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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

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

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