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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Commemorative Service 2017 - Congratulations!

Lemnos Gallipoli Committee members with Col Jan McCarthy (at right). Photo Peter Ford 2017
As the President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee I would like to thank all those who attended, took part in or helped organise our annual Commemorative event earlier today at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
The feelings of pride that we all experienced when we unveiled this Memorial two years ago, were repeated today with the official naming of Lemnos Square and unveiling of the new sign acknowledging this naming that will soon accompany our Memorial.

Cr Bernadene Voss and Lee Tarlamis unveil the mock-up of the proposed Lemnos Square sign. Photo Peter Ford 2017
Appropriately we also welcomed the addition of an olive tree. We will continue our work to promote the important connection between Lemnos, Greece and the Anzac's and the role of the nurses, diggers and local Lemnians during this defining time of our country. Stay tuned for announcements of more initiatives soon and thank you again for all your valuable support.
Photo Peter Ford 2017

Piper Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright. Photo Peter Ford 2017

Cadets of 30 Amry Cadet Unit form the catafalque party. Photo Jim Papadimitriou 2017

The RAN Band perform. Photo Peter Ford 2017

Thanks to all who were able to join us - Cr Bernadene Voss, Mayor of Port Phillip, Colonel (Ret.) Jan McCarthy, Father Konstantinos, Members of Parliament, Councillors, Royal Australian Navy Band, Piper Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright, 30 Army Cadet Unit, the various descendants of Anzac's who served on Lemnos as soldiers or nurses, representatives of a number of Melbourne's Hellenic community organisations, members of our Committee and the many members of Melbourne's Lemnian community who attended. Your involvement was essential to making our event such a success.
And thanks to Peter Ford for the photos and to John Irwin for filming the event.

Lee Tarlamis
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 10 August 2017

BBC Scotland reports on our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Piper Alan Leggett performs at our unveiling ceremony in 2015. Photo Anthony Leong 2015
A key element of every Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative event is the playing of the bagpipes by a Scottish piper. This has been performed at our unveiling and at each of our annual commemorations.We do so in tribute to the 3rd Australian General Hospital's Warrant Officer Archibald Monk who piped the Australian nurses ashore at Lemnos' Turks Head Peninsula on the 8th August 1915.
Piper Steve Campbell-Wright performs at the inaugural commemoreative service, August 2016. Photo Peter Ford 2016.
A native of the Scottish Outer Hebrides Island of Benbecula, Archibald had served in the Cameron Highlanders before he decided to join the rush of new migrants to Australia. It was after arriving in Australia, working as a hospital orderly, that he joined the Australian Imperial Force in March 1915.
Piper Archbald Monk pipes ashore the Australian nurses, August 1915. AWM
I have recounted Archibald's story on a previous post. You can read that post by clicking here.
Scottish Anzac's
Some 30% of the Anzac's were overseas-born, with 18% coming from the United Kingdom. Archibald would have been one of many Scottish-born Anzac's.
Some preliminary research reveals that Anzac's even came from some of the more remote parts of Scotland - 73 having been born in Shetland and 54 from Orkney, 7 of the latter being killed in Western France. They include diggers like Kirkwall-born Private (Service Number 4441) James Millar of the 33rd Australian Infantry Battalion, a 22 year old carpenter, who was wounded at Gallipoli on the 18th August 1915 and brought to Mudros' Australian Hospitals. After a bought of enteric fever, James was repatriated back to Australia in January 1916.
And of course, there is the commanding officer of the 6th Australian infantry Brigade - Colonel Richard Linton - who was born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He was off Lemnos with the torpedoing of the troopship Southland in 1915.
These are just some of the Anzac migration stories. 
BBC Scotland and the Monk Connection  
The news is that today we have been contacted by a relative of Archibald who has provided us with more information on this famous piper on Lemnos.
Ms Seonag Monk works with BBC Scotland's Gaelic language service and although based in Glasgow (my birthplace) was himself born on Benbecula.
Archibald Monk was Seonag's grandfather John Monk's brother from the Island of Benbecula.
She told me that Archibald's family knew that he had gone to Australia but had no more news of him.
Seonag writes that the family story is that on the day Archibald left the island that he had been out ploughing in his his home village of Uachdar. At this time making a living in the Hebrides was difficult with much poverty. As Seonag says:
"The story goes that he stopped the plough mid furrow and released the horses headed home and changed into a clean pair of trousers and left the island forever."
This story will have much resonance with Lemnos' migrants to Australia - and many others - who also left the land of their birth due to difficult circumstances at home and made a new life in Australia.
Seonag will announce our coming Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative service during his afternoon music show with the BBC's Gaelic language program. As Seonag says the program has "many listeners from the gaelic diaspora worldwide."
Update - The BBC Scotland Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee program.
Well I know most of you won't be able to understand Scots Gaelic but here it is - the Lemnos connection to Anzac has been broadcast on the BBC Scotland's Gaelic language program. You can listen to it by clicking here.
If you listen in from 21.19 minutes onwards, you'll hear mention of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, Lemnos, Anzac and the Nurses, the announcement of Lemnos Square's naming, Archibald Monk - the Anzac piper from Benbecula who welcomed the nurses to Lemnos in 1915 - and one of our pipers Steve Campbell-Wright, who will be performing later today at our Memorial. Seonag also plays Eric Bogle's And the band played Waltzing Matilda - sung by the Pogues - a great version!

A big thank you to Seonag Monk, a relative of Archibald Monk and to both Alan and Steve Campbell-Wright for volunteering their services at our events, enabling us to pay homage to Piper Archibald Monk - The Piper of Lemnos!

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Lemnos Hero - Private Edward James Cummings - Digger and Freemason

Gravestone of Private Edward Cummings, East Mudros Military Cememtery, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Today we recognise the service of Private (Service Number 2052) Edward James Cummings who was buried on Lemnos this month 102 years ago.
Edward is the first Freemason to be identified among the diggers buried on Lemnos.
Edward enlisted at Liverpool on the 18th January 1915 into the 5th Reinforcements of the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion 5th Reinforcements. He was relatively old for a digger, recording his age as 33 years old on his AIF Attestation Paper.
Sydney Morning Herald, 9th September 1915. Uploaded to NAA by Kiely McGregor
An engineer by profession - or more specifically an engineers pattern maker, Edward had been born in England - at St Mary’s Extra in Southampton, Hampshire. By the time he enlisted Edward was living at Napier Street in Drummoyne, NSW - residing with the Bulfin family - and by this stage his next of kin was given to be his brother George Cummings of Victoria Dock, London. He was one of many diggers born in the United Kingdom.
Edward embarked from Sydney on the HMAT A55 Kyarra on 13th April 1915.
Having served on the Gallipoli peninsula for a number of months, Edward was tragically wounded and while at sea aboard the SS Reiva died of these wounds. He had received a"shrapnel wound head” during action on the peninsula.
He was taken ashore at Lemnos and buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on 3rd August 1915. His grave is located at III. D. 53.
His family requested the following epitaph to be placed on his grave stone – “God be with you Till we meet again.”
Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Among his personal effects returned to his family was a "masonic diploma." While he is most likely not to have been the only Freemason to have been buried on Lemnos, this is the first time I have discovered documentary evidence of such.

Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Another possible digger buried on Lemnos who may also have been Freemason is another English-born Anzac - Corporal (Service Number 353) John Charles Douglas of the 1st Divisional Headquarters. Born in Hackney, London, John was 23 years old when he succumbed to enteric fever and typhoid while under the care of the medical facilities on Lemnos. He is also buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery. After his death, his next of kin - his sister Ethel - sought particulars of her brothers death, in part "for Lodge purposes" This reproduced below. This implies that John may well have also been a Freemason.
Correspondence of Ethel Stott, Service File of Corporal John Charles Douglas, NAA.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 4 August 2017

Reminder - Lemnos Gallipoli Commemoration Next Saturday

Download our event leaflet!

A reminder to all that our Second Annual Commemorative Service in recognition of Lemnos' role in the Gallipoli campaign will take place next Saturday, 12th August 2017, starting at 11am, at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial, Lemnos Square, Foote Street, Albert Park.
Our President Lee Tarlamis will be Master of Ceremonies.
This year our event will take place at the same location - recently re-named Lemnos Square by the Victorian Government on the submission of the City of Port Phillip, following our proposal to the City.
Colonel (Retired) Ms Jan McCarthy will give this year's keynote address. Jan is a former Director of Army Nursing and current President of the Returned Nurses Sub-Branch of the RSL. She served in 1st Field Hospital in Vung Tau during 1968-1969 during the Vietnam War and went on to complete 26 years service with the Australian Army.
In honour of Warrant Officer Archibald Monk who welcomed the Australian nurses to Lemnos in August 1915 - Shrine Governor & Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright will play the bagpipes at the event.
Again we will have representatives of the Sunshine 30ACU Cadet Unit, thanks to Major Terry Kanellos, Committee member and Secretary of the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch.
And a lot more!
A big thank you to Committee member and Lemnos veteran descendant Deb Stewart for distributing 500 of the above event leaflets throughout the surrounding area of the Memorial.

Come along. All welcome.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Battle of Crete Memorial Lecture: Maleme – Fulcrum of War - Greek Centre, 7pm, 3rd August 2017

Maleme, 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv

We are proud to publicize this weeks lecture on the Battle of Crete, sponsored by our "sister" organization, the part of the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council.
This is part of the series of annual commemorative events and talks, Dr Peter Ewer will deliver this important lecture at the Melbourne's Greek Centre, 7pm, this Thursday, 3rd August 2017.

The Battle for Maleme
Why were the Nazi paratroopers victorious at Maleme, when in very similar circumstances, Australian, British and Greek troops successfully held the equally important aerodromes at Rethmyno and Heraklion?
Maleme - Fulcrum of War - Synopsis
It is a matter of historical record that the Nazi invasion of Crete succeeded because of their victory at the airfield at Maleme west of Chania, in fierce fighting between 20 and 22 May 1941. But why were the Nazi paratroopers victorious at Maleme, when in very similar circumstances, Australian, British and Greek troops successfully held the equally important aerodromes at Rethmyno and Heraklion?
Dr Ewer analyses the battle in detail, beginning with the plans of defending General, the New Zealander Bernard Freyburg, He had come out of retirement in 1939 to take command of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), and faced on Crete complex tactical problems which few had seen before. Freyburg feared most of all an invasion from the sea, and in attempting to meet that threat, he left the vital ground at Maleme too weakly defended, with disastrous results.

Dr Peter Ewer
Dr Peter Ewer is an Australian historian and author.
He is published in internationally renowned academic journals the Journal of Military History (University of Virginia). He has also published in the Journal of Transport History (University of Manchester Press, UK), and a range of local history journals, including Australian Historical Studies (University of Melbourne).
Forgotten Anzacs: the campaign in Greece, 1941, published in 2008, was the first extensive re-examination of the Greek campaign since the publication of the official histories in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s. The revised edition of the book published in 2016, incorporates fresh archival research into British planning for the campaign, shedding new light on the ANZAC contribution to the defence of the Greece.
Peter served as the historical advisor to the 42nd Street Memorial Trust, the community organisation that built the memorial at Tsikalaria Street, Tsikalaria, Crete, to commemorate the fighting there on 27 May 1941, and unveiled by the New Zealand Governor General on 19 May 2016.

This presentation is sponsored by the Battle of Crete & Greece Commemorative Council.
Attendance is free, all welcome.
Information supplied by The Greek Centre and Dr Peter Ewer.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Council

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Remembering two soldiers named Lemnos

Australian soldiers and nurses on Lemnos, 1915. AWM

One of the curious ways that the Island of Lemnos has been remembered and its connection to the Allied soldiers who served there in 1915 is in the names given to future generations.
Today I have discovered two Allied soldiers who served in the Second World War - one Australian and the other British - who include the name of Lemnos in their own names. One wonders what their parents were thinking when they included the name of this Greek Island in the names of their newborns. There is no soldier with either surname buried in either of the two military cemeteries on Lemnos.
But nevertheless to me it is obvious that there must have been some family connection to Lemnos and its role in the Gallipoli campaign. Maybe their father had served on Lemnos or been cared for in its field hospitals in 1915. Lets hope we can find out more about why these soldiers were named Lemnos.
The details of these soldiers are listed below:
Private Charles Frederick Lemnos Power
A soldier with the Second Australian Imperial Force, he was the son of Thomas and Mary Arm Power of Merbein South in country Victoria. His service number was VX47054 and he served with the 2/29th Battalion. He died on the 22nd January 1942, aged 23 and his name is written on the Singapore Memorial.
Gunner Jack Lemnos Gladish
British Gunner 1591274 served in the 433 Battery of the 131 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was the son of Lilian Gladish and the wife of Vera, of Histon, England. He died on the 17th September 1944, age 28, and is buried at the Cambridge City Cemetery.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece - Statement by Steve Dimopoulos MP

Recently the co-chair of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, Mr Steve Dimopoulos MP for Oakleigh, made the following Statement in recognition of the recent planting of an olive tree and unveiling of a memorial plaque in the grounds of the Victorian Parliament.
This new memorial space honours the Anzac connection to Greece and the connections between Greece and Australia through the waves of post war migration.
Below is the text of his statement.

"Mr DIMOPOULOS — I was proud to take part in the ceremony to plant an olive tree in the gardens surrounding Parliament House. This tree recognises the enduring friendship between the Australian and Hellenic people both during war and peacetime. I would like to make special mention of the Parliamentary Friends of Greece, the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council, in particular Tony Tsourdalakis and Larry Irwin, and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, in particular Jim Claven and a former member of the other place, Lee Tarlamis. I would also like to thank Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros, deputy chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Christina Simantiraki, and the many other dignitaries for assisting and taking part in the ceremony. May this olive tree be a lasting memorial to the peaceful and long-term friendship between Australia and Greece and their peoples."
If you would like to download a copy of Mr Dimopoulos' Statement (on page 1851 of the Hansard document), please click here.

The Committee thanks Mr Dimopoulos for his Statement and support for this important act of commemoration.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

You are Invited - Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Commemorative Service, 11am, 12 August 2017, Lemnos Square, Albert Park

As the President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee I have the pleasure of inviting you all to our annual Commemorative Service at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
This Memorial commemorates the nurses, diggers and local Lemnians who came together in 1915 during the Gallipoli campaign. It is a permanent reminder of the enduring relationship established between Australia and Greece which has only gained in strength through the decades.
It also raises awareness of the Hellenic connection to the Anzac's. This years event will also feature the official naming of 'Lemnos Square' which is a significant achievement.
The last time a location was named after Lemnos was in 1927 when the soldier settlement town of Lemnos was established in Shepparton. Everyone is welcome.

Lee Tarlamis
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 1 June 2017

New Memorial to Anzac connection with Greece erected at Victorian Parliament

The Hellenic Anzac Memorial in the grounds of the Victorian Parliament. Photo Jim Claven 2017

On the 25th May the Victorian Parliament honored the bonds between Greece and Australia - forged across two world wars - from Lemnos in 1915 to the battles of Greece and Crete in 1941 - and in the waves of post-war migration - with the planting of an olive tree and unveiling of a memorial plaque.
The idea for such a memorial emerged many years ago from a group of Victorian Parliamentarians who took part in one of my own Anzac Tours of Greece. This idea has now been realised by the work of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, The Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. Special tribute must be paid to the efforts of Mr Steve Dimopoulos MP, Mr Tony Tsourdalakis and Mr Lee Tarlamis for their efforts in creating this new lasting memorial.
The memorial was unveiled by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Lieutenant General Floros of the Hellenic Armed Forces and the Leader of the Opposition the Hon Matthew Guy, assisted by the Consul General of Greece, Ms Christina Simantiraki.
Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, Ms Christina Simantiraki, Cr. Kostas Trigonis, Ms Christina Desporeris and Cr. Georgios Aerakis at the unveiling ceremony. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Other dignitaries in attendance included the Hon Bruce Atkinson MP, President of the Legislative Council as well as two senior representatives of the Hellenic Armed Forces - Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros (Deputy Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) and Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis (Deputy Director of Public Relations Directorate of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) - along with two municipal representatvires from Crete - Cr. Georgios Aerakis, (Municipality of Maleviziou, Iraklion, Crete) and Cr. Kostas Trigonis, (Municipality of Maleviziou, Iraklion, Crete).
Ms Deb Stewart (second from right) and Ms Shirley Devery (at right) with other attendees inside the Victorian Parliament, prior to the unveiling event. Photo Jim Claven 2017

The unveiling took place in presence of a number of descendants of Anzacs who had served in Greece across both world wars:
  • Deb Elizabeth Stewart the grand-daughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt who served on Lemnos in 1915;
  • Shirley Devery the daughter of Private Tom Devery who served in Greece in 1941; and,
  • Peter Ford, the son of Frank Ford who also served in Greece in 1941.
The Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews MP and Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros perform the ceremonial planting of the memorial olive tree. Photo Jim Claven 2017

The Olive Tree
The placement of an olive tree is important for a number of reasons.
The diggers and nurses who arrived in Greece commented on the olive trees of the land they had come to defend.
Diggers like Private Syd Grant remembered the support they received from the local Greek people when they arrived there in 1941. For Syd this included support during his time evading capture outside Kalamata and down the Mani.
He would return to Greece after the war and would name his farm in Victoria's western district "Kalamata" in honour of the Greek people.
He would also come all the way from Victoria's west to the Greek delicatessens of Melbourne's northern suburbs to buy his olives to remind him of that support.
Our new memorial Olive Tree in the grounds of Victoria's Parliament will grow and give fruit - another lasting memorial to the bonds between Greece and Australia through Anzac.
The commemorative plaque. Photo Jim Claven 2017

A plaque honoring the Hellenic link to Anzac and beyond
It was an honour of mine to draft the wording for the memorial plaque.
I was determined to include an historical phrase connecting Greece and Australia. I read these words in Bean's Gallipoli Mission many years ago and they came immediately to mind.
And how better to start than with a quotation from the works of Australia's famous war historian and founder of the Australian War Memorial, Charles Bean:
"They gave their shining youth, and raised thereby Valour’s own monument which cannot die."
These words are drawn from an Ancient Greek inscription relating to the valour of Greek soldiers who died at the Dardanelles in ancient times that had been inscribed on a slab of pentellic marble across both columns of a monument.
The monument inscription included the names of twenty-eight Athenians and others who fell defending Byzantium (later Constantinople) in a battle believed by historians to have taken place at the Dardanelles in 440 BC.
This monument was seen by some Australians at the end of the First World War as they visited the then National Museum at Athens.
The original Ancient Greek was translated by Christopher Brennan and then an Australian later produced this shortened version encapsulating the meaning and sense of the original.

For the great Australian historian of Anzac and founder of the Australian War Memorial Charles Bean the words evoked his feelings for that other battle on the Dardanelles 2,355 years later.
Bean recorded this story and these words in his account of his return to Lemnos and Gallipoli in 1919 as part of the Australian Historical Mission. This book is called Gallipoli Mission and it is from this memoir that I sourced the quotation.
And now it has pride of place in our new memorial in recognition of the Anzac's who fought in Greece - from Lemnos and Gallipoli to the battles of 1941.
I was also keen to include a Greek translation of these Australian words into modern Greek - reinforcing that we are commemorating an Australian connection to Greece. And also respecting the Greek origins of the sentiment.
Some of the inscriptions on the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial at Lemnos Square, Albert Park. Photo Jim Claven 2016

We did the same at our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park - with Lemnos and Gallipoli - and the villages and towns visited by the Anzac's on Lemnos - all inscribed into the memorial stone in the English and Greek languages
By doing so, the viewer is immediately aware that this is a memorial connecting Greece and Australia.
And a special thank you to Christina Despoteris for her excellent translation of Charles Bean's transcription into the modern Greek language.
The Premier of Victoria the Hon Daniel Andrews MP addresses the assembly. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Congratulations again to the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, supported by the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, on creating this great addition to Melbourne's commemorative heritage.
A big thank you to Steven Dimopoulos, Lee Tarlamis and Antonis Tsourdalakis - and all others involved - for their bring this proposal to a reality.
To read my media report in English click here  and in the Greek language click here.

To read some media reports from Greece on the unveiling, click here..

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

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Lemnos Square - Port Phillip

Cr Voss, Mayor of Port Phillip, announces the naming of Lemnos Square. Photo Peter Ford 2017.
Last week the Mayor of the City of Port Philip, Cr Bernadene Voss, announced the naming of the location of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial as Lemnos Square.
The name was formally gazetted in the Victorian Government Gazette on the 18th May 2017.
As far as we know, this is the first time that Lemnos has been gazetted as a name for a location since the 1920's when the soldiers settlement outside Shepparton in Victoria's north east was named Lemnos - and it remains so to this day. An important achievement for our generation.
The erection of our Memorial and the naming of Lemnos Square are important legacy projects - which will go some way to ensuring that the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign will not be forgotten.
Excerpt from Victorian Government Gazette

This has been the culmination of a lot of work by our Committee to re-inforce awareness of the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign and its local connection to the area where our memorial is located.
Our submission was based on our putting forward detailed evidence explaining the deep connections between Port Phillip, Lemnos and Gallipoli. Some of these links we identified are:
  • The estimated nearly 5,000 diggers and nurses who volunteered in the First World War, many of which served on Lemnos as part of the Gallipoli campaign like Albert Park electrician Corporal George Finlay Knight and St Kilda's Private Cyril Leishman;
  • Local nurses like Elwood's Nurse Clarice Daley and Potter who were among the 37 Victorian nurses who served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos in 1915 - and among the 30 nurses who departed on the RMS Mooltan from nearby Princes Pier;
  • To the soldiers who came to Lemnos' Anzac camp at Sarpi (modern day Kalithea) to rest after the bitter months of fighting and privation the peninsula like Brigadier John Monash (the commander of the camp) and Corporal Albert Jacka VC (who would survive the war and become a local Mayor in Port Phillip);
  • And many of these diggers and nurses wandered Lemnos during periods of leave, meeting the locals and enjoying their hospitality, like Brigadier John Monash and many others;
  • The many local diggers who remain on Lemnos to this day in its Commonwealth War Cemeteries at East Mudros and Portianos having paid the ultimate sacrifice for their service - like Corporal Knight, Private Leishman and South Melbourne's Driver Ralph Berryman - to name a few; and,
  • And finally, but by no means least, Port Phillip's Princes Pier was the arrival port for many of the thousands of Greek migrants - including those from Lemnos - who made their new lives in  Australia, transforming Melbourne into the largest Hellenic heritage city outside of Greece.
These were also the reasons that we had submitted in support of our original proposal to locate our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Melbourne's bayside suburb of Port Phillip.
To read our submission in support of the naming of Lemnos Square and to learn more about the connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and Port Phillip, click here.
For more on the announcement, click here.
We look forward to the possibility of a reciprocal naming on Lemnos.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 26 May 2017

Stop Press! - Lemnos Square Announced - Congratulations to the City of Port Phillip

Members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee with their guests at the commemorative service. Photo Peter Ford 2017
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee is glad to announce that the location of the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial has been named Lemnos Square.The announcement was made today by the Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr. Bernadene Voss.
The Mayor was welcoming the visit of a number of important guests from Greece to our Memorial, who came to take part in a short commemorative service.

The Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr. Bernadene Voss, announces the naming of Lemnos Square. Photo Jim Claven 2017
The naming has been one of the key objectives of our Committee ever since we erected our Memorial at the reservation at Foote Street in Albert Park. Since late 2015, the Committee has been pursuing this outcome, myself preparing our major submission to the Council in support of naming the square - Lemnos Square. The Council supported our proposal and in the last few days was successful in having the new name gazetted.
Lemnos Square now joins the township of Lemnos, near Shepparton, as two locations connected to Lemnos in the northern Aegean through the Gallipoli story and post-war migration.
There were shouts of bravo in the air around our Memorial when the Mayor surprised the assembly with her announcement.
Cr. Voss said that she was proud to announce the naming on behalf of the Council given the strong connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and the local area - from 1915 on to the waves of post-WW2 migration.
She pointed to the many diggers and nurses who had departed from nearby Princes Pier who served on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign – diggers like Port Melbourne’s Corporal George Finlay Knight of Port Melbourne and nurses like Elwood’s Clarice Daley.
The President of the Committee, Mr. Lee Tarlamis, congratulated the Mayor on behalf of our Committee and noted the strong support that we have received from the Council ever since we originally proposed the erection of the Memorial.
Lee - along with our MC for the days event - Ms Christina Despoteris, our Vice-President - pointed out that not only did they both have Lemnian heritage but that their families had indeed arrived in Victoria at nearby Princes Pier - from where the diggers and nurses had departed in 1915.
The day included the visit of two senior members of the Hellenic Armed Forces - Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros (Deputy Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) and Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis (Deputy Director of Public Relations Directorate of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) - as well as two Councillor's from the Municipality of Malevizou on Crete - Cr. Georgios Aerakis and Cr. Kostas Trigonis. The guests are in Victoria as part of the battle of Crete commemorations being organised by the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council. Also in attendance was Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, Secretary of the Council and members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
The international guests were impressed with the Memorial and the Mayor's announcement.

Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros addresses those assembled, MC Ms Christina Despoteris on the right. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Lieutenant General Floros addressed the assembly noting the importance of the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign as well as to the modern history of Greece. He then went on to lay a wreath at the base of the Memorial - a wreath handed to him by Ms Deb Stewart, the grand-daughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt, a nurses who served on Lemnos in 1915.
Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros salutes the Memorial, Ms Deb Stewart centre. Photo Jim Claven 2017
I was able to explain to the guests the design of the Memorial, including its Hellenic aspects from the face of the nurse figure having been inspired by a sculpture of the Greek God Artemis to the names of the Lemnian villages visited by the Anzac's cut into the memorial’s stone plinth.

Mr. Lee Tarlamis presents Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis with a token of the appreciation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. Photo Jim Claven 2017
The service concluded with the exchange of gifts.

Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros presents the Mayor of Port Phillip with the Battle of Crete Commemorative Medal. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Cr. Voss also announced that a formal unveiling of the Lemnos Square sign will take place as part of the coming annual Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative service in August later this year.
There was much discussion of the need now to have the square planted with olive trees to complete its connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and Port Phillip! And there was universal support for the proposal for a reciprocal acknowledgement of Port Phillip on Lemnos!
The Memorial has been visited by Ambassadors and other dignitaries but this is the first time that senior representatives of the Hellenic Armed Forces had visited the Memorial. The Committee thanks Mr. Tsourdalakis and the Council for facilitating the visit amongst an otherwise busy schedule.
Thanks to Mr. Peter Ford for again taking such great photographs of the event.
This is indeed a great milestone for our Committee and our supporters - and the wider community both of Hellenic background and the broader Australian community connected to Australia's Anzac tradition.
To read my article from Neos Kosmos on this event, please click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee