      The family of Sister Evelyn Hutt – Ms Judith Gunnarsson, Mr Bill and Ms Deb Stewart, completes the formal donation of Evelyn’s collection to the State Library of Victoria. Dr Kevin Molloy of the State Library of Victoria at right. Photo Jim Claven 2016.

      Mr Gil Easton completes the formal donation of his WW2 photographic collection to the State Library of Victoria. Dr Kevin Molloy of the State Library of Victoria at left. Photo Jim Claven 2016.


      Mr Jim Claven, Ms Arlene Bennett of the Nurses Memorial Centre and the family of Sister Evelyn Hutt – Deb Stewart (granddaughter), Ms Judith Gunnarsson (daughter) and Mr Bill Stewart (grandson). Photo Jim Claven 2016

      Posted by Jim Claven
      Secretary
      Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

      2 comments:

      1. Fantastic that this collection will be looked after and preserved for prosterity at the State Library of Victoria. I hope that they can accelerate a digitisation program and make these photos accessible online before the end of the Centenary of Anzac

        ReplyDelete
      2. My sincere thanks to Judith Gunnarsonn & family..who are in fact also my family!!

        Evelyn V. Hutt is my cousin (g.daughter of my 4.g.g.father, J.G. Hutt). Evelyn Hutt is also my youngest daughter's namesake(middle names are Evelyn Hutt), as I have so much admiration for her service and sacrifices she made.
        Thanks again Ms Gunnarsonn, and the stat library, I got goose bumps looking at these photos!! It is so wonderful they are now preserved and shared, absolute treasures which I have also added to my family tree records.

        Kind regards
        Christine Emery
        (daughter of R. Hutt)

        ReplyDelete