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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, 14 October 2016

The Miltary Cemeteries of Thessaloniki - Lembet Road Military Cemetery and Monastir Road Indian Cemetery

Our Vice President, Ms Christina Despoteris, pays her respects at the British memorial at the Lembet Military Cemetery, Thessaloniki. Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
This week our Vice President, Christina Despoteris, visited two of the cemeteries that ring Thessaloniki - Lembet Road Military Cemetery and the Monastir Road Indian Cemetery. She has sent the following photographs.
A big thank you to Christina for taking the time to visit these Cemeteries and for sharing her photographs with us.
The Salonika Campaign 1915-1918
The Salonika campaign was one of the major campaigns of the First World War. From 1915 until the end of the war, over 500,000 Allied troops were engaged against 300,000 forces of the then Central Powers - Bulgaria, German, Austro-Hungary and Turkey. The Allied troops came from many nations - from British, France, Italy, Serbia and Greece - as well as Australia and New Zealand - as well as thousands of colonial troops from the empires of France and Britain - from the Indian sub-continent, Africa and Indochina.
Over 450 Australians served on the Salonika Front - 100 soldiers and 350 nurses, nursing orderly's, ambulance drivers, doctors and other medical staff - including Doctor Mary De Garis and the famous Australian writer Miles Franklin. One of the British soldiers who fought at Salonika was Alexander McKenzie, a Welshman born in Barry at the turn of the 20th century. He lied about his age when he joined up in 1915, claiming he was 19 when he was 14 years old. He served with the Royal Horse Artilley at Salonika and was wounded. He has an Australian connection - his grand-daughter was Australia's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The front faced a rising plain to the north, bordered by mountains, lakes and rivers, from the Vardar (now the Axios) River to the west and the Struma (now the Strymonas) River 90 miles to the east. At the top of the plain stood Lake Dorian. It would be one of the bloodiest campaigns in the first World War, the terrain favouring defence and the malarial swamps around Thessaloniki sickening tens of thousands of troops. Eventually the Allies would break through in 1918 and begin the liberation of Serbia and enter Bulgarian and Ottoman territory.
Thessaloniki's WW1 Military Cemeteries
The Mikra Cemetery at Kalamaria is well known and visited by Australian and New Zealand visitors, for here lies the only Australian nurses to be buried in Greece - Nurse Gertrude Munro from Ballarat - as well as the Memorial wall to the nurses and soldiers who died in the sinking of the Marquette.
The following information concerning Lembet Road Military Cemetery and Monastir Road Indian Cemetery is supplied largely from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Photographs by Christina Despoteris.
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Lembet Road Military Cemetery
The Cemetery is located at 192 Langada Street on the Serres highway approximately 2 km north of Thessaloniki city centre on the west side of Langada Street. The cemetery is inside a very large, mainly First World War Allied cemetery containing Serbaian, French and Italian casualties and is known locally as ‘’Zeitenlik’’ and is to the rear of the Serbian, French and Italian sections. The main entrance to the CWGC cemetery is clearly signposted on Langada Street.
Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery (formerly known as the Anglo-French Military Cemetery) was begun in November 1915 and Commonwealth, French, Serbian, Italian and Russian sections were formed. The Commonwealth section remained in use until October 1918, although from the beginning of 1917, burials were also made in Mikra British Cemetery. After the Armistice, some graves were brought in from other cemeteries in Macedonia, Albania and from Scala Cemetery, near Cassivita, on the island of Thasos
There are now 1,648 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. The Commonwealth plot also contains 45 Bulgarian and one Serbian war graves.
For a map of the layout of the Cemetery, please click here.
Christina's photographs from the British section of the Cemetery:
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Christina's photographs from the French section of the Cemetery:
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Christina's photographs from the Serbian section of the Cemetery:
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Monastir Road Indian Military Cemetery
The cemetery is located approximately 3 kilometres from the centre of Thessaloniki following Monastriou Street, direction west on the road to Edessa. Follow Monastiriou Street until you come to the large motorway overpass, turn left at the traffic lights under the motorway overpass and then turn immediately right where a large CWGC sign is located. Follow this street, Megalo Alexandrou and continue straight for approximately 400 metres and turn left at the T junction where after approximately 100 metres you shall see another CWGC sign which is directly opposite the cemetery entrance.
The cemetery was made between 1916 and 1920, and is made up of two plots - the southern plot, containing burials, and the northern plot, in which the remains of over 200 Indian servicemen were cremated in accordance with their faith. The men served mainly with the Royal Artillery, the Transport Corps of Bharatpur and Indore, the Mule Corps and, after 1918, certain Indian regiments.
There are now 358 Indian servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. The northern plot contains a memorial with panels bearing the names of those who were cremated.
The cemetery also contains the Monastir Road Indian Memorial, bearing the names of over 150 Indian servicemen who died in Macedonia during the First World War, whose graves could not be marked or moved.
For a map of the layout of the Cemetery, please click here.
Christina's photographs of Monastir Road Cemetery:
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Jim Claven
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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