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

Monday, 16 July 2018

Upcoming Events for 2018 – Victorian Parliament's Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Display, Annual Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Service and Centenary of Armistice of Mudros Shrine Sanctuary Service

All Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee members and supporters are advised of our forthcoming major events for 2018.
Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibtion sample image. Photo Jim Claven
Victorian Parliament to Host our Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Display
We have been successful in gaining the support of the Victorian Parliament and the Victorian Government for the display of our Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Display in Queens Hall.
The Photographic Exhibition will be on public display from 9am to 5pm, from Monday, 6th August 2018 to Friday, 10th August 2018.
Our display features 39 framed and titled iconic archival photographs of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign taken by the Anzacs themselves in 1915-16. Our display has been taken to various venues and communities over recent years, from Greek community organizations, to Town Halls and Libraries. We are very pleased that it will know be displayed in the Victorian Parliament’s Queens Hall.
The Exhibition will be accompanied with a specially produced commemorative booklet.
All are welcome to attend. 
Lemnos Gallipoli Photographic Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven
Annual Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Service
As previously advised, this year’s service will commence at 11am on Saturday, 11th August 2018, at our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Lemnos Square, Albert Park.
The British Consul-General, Mr. Chris Holtby, has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at this year’s service.
All members of the public are welcome to attend.
Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial detail. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Centenary of Armistice of Mudros Service
This year is centenary of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros. This Armistice was negotiated between the Entente or Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire aboard the British warship HMAS Agamemnon anchored in Lemnos’ Mudros Bay. The Armistice was signed on 30th October and came into effect at 12 noon the following day. This Armistice brought to an end the First World War across the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and the Salonika Front. For hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers – including Australians troops – the war was now over. Thousands of Allied POW’s were released. The war that for Australia began at Gallipoli, ended on Lemnos, in the great harbor that had been the base for the Gallipoli campaign. For more information on the Armistice, click here.
HMS Agamemnon
As far as we have been able to ascertain, the Armistice of Mudros has never been commemorated – either in Greece or in Australia. For many months our Committee has been in discussions with the authorities on Lemnos to hold a commemoration of the Armistice of Mudros on Lemnos. This will now be held on 3rd November 2018, coinciding with the visit of a Victorian delegation, including a special tour by former Victorian Premiers Anzac Student Prize Winners. This delegation will then proceed to the centenary services to be held in France. For details on the Victorian delegation, read more here.
Mudros Bay, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2018
Earlier this year our Committee put a proposal to Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance to hold a wreath laying commemorative service in the Shrine Sanctuary marking the coming into effect of the Armistice and for this to be an annual service. The Shrine has now approved our proposal. The Armistice of Mudros commemorative service will be commencing in the Shrine Sanctuary at 11.45am on Wednesday, 31st October 2018. Those wishing to attend are advised to assemble at the Sanctuary from 11.30am. This event has been listed on the Shrine’s schedule of commemorations, see here.
More details of the service itself will be available closer to the event.
This service is open to the public and all members and supporters are welcomed to attend. 
Shrine Sanctuary. Photo Jim Claven
 Future annual services will be held at the same time and date consistent with the coming into effect of the Armistice in 1918.
Thank You
The Committee would like to thank all involved to date in helping put these events together. This includes the local authorities on Lemnos (and in particular the Sub-Prefect of the Northern Aegean Mr. Evagelos Giarmadouros and the Mayor of Lemnos Mr. Dimitirios Marinakis), the Parliament of Victoria, the Victorian Government, The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet Veterans Branch and the Shrine of Remembrance.
Jim Claven, Secretary
Lee Tarlamis, President
Christina Despoteris, Vice President


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

St Kilda's Private Charles John Reeves - An Orderly on Lemnos 1915

A group of 3rd AGH orderlies aboard the RMS Mooltan on their way overseas. Photo Albert Savage. AWM
The role of orderlies in the military hospitals caring for the troops in the First World War can often be overlooked. While not medically trained like the doctors and nurses who provided the primary care for wounded and sick soldiers, the more numerous orderlies were another essential element in the operation of the field hospitals, whether they served as ward or general orderlies.
One of those orderlies was Charles John Reeves and he was one of the first members of an Australian medical unit to land on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign.
A St Kilda Boy Enlists
Charles was St Kilda born and bred, living with his mother Theresa Reeves at 105 Acland Street in 1914. He was a 21 year old chauffeur when he enlisted at Melbourne in the Australian Army Medical Corps as a driver on 2nd December 1914. He was attached to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital. The unit was commanded by Melbourne-born Lieutenant -Colonel Henry Bryant - who operated his medical practice in Melbourne's Collins Street before the war - but nearly all of its medical officers and orderlies where from South Australia.
Troopship Kyarra at Port Meblbourne, 2 December 1914. Photo by William Henry Reed. AWM
From Melbourne to Lemnos with 1st Australian Stationary Hospital
He sailed from Melbourne's Princes Pier aboard the transport ship Kyarra on 5th December 1914, along with the rest of the men of the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital.
Arriving at Alexandria on 17th January, the hospital established operations at Ma'adi and Ismailia. It was during the hospitals stay in Egypt that Charles was first admitted as a patient in the hospital on 25th February 1915. By March Charles had recovered and sailed with his comrades in the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital aboard the troopship Malda, departing Alexandria at 2pm on 3rd March, headed for Lemnos.
The 1st ASH established ashore at Mudros, 1915. AWM
When Charles and the hospital staff arrived in Mudros Harbour at 7.35am on the 6th March they were one of the first Australian medical units to arrive at Lemnos.
Charles was one of around 90 other orderlies at the hospital, working with eight medical officers - and no nurses.
They landed using the newly built Australian Pier north of Mudros town and established their base there to the north of Mudros.
Nearly 200 tons of equipment was landed in row-boats at the “flimsy local jetty” and man-handled to the site of the hospital.Sappers from the 1st Field Company Australia Engineers operated a steam powered hopper to assist with the unloading. As they arrived without transport, the 1st ASH borrowed mule carts from the French to unload their equipment.
There is little record of the work of the orderlies at the 1st ASH. Similar to other field hospitals on Lemnos they would have been engaged in ward duties, trained and directed by the doctors. In this way they would tend to patients, turning and cleaning them, and feeding them when needed. As general orderlies they would have erected and maintained the hospital wards themselves, the delivery of supplies and transport of patients. As a driver, Charles most likely was engaged with the hospitals ambulances transporting patients to and from the hospital north of Mudros.
Tent lines of the 1st ASH at Mudros, 1915. AWM
Charles' hospital was an impressive site - with 400 beds, spread across 56 tents and X-Ray equipment. Even before the landings at Anzac on 25th April, the 1st ASH was busy with patients. By 17th March they had admitted 200 patients. Five Australian soldiers would die on Lemnos before 25th April. By August the hospital would expand to accommodate 1,000 patients and towards the end of that month would report as having admitted nearly 2,500 patients in six months of operation.
One of Many - Charles struck by Illness
One of the scourges of the troops who served at Gallipoli were the diseases that swept the troops, both influenza and intestinal diseases largely due to poor sanitation. The staff working in the hospitals on Lemnos were subject to these ailments too. Many medical staff became ill.
One of those was Charles, He seems to have survived eight months on Lemnos without illness. But then on 4th November 1915 he became ill and was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital located across Mudros Bay on the Turks Head Peninsula.
By the 25th November his condition had not improved such that he had to be invalided aboard the Hospital Ship Aquitania to a military hospital at Epsom in England.
Meanwhile the 1st ASH had been transferred directly to Anzac Cove. It was finally removed from Anzac on 11th December as the impending evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula loomed. After service on the temporary hospital ship Saturnia, they returned to Egypt on 20th January 1916.Return to Australia
Charles' condition was such that he was invalided back to Australia, departing England on 11th March 1916. After his return to Australia, Charles was discharged on 1st June 1916.

Jim ClavenSecretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 25 May 2018

Lemnos' Australian Pier Unveiled and Lemnos' Gallipoli Heritage Trail Announced

The Australian Pier Memorial following its unveiling. Photo Jim Claven 2018

Last month saw two major achievements by our Committee, working in concert with the authorities on Lemnos and in Australia. 
These were the erection and unveiling Lemnos' new commemorative memorial to the Australian Pier and the announcement of the future creation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail on Lemnos.
The Australian Pier Memorial Plaque, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2018
The announcement took place following the unveiling on the 20th April of the new memorial on Lemnos commemorating the Australian Pier near Mudros. This Pier was built by Australian soldiers and engineers in March 1915 as part of the transformation of the Island into the advanced base for the Gallipoli campaign. 

Myself (left) and Mr Tarlamis (right) with Mr Giarmadouros, Sub-Prefect of the Northern Aegean. Photo Jim Claven 2018

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee delegation with Mr Marinakis, the Mayor of Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2018
In their joint announcement, Mr Evagelos Giarmadouros, Sub-Prefect for the Northern Aegean, and Mr Lee Tarlamis, President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, stated that the creation of this heritage trail is a vital new step in not only commemorating Lemnos’ link to the Gallipoli campaign but also in facilitating awareness of the link to a new generation.

“Our Committee has worked for many years to build awareness of the Lemnos’ link to Anzac in both Australia and Greece. The creation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail will be the culmination of this work and we look forward to working with the Lemnos authorities to make this a reality,” Mr Tarlamis said from Lemnos.

Mr Giarmadouros said that the Trail would assist Australians to walk in the footsteps of their forebears who came to Lemnos over 100 years ago.

“The Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail will form a bridge between Australia and Greece – as well as those from the other nations connected to the Gallipoli story – and build greater understanding of our joint heritage. There are many bonds between Lemnians and Australians and I know that this initiative will be welcomed both on Lemnos and in Australia. I look forward to working together with the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee to bring this trail to a reality,” he said.

The Committee will work with both the Prefecture of the Northern Aegean and the Municipality to make the new Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail a reality.
This year’s Anzac commemorations on Lemnos took place on the 20th April. The commemorations were attended by over 200 people, from both near and far. They were attended by the Australian Ambassador to Greece, other consular and parliamentary dignitaries and senior representatives of the Hellenic Armed forces. The latter included Vice Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos, HN, Commander in Chief of the Hellenic Fleet, who travelled from Athens for the event. Some of my photos of the commemorative service at East Mudros Military Cemetery and at Mudros Harbour are reproduced below.

A delegation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee traveled from Australia to take part in the events. The delegation was led by Mr Tarlamis and myself, and included Ms Deb Stewart, the grand-daughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt who served on Lemnos in 1915, and Mr Malcolm MacDonald, who has written about Second Lieutenant William Davis, a former Victorian trade union official who served and died at Gallipoli.

The commemorations included a formal commemorative service at East Mudros Military Cemetery, a short service at Mudros’ harbour-side Anzac memorial, a historical presentation by Dr. Vassiliki Chryssanthopoulou and a visit to the impressive Lemnos Gallipoli display at the Maritime Museum at Mudros. Mr Tarlamis laid the wreath of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee during the service at East Mudros.
However the main feature of this year’s event was the unveiling of the Australian Pier Memorial, at Aghios Pavlos, north of Mudros. The proposal to build this new Memorial grew out of my own research into the story of the Australian Pier and its erection was jointly funded by the Victorian Government, the Prefecture of the Northern Aegean, the Municipality of Lemnos and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. 

I became aware of the story of Lemnos' Australian Pier as a result of my researches through the archives into Lemnos' link to Anzac and the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. The story of the pier is recounted in a short article which I wrote and which was published in Australia's national Greek community newspaper Neos Kosmos. I produced a special brochure on the story of the pier for the unveiling ceremony. You can view and download a copy of the brochure by clicking here.

At the invitation of the local authorities, Mr Tarlamis gave the keynote address at the Memorial immediately prior to its unveiling.To read Mr Tarlamis' address at the unveiling, please click here.  The Australian Pier memorial was unveiled by Her Excellency the Ambassador to Greece Ms Kate Logan, assisted by the consular representatives of New Zealand, Canada and France as well as representatives of the Prefecture of the Northern Aegean and the Municipality of Lemnos and Mr Tarlamis. Also present were representatives of the Hellenic Parliament and Mr Khalil Eideh, MP, representing the Victorian Parliament.
The Australian Pier memorial unveiled. Photo Jim Claven 2018
The commemorations concluded with an event at Mudros’ new amphitheatre which looks out across Lemnos’ great Mudros Bay. Amongst other presentations, it was my pleasure to address the assembly telling the story of my discovery of the Australian Pier, from an obscure reference on a naval map held in British Library in London to the archives of Australian military units that served on Lemnos held in Canberra’s Australian War Memorial. 
I particularly thanked my colleagues in Greece – Mr Dimitris Boulotis and Ms Liza Koutsaplis – in assisting my research into the Australian Pier.
To read the address by our President Lee Tarlamis please click here  and to ready my own address please click here.
The Australian Ambassador addresses the crowd at the new ampitheatre at Mudros. Photo Jim Claven 2018
And how appropriate it was to give this address in a re-created traditional classical Greek amphitheatre, looking out across Mudros Bay, which was filled with over 200 Allied ships on the eve of the landings at Gallipoli 103 years ago.

During their visit to Lemnos, I took members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee on a day tour of the Island’s key Anzac sites and some of the villages visited by the Anzacs in 1915. Ms Stewart was particularly moved to walk on the Turks Head Peninsula where her grandmother was based during the Gallipoli campaign. I was assisted in the tour by Lemnos’ Petrides Travel.
Our party at the graves of the two Canadian nurses who died during their service on Lemnos in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2018

Committee members Deb Stewart and Malcolm McDonald in Tsimandria, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2018

On the Turks Head Peninsula - wear the Australian nurses and other medical staff served the sick and wounded in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2018

Malcolm McDonald at the site of the Water Distillation Plant erected by Jewish volunteers from Palestine serving in the British Army on Lemnos in 1915. Photo Jim Claven 2018
Mr Tarlamis thanked the local authorities for their efforts in putting together this year’s commemorations.

“We have been participating in the annual commemorations on Lemnos for a number of years now and I can say that this year’s events were truly one of the best. It was an honour for me and our Committee representatives to take part in the commemorations. I especially want to congratulate Mr Giarmadouros and the Prefecture of the Northern Aegean as well as Mr Dimitrios Marinakis, the Mayor of Lemnos, for their efforts and their welcome to their beautiful Island,” he said.

As part of this year’s commemorations on Lemnos, the Victorian Government has provided $5,000 in much needed assistance to Mudros Senior Secondary College on Lemnos. This will provided two state of the art projectors and other educational aids for the students at this school. This school has actively participated in the recent visits to Lemnos by Victorian secondary students as part of the Victorian Premier’s Anzac Student Prize program. 

Mr Tarlamis and I visited the school to discuss the grant. The Director of the School, Mr Stylianos Karagioannis said that this assistance was most welcome.

“I look forward to continuing the links between my students and those from Victoria. Such interaction is an important part of our education program, opening our student’s eyes to the world beyond our Island and to appreciate the Anzac connection to Lemnos,” he said.

Mr Tarlamis added that the Committee was working to creating a link between Mudros Senior Secondary College and Melbourne’s Albert Park Secondary College, which is located next to the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park and who participate in the Committee’s annual commemorative service there. 
Christina Despoteris with the Principal of Albert Park Secondary College. Photo Christina Despoteris 2018
Ms Christina Despoteris, the Committee Vice-President, has recently held discussions with both schools to make this a reality. Ms Despoteris reported that the Principal of Albert Secondary College not only supports the proposal to link both schools but is hoping to visit Lemnos with a delegation of his students during the coming commemorations of the centenary of the Armistice of Mudros to be held on Lemnos in early November later this year.

“Our Committee is so pleased to have been able to facilitate this link between Victorian and Lemnian secondary school students. These sorts of connections are vital to preserving awareness of Lemnos’ link to Anzac in future generations,” Ms Despoteris said.

The visit by Albert Park students will coincide with the special Victorian Premiers Anzac Student Prize Alumni Tour to Lemnos during the Armistice commemorations. This will be the first time that the Armistice – which brought an end to the war between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire – will be commemorated and the first of an annual service on Lemnos and in Australia.
 On behalf of the Committee I have successfully proposed the establishment of an annual commemorative service at Melbourne’s iconic Shrine of Remembrance – designed in the image of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus – the first service to take place on the centenary of the Armistice’s having come into effect – at 12 noon on 31st October this year.

It is hoped that the progressive creation of the new Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail will form the beginning of a new Anzac trail throughout Greece from Lemnos, through Thessaloniki, down through mainland Greece to the Peloponnese, to Crete and across the Aegean – linking the key Anzac and other Allied related site from both WW1 and WW2.

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee and the Prefecture of the Northern Aegean have now commenced the planning for the creation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Heritage Trail, including a number of additional memorials commemorating significant locations in Lemnos’ link to Anzac and other related initiatives. The Committee has also extended an invitation to the regional and local Lemnian authorities to visit Melbourne and our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial. 

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemmos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee