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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

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

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