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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

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Lemnos Hero - Vale Cowes' Lance Corporal Raymond Thornton

Grave stone of Cowe's Lance Corporal Raymond Thornton. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Today we honour the service of Lance Corporal Raymond Thornton served at Lemnos and on Gallipoli - and remains on Lemnos in East Mudros Military Cemetery.
Raymond Thornton had been born at Cowes, Phillip Island, to the south east of Melbourne - now a popular tourist destination.
By the time he was 21 years old, Raymond was yet to be married and living with his parents and two sisters at 55 Donald Street in Prahran and working as a "Letter Carrier" - the original name for what we would now call an Australia Post Postie!
He enlisted almost as soon as war broke out in Europe, going to the enlistment centre in Prahran to complete his Attestation Papers on the 19th August 1914.
Raymond recorded his previous 3 years military experience with the senior cadets at Healesville, on Melbourne's eastern fringe.
He was enlisted into the 2nd Field Ambulance of the Australian Army Medical Corps as Private 224.
After training at Broadmeadows, Raymond and his comrades made their way to Port Melbourne's Princes Pier for their departure for Europe aboard the troopship Whiltshire on the 19th October 1914.
By the 5th April Raymond was sailing from Alexandria for Lemnos' Mudros Bay. By the time he arrived at Gallipoli, he had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.
As we know from the fate of that other medic - Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick of the 3rd Field Ambulance - ferrying the wounded and sick from the Gallipoli trenches to the field hospitals and piers was a dangerous task.
And so it was that Raymond recieved a fatal gunshot wound to his right side at Gallipoli on the 27th May 1915. He died as he was being treated on the Hospital Ship Dunluce Castle.
He was taken ashore and buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery. I have visited his grave stone, my photograph of it is reproduced above.

Maybe we should have a plaque on Phillip Island, commemorating this digger from Cowes who came all the way to Gallipoli and was buried on Lemnos.

Vale Raymond Thornton of Cowes, Philip Island.

This is just one of connections between the wider Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, and Lemnos' role in the Gallipoli campaign.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committe

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