|Commemorative Service at East Mudros Military Cemetery, April 2017. Photo Bill and Aggie Georgantis 2017|
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|
|Photo Sophia Kambouris 2017|
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.
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.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee