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, 25 April 2017

Lemnos Committee and Battle of Crete & Greece Council take part in Oakleigh Dawn Service

Photo Jim Claven 2017
At 6am on Anzac Day, the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee and the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council took part in the annual Dawn Service held by the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL. The Committee and the Council had been invited to lay wreaths as part of this moving service.
As many will know, the RSL is located in one of Melbourne - Australia's - most famous Greek community precincts.
Around 200 people assembled, despite the cold and raining conditions, to honour the Anzac's.
Our President Lee Tarlamis, assisted by executive member Deb Stewart, laid the Committee's wreath in honour of the Anzac's and specifically Oakleigh's Private William Withers who is buried on Lemnos, Greece and Deb's grandmother, Sister Evelyn Hutt, who tended to the sick and wounded diggers on Lemnos in 1915.
Tony Tsourdalakis, Secretary of the Council laid his wreath in honour of the Anzacs, noting the 17,000 who served in Greece and the 6,500 who served on Crete, both in 1941.
Photo Jim Claven 2017

The Oakleigh Cenotaph was re-dedicated by Brigadier Ned Herring, who had served in Greece in both WW1 and WW2.
Photo Jim Claven 2017
Photo Jim Claven 2017

We also were invited by Mr Steve Dimopoulos, MP for Oakleigh and Co-Chair of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, to inspect the RSL's beautiful honour board which lists William Withers. Our Vice-President, Christina Despoteris and myself also attended. Thank you to the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL for inviting us to take part.
And we all enjoyed the traditional "gunfire" breakfast.
We discussed a number of possible joint projects with the RSL and we all look forward to collaborating with the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL in the future.
We encourage all members and supporters to visit the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL and its Cenotaph, on the corner of Drummond St and Atherton Rd, Oakleigh.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 24 April 2017

Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee represented at last weeks Anzac services on Lemnos

Commemorative Service at East Mudros Military Cemetery, April 2017. Photo Bill and Aggie Georgantis 2017
On the 20th and 21st April the authorities on the northern Aegean Island of Lemnos held their annual commemorative services for Anzac and the Gallipoli campaign.
Our Committee was formally invited to take part in the services by Mr Evagelos Giarmadouros, Sub-Prefect of Lemnos, Regional Unit of Lemnos. The Lemnian authorities are to be congratulated again in putting together an excellent 2-day commemorative program.
Lemnos 2017 Commemorative Program
The program included wreath-laying services at Portianos Military Cemetery, East Mudros Military Cemetery and at Mudros Port, as well as historical presentations at the Portianou Cultural Centre and the Mudros Museum.
As with previous years, the services were excellent and well attended - with diplomatic representatives of Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada in attendance, along with senior members of the Hellenic Armed Forces.
Dignitaries were also given a tour of the Turks Head Peninsula, visiting the new 3AGH memorial plaque (photo below).
It was great to see that the Lemnos Gallipoli Exhibition photographs from 1915 - which were organised by the Committee and donated by the Lemnian Community of Melbourne and Victoria are still on display at the Portianou Cultural Centre (see it on the walls in the photo below).
Photo Lemnos Friends of Anzac 2017
The Greek Red Cross have always taken part in the Lemnos commemorative services and always make a touching wreath laying at the graves of the two Canadian nurses buried at Portianos Military Cemetery.
Photo Sophia Kambouris 2017
Ms Helen Roufos from the Greek Red Cross layed a wreath on behalf of our Committee at the East Mudros Military Cemetery commemorative (photo above).
She also read out our message which is reproduced below:

In 1915 war came to the lovely northern Aegean Island of Lemnos. It came in the form of hundreds of ships and thousands of soldiers, nurses and other military personnel from across the world that arrived on the shores of Mudros Bay and spread across the Island.
Throughout the nearly eleven months of the Gallipoli campaign, the Island welcomed and supported the men and women of the Allied armies who made Lemnos their temporary home.
For many of these men and women, Lemnos was a place of respite from war, where they recovered from illnesses and wounds, or rested away from the battlefields of the peninsula.
They wrote of their love for the Island – its hospitality, its friendly people, its beautiful sunsets and the surrounding blue of the Aegean. These records – in writing and in photographs - of their time on Lemnos are preserved in archives held across the globe. And Australia is dotted with towns, streets and homes named in honour of Lemnos. These treasures stand testimony to the role of Lemnos and its importance to many of the Anzacs themselves.
And here in Lemnos lie the remains of 148 Australian soldiers - alongside nearly 2,000 of their Allied comrades – who are buried in the Island’s war cemeteries, never to return to Australia and their families.
We in Australia give thanks to the people of Lemnos for their continuing effort to honour the service of those who served on Lemnos in 1915 and those who remain amongst the dead of the campaign.
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee in Australia sends its best wishes and congratulations to the authorities on Lemnos, all involved in organising the commemorations and to the Islands people.
In remembrance of the diggers and nurses who came to Lemnos in 1915, the Islanders who helped them and to those that remain in Lemnos’ war cemeteries, we say …
Lest We Forget.
Issued by Mr Lee Tarlamis, President, on behalf of the Melbourne-based Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Below for your information are some photos of the various events taken by the Lemnos Friends of Anzac:

A Lemnos Anzac Trail
Our President also wrote to Mr Evagelos Giarmadouros expressing our Committee's desire to support his efforts on Lemnos to commemorate its role in Anzac and to assist in the further development of commemorative tourism to Lemnos.
He said that we believe that the development of an Anzac trail on Lemnos, identifying and linking the various sites on the Island historically connected to the Anzac and Gallipoli story. These could be identified with signage, information plaques or boards and physical and on-line maps.
Our Committee believes that such a trail would greatly assist the development of commemorative tourism on Lemnos and a much needed economic benefit to the Island and its people. We are available to work with you on such a project.
Thank You
Thanks to Mr Evagelos Giarmadouros, Sub-Prefect of Lemnos, Regional Unit of Lemnos, for not only the invitation to take part in these services but also for again continuing the commemorative tradition on the Island. This is well regarded in Australia.
Thanks to Helen Roufos for representing our Committee in 2017 and to Nick and Sophia Kambouris for organisimg these arrangements.Thanks also to the Lemnos Friends of Anzac for recording the events and publicizing them to the world via social media. Well done.
We note that next year will be a special year - the centenary of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros in October 1918 - which brought to an end the First World War with the Ottoman Empire.
Let's hope there will be two commemorations on Lemnos in 1918 - in April and in October.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Lemmos Gallipoli Committee & Battle of Crete and Greece Council Commemorate Australia's Nurses at NMC Anzac Service

LGCC members at the NMC Memorial. Photo Jim Claven 2017

On Sunday 23rd April, the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee took part in the annual Anzac Day service conducted by the Nurses Memorial Centre on St Kilda Road Melbourne. Also taking part where Melbourne's Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council.
The Nurses Memorial Centre was established after the Second World War to create a living legacy to the Australian nurses who served in WW2 and to support the nursing profession. They have had erected a Memorial to nurses and all service personnel who served in the Second World War. Each year - prior to Anzac Day - the NMC hold a commemorative service at the Memorial.
The NMC has always been a keen supporter of the commemorative work of our Committee, including the erection of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park and has hosted presentations on the role of Lemnos and the Australian nurses in the Gallipoli campaign.

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee - and the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council - were happy to be invited to take part in this important and significant commemoration.
Our President - Lee Tarlamis - layed our wreath - accompanied by Executive Committee member Ms Deb Stewart. As most will know, Deb is the granddaughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt, who served on Lemnos in 1915.
I layed a wreath on behalf of the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council.
Other wreaths were layed by a variety of nursing organizations, service organizations, hospitals, legacy and the Australian Red Cross to name a few.
Myself at the NMC Memorial. Photo Christina Despoteris. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Ms Gabrielle Williams MP, layed a wreath on behalf of the Victorian Premier, The Hon Daniel Andrews, MP.
Gabrielle Williams and Lee Tarlamis. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Other members of the Committee who attended were Ms Christina Despoteris, our Vice President, and Malcolm and Gloria MacDonald. Thanks to all for attending.
Lee Tarlamis, Christina Despoteris and myself. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Malcolm and Gloria MacDonald (2nd and 3rd from left) and Deb Stewart and Judith Gunnarsson (5th and 6th from left). Photo Jim Claven 2017
The service concluded with an audio-visual presentation by Ms Arlene Bennett - Vice President of the NMC and Treasurer of the LGCC - on her recent commemorative visit to Banka Island and Radji Beach, Indonesia.
It was also a great opportunity to connect with representatives of the Australian Red Cross (below) who are interested in researching their organisations part in the Hellenic link to Anzac in WW1 and WW2.
Lee Tarlamis (at right) and Gabrielle Williams (2nd from right) with two members of the Australian Red Cross. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Above and below are some photos of the commemorative event- all taken by myself.
Thanks to Arlene Bennett and all at the Nurses Memorial Centre for this beautiful service.

Ms Arlene Bennett and other members of the NMC. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Kαλό Πάσχα - Happy Easter - from all at the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Photo: Echo Blue
Wishing all our friends in Australia, Greece and overseas - and especially those on Lemnos - Happy Easter - or as they say in Greece - Kαλό Πάσχα!
At this time we should remember that during Easter in 1915 the Anzac's on Lemnos wrote of being invited to take part in the local Easter services across the Island - experiencing the local Church services and the local Lemnians giving the diggers and nurses traditional red eggs and cakes.
A special thank you and Easter wishes to Nikolas Bliatkas and Zanna Kandylidou on Lemnos. If you are visiting Lemnos, make sure that you visit their beautiful Ochra Blue Artspace at P.Kyda 8, 81400 Myrina, Lemnos.For more information about Echo Blue:
F:+302254 026264, 6976220673.
http://ochrabl, Blue

Lee Tarlamis, President
Christina Despoteris, Vice-President
Jim Claven, Secretary 
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Lemnos Commemorative Events 20-21 April 2017 - Further Information

Photo Jim Claven 2012

Further to our previous post on the planned commemorative events on Lemnos this month (click here for this post), we have been advised by the Lemnos government authorities of more detail on the various events that will occur on Lemnos this month - April 20-21, 2017.
Photo Jim Claven 2015
The program is entitled - "Honor and Memory of the Fallen in the Battle of Gallipoli".
Portianou - 20th April
The events on the 20th April will take place in Portianou, at both the Commonwealth War Grave there and at the Portianou Cultural Centre. Events commence at 4.30pm and conclude after 7pm.
Moudros - 21st April
The events on the 21st April will take place at Mourdos, including at the Commonwealth War Grave there, the Moudros Cultural Centre and at the Anzac Memorial at the Port. Events commence at 9.30am and conclude after 7pm.
Detailed Event Program
A detailed program supplied by the authorities can be viewed and downloaded by clicking
Should you wish to enter the associated "Run for Peace" event, you can download the entry form by clicking here.
Photo Jim Claven 2015

If you are planning to visit Lemnos at this time, we encourage you to attend these important commemorative services. If you are able to attend, our Committee would appreciate copies of any photographs you may take.
Congratulations to Lemnos
Our Committee congratulates the Lemnos authorities and all involved in the coming Commemorative events.
The authorities on Lemnos have organised these events for many years and continue to do so. This is a great honour to the Anzac's and other Allied troops who served there and those who are buried there, as well as the local Lemnians who supported them in 1915 and their families and descendants in Australia and across the world.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipili Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

You are Invited - Anzac Canal 1941 Presentation - Northcote Town Hall 7pm Thursday 27th April 2017

Anzac Canal Presentation Poster. Created by Paul Sougleris 2017
The 26th April 2017 is the 76th anniversary of the battle of Corinth Canal fought by Australian and other Allied forces at the famous isthmus that separates Greece's central plains and mountains from the great expanse of the Peloponnese.On the 27th April I will be making a presentation - accompanied by archival and contemporary images - telling the story of the Australians at the battle of Corinth and the surrounding region of the Argolid in the Greek campaign of 1941.
The presentation will be held at Northcote Town Hall at 7pm on Thursday 27th April 2017.
The Panargoliki Philanthropic Brotherhood and Pankorithinian Association of Melbourne and Victoria would like to invite all to this important presentation on the part their region played in the Anzac role in the Greek campaign of 1941. Entrance is free.
Corinth Canal. Photo Jim Claven 2016
This region of Greece - containing some of the most famous locations of Ancient Greece - from Mycenae, Argos and Epidavrou - to the first capital of Greece at Nafplio - would witness one of the key battles in the defence of Greece in 1941.
Bell tower, Palamidi Castle, Nafplio. Jim Claven 2013
A focus of my presentation will be the battle of Corinth Canal were Australian soldiers of the 2/6th Battalion - mostly recruited from Melbourne and Victoria - fought a desperate day-long battle against overwhelming German forces. This was the first time that Australian - British and other Commonwealth - troops faced an airborne assault by German paratroops and gliders. The battle of Corinth Canal was a practice-run for the coming assault on Crete in May.
German troops and their supplies descend on Corinth, 26th April 1941
Some of these Victorians would be killed, others wounded and around 200 captured. Others would continue the fight, successfully retreating south to the Allied embarkation beaches across the Peloponnese. Some like Private George Young from Parkdale would be wounded during the retreat and die in captivity.
And a number would be decorated for their bravery that day. Like Captain Henry Dean, a 27 years old farmer from Geelong would be awarded the Military Cross and Private Cyril Coulam, a 35 year old shoe salesman from South Yarra the Military Medal.
And in the hours before the battle, Australian nurses and 33 year old medical officer
Major Edward “Weary” Dunlop from Wangaratta would cross the narrow bridge to safety - waved on by these brave Australian soldiers.
New Zealand troops at Nefplio, awaiting embarkation.
Later Corinth and the region would witness some of the successful embarkations of troops from Greece, the legendary stories of those Allied soldiers who escaped capture by the Germans with the aid of the local people and the sadness of those who would begin their long captivity in the miserable and filthy prison camp established by the Germans at Corinth itself.
And how amazing that many of the descendants of the local residents of the region would make their way to Australia - and to Melbourne and Victoria - from where the diggers of the 2/6th Battalion had sailed all those years ago.
The story of Corinth and the Argolid in 1941 - and the Anzac's who fought there - is in many ways a microcosm of the whole Greek and Crete campaigns of 1941.
An Australian and New Zealand soldier successfully evacuated from the Greek mainland, photographed on their arrival on Crete, April-May 1941. AWM

For more on the battle of Corinth Canal, read my article in Neos Kosmos by clicking here.
To download a copy of the presentation poster, please click here.
The presentation is part of the program of commemorative events for this year organised by the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council - in commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the Greek and Crete campaigns of 1941.
A big thank you to the Panargoliki Philanthropic Brotherhood and Pankorithinian Association of Melbourne and Victoria for organising and sponsoring this important event.

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Member, Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council

Saturday, 8 April 2017

You're Invited - Lemnos Honoured on Anzac Day in Melbourne 2017

Oakleigh Cenotaph, re-dedicated by Lieutenant-General Sir Ned Herring who served in Greece in both world wars. Photo Jim Claven
Across Melbourne and Australia thousands of RSL's and communities will participate in Anzac Day ceremonies. This is to advise that our Committee has been formally invited to participate in two Anzac Day ceremonies in 2017.
Arlene Bennett as the Nurses Memorioal Centre memorial to nurses who served and suffered in war. Photo Jim Claven
Nurses Memorial Centre
Melbourne's Nurse Memorial Centre will be holding its annual Anzac Commemorative Service on Sunday, 23rd April 2017 at 2pm. The service will be held at the Centre - Suite 11, Fawkner Towers, 431 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. The Service will to honour Victorian and other nurses who have made sacrifices of life and health, both in times of peace and war.
It is particularly relevant for our Committee to participate in this service given the role of Australia's nurses on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign, many of whom were exposed to disease and illness during their service. And also because of the support of the Nurses Memorial Centre for our various projects, including the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park.
Our President will lay a wreath during the service.
This Service will be followed by a presentation by one of our Committee members (and Board member of the Nurses Memorial Centre) on her recent visit to Banka Island and the memorial service held there for the Australian nurses murdered there by Japanese forces in 1942.
All are welcome to attend the Oakleigh-Carnegie Dawn Service. It would be great to see a good turn-out of our Committee at this event.
Oakleigh Dawn Service and Breakfast
The Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL in Drummond Street, Oakleigh, will hold its traditional dawn service at 6am on 25th April 2017.
Our President, Mr Lee Tarlamis, will lay a wreath on our behalf. This is particularly poignant in Oakleigh for two main reasons.
Firstly, Private William Withers is one of the diggers who served in the Gallipoli campaign who tragically died and is buried on Lemnos. He and his family are connected to Oakleigh. After representation by myself on behalf of the Committee is name has been added to the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL Honour Board.
Secondly, the Oakleigh Cenotaph was re-dedicated by Lieutenant-General Sir Ned Herring, an Australian artillery officer who served on both the Salonika Front in the First World War and in Greece during the campaign there during the Second World War.
Oakleigh's William Withers, his grave on Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven
All are welcome to attend the Oakleigh-Carnegie Dawn Service. It would be great to see a good turn-out of our Committee at this event.
You can read more about William Withers and Oakleigh from my previous Anzac Dawn Service address at Oakleigh in 2014 by clicking here.
Mr Tony Tsourdalakis will also lay a wreath, on behalf of the Melbourne-based Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council, in recognition of the role of local diggers in those campaigns in 1941. Melbourne's Anzac Day Parade
A number of members of Melbourne's Greek-Australian community will join with the veterans and descendants of Australia's 6th Division diggers who served in the Greek campaign in 1941 during Melbourne's Anzac Day parade.
If you would like to meet some of these veterans and descendants, they will assemble to the eastern side of St Paul's Cathedral on Flinders Street, prior to marching off at 9.45am.
Below are some photos of last years parade, showing members of Melbourne's Cretan community with the 2/7th Australian Infantry Battalion Association. 

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Member, Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council