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, 29 December 2014

Forgotten Photographs of WW1 - New BBC Documentary

The BBC have released a new documentary on the photography of individual soldiers in WW1. It includes photos that were salvaged from garbage - an amazing story.
The documentary explains the camera's they used, how much they cost, how they took them to war and the types of photographs they took.
The photographs tell the story from the point of view of the soldiers themselves. They include images of the famous Christmas Truce on the Western Front in 1914.
Even though they were specifically against orders after 1914 (in the British Army), the soldiers continued to take them.Some even sold their photos to the press - including those of the Christmas Truce. Historians believe that it was the appearance of these images that led to the banning of soldier's photography.
Conversely, the German Army didn't forbid photographs - and the German Photography Society sent cameras to soldiers at the front.
Just as on Lemnos in 1915, British - and other (including German) - soldiers took photographs of their war experiences, their friendships.
Lets hope this program is shown in Australia soon.
A link describing the program is contained here.
I have reproduced some of the images here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 26 December 2014

Lemnians raise funds for the British Red Cross - during WW1!

We have known for a long time - from the diaries and records of the Anzacs - that the local Lemnians welcomed them and supported them during 1915. They sold them food, they accompanied them on trips to the Therma baths and welcomed the diggers into their churches and their families. And the Anzacs treated the Lemnians villagers in their field hospitals, equipped with the latest x-ray and dental facilities.
And some acted as guides and labourers on the beaches and gullies at Anzac.
Yet there are few records of the views of the locals.
I have recently come across a newspaper report of demonstrating the active generosity and support of the local villagers for the Anzacs and the Allies who came to their Island in 1915 - raising major funds for the British Red Cross. Here is a transcript of the article from the Western Daily Press (Bristol, United Kingdom) from Saturday 4 March 1916:

“Greek Sympathy for the Allies – Subscriptions for British Red Cross, 
LONDON, Friday
Reuter’s Agency states that gratifying evidence of the goodwill existing between the inhabitants of the military zone at Mudros, in the Island of Lemnos, and the Allied forces is provided by the voluntary subscriptions of the villages within that zone to the British Red Cross. The people of their own accord approached the Assistant Provost Marshall at Mudros asking him to accept for the purpose a sum of £384 8s 9d, which had been subscribed in eleven different villages. The Bishop of Lemnos is collecting in the village of Castro for the same purpose at the request of the inhabitants.”

The British Red Cross - and its Australian Branch - provided a range of important services during WW1 - including providing aid to wounded and sick soldiers, voluntary aid detachment volunteers in field hospitals, as well as a wounded and missing information service for relatives. Over £380 would have been a significant amount for these local villagers. Today is equivalent to£38,000 or $72,799AUD. This is an important aspect of the Lemnos link to Anzac that we should remember during the festive season.
Lest we forget.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hronia Polla from the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee!

Young village girls walking and singing along the East Mudros Road, Lemnos 1915. Photographed by a member of the British Royal Naval Division. Source: Montbrehain, Great War Forum
Wishing all our friends and supporters a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you for your support and all the work which has delivered many successes over 2014.
We look forward to working with you all in 2015 and see you at the unveiling of our new major memorial statue in Melbourne to the role of Lemnos, the nurses and the soldiers who they cared for, on 8th August 2015.
Please download our 2014 Xmas Card by clicking on the following link:
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Xmas Card 2014
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Season's Greetings From Lemnos!

Season's greetings from the Lemnos Friends of Anzac to all our friends and supporters in Australia.
Thanks to Stelios Mantzaris, President of the Lermnos Friends of Anzac, for all his and his teams good work promoting the Lemnos Anzac story on Lemnos, Greece and beyond.
We look forward to working together as we enter 2015 - the Centenary of the Gallipoli campaign and the Anzac link to Lemnos.
Much has been achieved and more needs to be done - We will do it and make 2015 the year of Lemnos and Anzac!
Thank you and best wishes from your friends in Australia - to you, your family and the Lemnos Friends of Anzac!
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

They Came To Help - Walking Thessaloniki's Anzac Trail

Thessaloniki quay during the great fire in 1917.
Neos Kosmos recently published my article on the WW1 Anzac trail in Thessaloniki and Macedonia.
Read about the experiences of Maryborough's Second Lieutenant Ned Herring, Wonthaggi's Nurse Edith May Jeremiah and Healesville's Jessie Matron McHardie White.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos.
If you want read the web version of the story, click here.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 14 December 2014

75th Anniversary - First Australian Troops Depart Port Melbourne for the Middle East and the Second World War

Women and children at the wharf in Port Melbourne farewell the advance party of the 6th Division. Second from right is Mrs Doreen Martin from Mildura who was fare-welling her husband, VX4768 Signalman Bernard Vincent Martin. Photographer Ted Cranstone. 15 December 1939. AWM image
75 years ago today the first departure of Australian troops for overseas service in the Second World War took place from Port Melbourne.They sailed aboard the former P&O Liner Strathallan.
These troops were the advance party of the Australian 6th Division - 47 officers and 58 other ranks, along with a party of New Zealand forces -25 officers and 88 other ranks. The latter had boarded in Sydney.
Leading the Australian contingent was Colonel George Vasey, later promoted Major General, and General Blamey. Both Blamey and Vasey would serve in the Greek campaign with the rest of the 6th Division, Vasey leading the Allied forces against the invading Germans at the Battle of Vevi in Greece in 1941. Vevi would be the first encounter between Australian and German troops since 1918.
As these first Australian troops departed from Port Melbourne they would be walking in the footsteps of their forebears, the diggers who left Port Melbourne for Lemnos and Gallipoli, for Egypt and Western France.
These troops would be the first of the over 993,000 Australians who served in the armed forces during the war. Some 27,073 would be killed in action or died on active service, 23,477 wounded and 30,560 taken prisoner, with 8,296 dying in captivity.
Lest we forget.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Below are some images from the Australian troops departure in 1939 - leaving their camp at the Melbourne Showgrounds to Port Melbourne (reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial).

Today's Media Release from Australian Veterans Affairs Minister:
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, paid tribute to the first Australian troops to leave our shores for service in the Second World War 75 years ago today.
On 15 December 1939, just over 100 Australians boarded the liner Strathallan bound for Palestine. Sailing with them was a small contingent of New Zealanders. Together they formed an advance guard, sent to prepare for the arrival of the main body of Australian and New Zealand troops the following month.
From their training grounds in Palestine, the Australians went on to the campaigns against the armies of Germany, Italy and Vichy France in North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Greece and Crete. Later the survivors returned to the southern hemisphere to face the Japanese in South East Asia and the Pacific.
These first men to leave Australia were at the vanguard of Australia’s overseas effort during the Second World War. They and those who followed left knowing they had the support of the entire country.  With them went Australia’s best wishes and the nation’s prayers for their safe return.
Among the first personnel to leave Australia were some who would never return. In that war some 40,000 Australians lost their lives on active service. Many more suffered wounds and thousands endured years of captivity in Europe and later in Asia. 
The Anzac Centenary period is a time for all Australians to commemorate a Century of Service, and to honour the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our nation’s uniform, including the more than 102,000 who lost their lives in Australia’s service.
We remember the efforts of all those who served during the Second World War, from those who first left these shores on December 15 1939, to those who defended the home front and others who served later in the war.  As a nation we honour them all.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

They Came to Help - Thessaloniki and the Anzacs - Neos Kosmos 12 Dec 2014

Neos Kosmos, 13 December 2014. Photograph Vicki Kyritsis
Neos Kosmos has today printed my article telling the story of the Australian soldiers and nurses who came to Thessaloniki in the First World War as part of the Salonika campaign, 1915-18. Read about Australia's Ned Herring and Miles Franklin as they came to Thessaloniki and Macedonia to defend Greece and Serbia in the First World War.
Buy yourself a copy of today's Neos Kosmos.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos again for supporting awareness of Greece's Anzac trail.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 12 December 2014

Australians in WW1 - Western Front Trail Website

The Australian Government has created an amazing website - the Australian Remembrance Trail in France and Belgium.
The Trail is a series of linked projects and sites significant to Australian service that have been conducted in a spirit of partnership and collaboration with local communities and authorities. It recognises and enhances the longstanding efforts of French and Belgian communities in remembering and commemorating Australia’s involvement on the Western Front.
The 12 sites on the Australian Remembrance Trail on the Western Front covers many of the places Australians fought in France and Belgium from 1916 to 1918.It provides invaluable background information as well as maps with detailed map descriptions, like the one below:
Map 1 Passchendaele, Australian Remembrance Trail, DVA.

If you are planning your trip to the battlefields of the Western Front - as I have - make sure you look over this invaluable free guide.

Click here to start exploring the Trail.

Congratulations to the Australian Government (throuh the Department of Veterans Affairs) for creating this website and the Trail.
An Australian Remembrance Trail - In Greece?
Wouldn't it be great if the Australian Government supported the creation of an Australian Remembrance Trail in Greece - covering both WW1 and WW2, from Lemnos, Salonika and Corfu, through Vevi and Brallos Pass, to the Corinth Canal, Kalamata and on to Crete - not to forget the famous caique trail across the Aegean to freedom.
The over 70,000 Australian servicemen and women deserve to have their service recognized, graves visited and their remembrance supported.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Matron Grace Wilson - Alfred Hospital Honour Board

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial supporter Judy Moore has sent the Committee three photos of a honour board erected inside the Alfred Hospital  by the Alfred Hospital Nurses League. It recognises the distinguished contribution to nursing as the Alfred by a number of nurses, including Matron Grace Wilson.
This is more evidence of the recognition of Grace Wilson's role at the Alfred Hospital and in the Port Phillip area. Thanks to the Alfred Hospital Nurse League - have sold many of our commemorative badges - for erecting this honour board.
Thanks to Judy for taking the time to take these images - in a busy corridor and under bad lighting - and sending them to us to share.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Friends of Gallipoli - Shrine Wreath Laying - 20 December 2014

The Friends of Gallipoli group will be laying a wreath in the Sanctuary at the Shrine to commemorate the beginning of peace at Gallipoli when the guns fell silent at the ANZAC sector in the early hours of the 20th of December, 1915.
This will take place at 12.00pm on Saturday 20 December, 12.00pm.
All are welcome to attend.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Remembering the Armistice of Mudros - Remembrance Magazine (The Shrine)

All those interested in the Lemnos Gallipoli story should get themselves a copy of the latest edition of the Melbourne Shrine's magazine - Remembrance.
They have published a a 5 page illustrated article I have prepared telling the story of Lemnos role in Anzac and the forgotten armistice of WW1 - the Armistice of Mudros.

Thanks to David Howell at The Shrine for his support.
Copies of the magazine can be obtained from the Shrine Shop and ABC Metro stores (RRP $8.95).
Details of the Articles in the Magazine
The latest edition of the Shrine's biannual magazine has just been released. This bumper edition of Remembrance features a series of articles by those closely involved in the development of the Galleries of Remembrance. Dr Michael McKernan shares his experiences in regional and rural Victoria following the publication of his book, Victoria at War 1914-1918, while historian Jim Claven discusses the forgotten Armistice of Mudros. ABC's Richard Stubbs tells of his first pilgrimage to the battlefields of Gallipoli and Chris Creese explores a family legacy tied to the hospital ship Devanha.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 1 December 2014

Royal Red Cross Medal - Australian WW1 Nurse Recipients.

Cased R.R.C. medal, Garrard and Co. Ltd., 24 Albemarle Street, London, England, 1914-1918; awarded to Elizabeth Batten, Senior Sister in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve at the Royal Free Hospital
The Royal Red Cross is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing. It was established on 27 April 1883 by Queen Victoria, with a single class of Member. A second and lower class, Associate, was added during World War I in 1917.
The Royal Red Cross (RRC) was the first example of an Order exclusively for women. Men became eligible only in 1976.
The award is made to a fully trained nurse of an officially recognised nursing service, military or civilian, without restriction to rank who have:
'shown exceptional devotion or competency in performance of nursing duties with the Army in the field, or in Naval and Military or Air Force hospitals or in an Auxiliary War hospital over a continuous or long period or who has performed some exceptional act of bravery or devotion to the post of duty'.
Holders of the second class who receive a further award are promoted to the first class, although an initial award can also be made in the first class. Holders of the first class who receive a further award are awarded a bar.
Royal Red Cross is awarded in two levels - First Class with post-nominal RRC and for a lesser degree of service in a Second Class (known as the Associate) with post-nominal ARRC.
 The badge for RRC is in the shape of a golden cross, 1.375 inches wide, the obverse enamelled red, with a circular medallion (now bearing an effigy of the reigning monarch) at its centre. The words "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity" are inscribed on the upper limbs of the cross, with the year "1883" in the lower limb. The reverse is plain except a circular medallion bearing the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch.
The badge for ARRC is in the shape of a silver cross, 1.375 inches wide, the obverse enamelled red, with broad silver edges around the enamel; a circular medallion (now bearing an effigy of the reigning monarch) at its centre. The reverse has a circular medallion bearing the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch, as well as the words "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity" inscribed on the upper limbs of the cross, with the year "1883" in the lower limb.
The ribbon for both grades is dark blue with crimson edge stripes.
To recognize further exceptional devotion and competency in the performance of actual nursing duties or some very exceptional act of bravery and devotion at his or her post of duty, a bar may be awarded to a recipient of the RRC. The bar is linked to the cross and is made of red enamel. A rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress to denote a bar to the RRC.The RRC was last awarded to an Australian in 1982. No Australian men received the Royal Red Cross or Royal Red Cross (second class).
Australian recipients in the First World War included Lemnos nurses such as Matron Grace Wilson, Principal Matron Gertrude Davis and Sister Catherine McNaughton as well as Salonika Front's Principal Matron Jessie McHardie White.
The full list is:


Matron Evelyn Augusta CONYERS
Matron Ellen Julia GOULD
Matron Ethel GRAY
PplMatron Jessie McHARDIE-WHITE


Matron Alice Ellen CASHIN
Matron Mary Mackenzie FINLAY
Matron Margaret GRAHAM
Matron Adelaide Maud KELLETT
Matron Ethel Tracy RICHARDSON

Headsister Margaret ANDERSON
Matron Alma BENNETT
Matron Beryl Anderson CAMPBELL
Matron Alice Ellen CASHIN
Matron Ethel Sarah DAVIDSON
Sister Clarice Molyneux DICKSON
Matron Annie Elizabeth DOWSLEY
Matron Teresa J DUNNE
Sister Katie Payne HODGE
SNurse Estelle Venner KEOGH
Sister Ida O'DWYER
Sister Minnie Farquharson PROCTOR
Sister Clara Louise ROSS
Sister Louisa STOBO

Sister Jessie Helena BUCHANAN
Sister Eva Helen CHAPMAN
Matron Alice Mary COOPER
Matron Edith CORNWELL
Matron Rose CREAL
Matron Jessie Ross GEMMELL
Headsister Julia Mary HART
Sister Nellie Francis HILL
Sister Eleanor Wibmer JEFFRIES
Headsister Constance Mabel KEYS
Sister Catherine McNAUGHTON
Sister Gertrude France MOBERLEY
Sister Laura Cumming PRATT
Matron Alice Marion PRICHARD
Sister Anastasia ROCHE
Sister Christine SORENSON
Matron Ethel Maud STRICKLAND
Sister Alice Joan TWYNAM
Ethelda Runnals UREN
Sister Evelyn Clara WILSON

Pmatron Gertrude DAVIS

This information is from the Faith Hope and Charity - Australian Women and Imperial Honours 1901-89. To go to the website, click here.For further information on the Royal Red Cross, click here.

Lest we forget the Australian nurses who served in WW1

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Lemnos Heroes - Pompey Elliott's grave at Melbourne's Burwood Cemetery

Grave of Pompey Elliott, Burwood Cemetery, Melbourne. Photograph Jim Claven 2014

Photographs taken at Melbourne's Burwood Cemetery of the grave of Major General "Pompey" Elliott, commander of the AIF's 7th Battalion at Gallipoli. Along with his battalion - and the rest of the Anzac force - Pompey spent time on Lemnos prior to the landings at Anzac Cove.
He departed Lemnos on Saturday morning, 24th April 1915, aboard the transport ship Galeka, for the lansings the following morning.
Thanks to my son Andrew for finding the grave site!
Lest we forget.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Grave of Pompey Elliott, Burwood Cemetery, Melbourne. Photograph Jim Claven 2014

Grave of Pompey Elliott, Burwood Cemetery, Melbourne. Photograph Jim Claven 2014
Grave of Pompey Elliott, Burwood Cemetery, Melbourne. Photograph Jim Claven 2014

The Navy in WW1 - National Maritime Museum Exhibition

AE2 in Portsmouth, England, in 1914. AWM

Great exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney - The Navy in WW1.
Website has a great little video of transport convoys leaving Australia, troops exercising on the decks etc.
The exhibition states that it tells the story of the Naval Bridging Train and the AE2 - both of home spent time on Lemnos.
Hope the exhibition includes this part of story. Something for the Sydney Lemnian community and historians to follow up.
Also  features excerpts from several unpublished journals by:
  • John Brown, a wireless radio operator aboard HMAS Protector, Warrego, and Brisbane.
  • Henry James Elly Kinder, Stoker Petty Officer aboard the AE2 submarine which breached the Turkish defences of the Dardanelles Strait.
  • Frank Trevor Jones, an Able Seaman on HMAS Sydney when it fought the infamous German raider SMS Emden.
Go to the website for the exhibition by clicking here.
If you are in Sydney, give it a look!
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

New Battle of Crete Book Launch - Sydney

Tank Landing Craft off Crete, today. Source: Michael Bendon's Forgotten Flottila website.
Tank Landing Craft off Crete, 1941. Source: Michael Bendon's Forgotten Flottila website.

Nick Andriotakis, Secretary of the Joint Committee for The Commemoration for
The Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign, has advised me of the following book launch in Sydney. If you are able to attend I urge you to book for this important event:

Dr Michael Bendon is a passionate archaeologist and researcher currently based in Sydney He has over the past 30 years worked on numerous excavations around the Mediterranean, including Greece.
While participating in the excavation of the Hellenistic harbour city of Phalasarna in western Crete in 2008, Michael took a lunchtime snorkelling break and literally stumbled upon what looked like a World War Two wreck. It sits in the entrance to the harbour of the ancient city in only a few metres of water.
When initial enquiries around the modern village of Phalasarna yielded no satisfying insights and questions to the British, Australian, New Zealand and German Military Authorities drew blanks, he became more intrigued by the strange vessel. Ever since then, he has spent unbelievable amounts of time, energy and resources to find out everything he possibly could about 'his' wreck.
Over the years, the story of the wreck became clearer and the research widened. The wreck itself turned out to be a Tank Landing Craft Mk1, which were prototype vessels developed by the British and carried Anzacs throughout the Battle of Crete and Greece.
Dr Bendon has travelled to England to meet the surviving Captain of the Flotilla , John Sutton . I have and continue to support Michael in his endeavours to bring forward the history and story of the flotilla .
I have just been advised that the Ambassador of Greece to Australia , Mr Dafaranos will be launching Dr Bendon’s book The Forgotten Flotilla: The Craft of Heroes, Greece, Crete and North Africa – 1941 and you are invited to attend . This event has been facilitated by the Joint Committee for The Commemoration for
The Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign , The Cretan association of NSW and The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens at Sydney University .
I urge everyone to attend but seats are limited so please RSVP by email or phone to the details below:

Thursday 27 November, 2014, 6 for 6:30pm
The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens at Sydney University .
CCANESA Boardroom
Level 4 Madsen Building, University of Sydney
FREE (Refreshments will be served)
Parking available on campus: $6 flat rate (coin only)
Bookings Essential:
P: 9351 4759 E:

For more information on Michael Bendon's work, click  hereto download the launch brochure or here to link to his website.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hunter Valley Nurses in the Great War - Book and Research by Historian Christine Bramble

Matron Ida Greaves, RRC, (centre) on the eve of her departure for France, 27 August 1914. From Greaves Family archive and Inside History website.
NSW historian Christine Bramble has undertaken great research into the story of nurses from the NSW Hunter Valley who served in WW1 - a total of some 80 women.
She has created a website - Hunter Valley Great War Nurses. Click there to find out some of the names and the story of these nurses.
She has also written a book - Sisters of the Valley: First World War Nurses from Newcastle and the Hunter Region. This is probably the only published regional study of Australian nurses in the First World War.
To read an interview with Christine about her book and research published in the Australia and NZ Inside History magazine, click here.
She estimates that approximately 3000 Australian women served as military nurses in the First World War.
Love on Lemnos
She also recounts finding a love story from Lemnos. The diary of Sister Kathleen Doyle, from Singleton, includes numerous references to a love interest she met on Lemnos. He is only referred to as “C.S.” Chritstine has been unable to identifyb this myserious love interest. She thinks that C.S. meant “other ranks” (supposed to be off-limits for serving nurses) or he was British or Canadian. the diary of Kathleen Doyle . She was on night duty nursing casualties from Gallipoli. Yet Christine recounts that her diary also recorded the horrors of war, noting that one of her patients from Gallipoli, who was delirious “called me Ruby all night long. It is really heartbreaking to see and hear all the awful sights.” He died the following night and Kathleen had the task of writing to his mother."
Christine's research also recounts the stories of other nurses of the Hunter, including the following:
  • Based on access to the families personal archive, she tells the story of Matron Ida Greaves. A graduate of Newcastle Hospital, who was one of the first Australian women to serve in a field hospital during the War. She and Sydney nurse Matron Nora Fletcher were the first Australian women to be awarded the Royal Red Cross during the War. Few people from Ida Greaves’ home town are aware of this. Christine is currently writing a biography of Ida.
  • Sister Lydia Abell had graduated from Newcastle Hospital in 1898 and she had been a founding member of the Australasian Trained Nursing Association. In 1914 she was too old at 42 to be accepted by the Australian Army Nursing Service and probably too well known in Australian nursing circles to lie about her age! She arrived in Europe in November 1915 and nursed at hospitals and on ambulance barges in France until the end of the war
  • Sister Louisa Stobo from Maitland was a senior nurse, the Matron of Crown Street Women’s Hospital Sydney, who left for Egypt in one of the first contingents of nurses in 1914. She was at a hospital there when her brother Robert Scobie was wounded and evacuated from Gallipoli. She saw him recover from his wounds only to return to Gallipoli to be killed at the Battle of Lone Pine. Yet Louisa stoically continued her nursing work.
A great example of the local research that can uncover the personal stories behind the First World War - and the experience of Australians on Lemnos.
Thanks to Faye Threfall for finding this story.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lemnos Heroes - Nurse Clarice Daley and Sergeant Ernest Lawrence

Wedding photograph of Nurse Daley and Sergeant Lawrence, with Matron Wilson standing behind Sergeant Lawrence. West Mudros, Lemnos, 21st October 1915. AWM image P01360.002
Visiting the Greek Island of Lemnos today in the warmth of Greek summer, it is hard to imagine that in 1915 this was the main base for the Gallipoli campaign.
Prior to the landings on 25th April, the Allied armies assembled here, the Anzacs sailing from Alexandria to Lemnos’ great harbour of Mudros Bay. Over 200 Allied ships filled the harbour before the landing, including Australia’s famous submarine, the AE2. The Island would be filled with stores for the campaign, rest camps would be erected to accommodate the soldiers as they returned from the peninsula in September and October. And it was to Lemnos that the Anzacs were evacuated in December at the end of the campaign.
One of the main purposes of the base at Lemnos was as the location of field hospitals. Along with British and Canadian hospitals, two Australian field hospitals were erected here – the 2nd Australian Stationary and 3rd Australian General Hospitals. The hospitals on Lemnos would care for over 100,000 Allied casualties.
One of the 130 Australian nurses who served on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign was a young nurse from Box Hill – Clarice Jessie Daley.
Nurse Clarice Daley was 25 years old when she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service on 10th May 1915. She had been born in Box Hill and recorded her religion as Presbyterian. She completed her 3 years of nursing training at Melbourne Hospital. By the time of her enlistment, she and her parents had moved to “Turriff”, Beach Avenue, Elwood.
Clarice and the other 80 nurses of the 3rd Australian General Hospital sailed from Port Melbourne aboard the Mooltan on 18th May 1915. Initially sent to England, the coming Gallipoli campaign saw Clarice and the rest of the nurses diverted for service on Lemnos.
Nurse Dalet and the 3rd AGH depart Port Melbourne aboard the RMS Mooltan, 18th May 1915. AWM image C01009
She arrived on Lemnos on 8th August being welcomed to the Island by “skirl o’ the pipes”, played by the Hospital’s regimental piper, Archibald Monk. The scene was captured in a famous photograph.
Clarice’s time on Lemnos was a challenging one. The next day after she arrived hundreds of wounded soldiers began arriving from the ill-fated August Offensive on the peninsula. This was despite the fact that much of the nurses essential medical equipment had failed to arrive with them. As Matron Grace Wilson wrote in her diary at the time, “it was too awful for words”.
The Australian nurses would see the number of patients rise further over coming weeks. Despite the numbers, Clarice and her fellow nurses not only coped with the dreadful conditions but managed to achieve amazing recovery rates.
Beyond August, Clarice would see a change in the nature of the casualties arriving from Gallipoli. More and more the soldiers arrived seriously ill as a result of the poor sanitation on the peninsula, suffering from dysentery and enteric fever. To this would be added, pneumonia as the winter months arrived at Gallipoli.
The nurses recorded a 98% survival rate and were commended by Australia’s senior medical commander; Lieutenant General Featherstone wrote: “I believe that the Hospital would have collapsed without the nurses. They all worked like demons and were led and guided by Miss Wilson.” Clarice could be proud of her service.
Despite the exactions of service at the Hospital, it was during her time on Lemnos that Clarice became reacquainted with a former beau from Melbourne, one Ernest Lawrence.
Ernest was a commercial traveller and living in Elsternwick when he enlisted at the outbreak of the war, in August 1914. When they met again he was now a Sergeant in the 1st Light Horse Brigade Headquarters.
While we are not sure when Clarice re-met Ernest, his service records reveals that he was admitted to the nearby 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital on Lemnos in 12th July 1915.
Despite the apparent disapproval of Clarice’s family, their feelings for each other blossomed in the shadow of war and they decided to marry, there and then, on Lemnos.
Nurse Daley and Sergeant Lawrence, with their Anzac guard of honour at their wedding on Lemnos, 21st October 1915. AWM image P01360.001
And so took place the only marriage conducted amongst the Allied soldiers on Lemnos. Clarice Jessie and Ernest were married on 21st October 1915 at the Church Camp, West Mudros. In attendance were a number of their comrades, including Matron Grace Wilson, the matron of Clarice’s hospital on Lemnos and fellow nurses Beulah McMinn and Mary McIlroy. Army Chaplain Charles Winter officiated. Matron Wilson and the others signed the marriage certificate as witnesses, and this is now preserved in the Australian War Memorial.
Marriage certificate of Nurse Daley and Sergeant Lawrence, Lemnos, 21st October 1915. AWM image PR90 133
According to Army regulations, Army nurses could not be married women. Yet she was not discharged immediately and continued to serve until the hospitals were evacuated from Lemnos after the Gallipoli campaign had come to an end.
Clarice and her fellow nurses arrived in Alexandria in 27th January 1916 aboard the Oxfordshire. She arrived at the Australian camp at Abbassia in Egypt but it was here that Clarice bade her farewells from her fellow nurses for she embarked for her return to Australia on 9th February 1916 aboard the HT Nestor. She arrived back at Princes Pier in Port Melbourne on 13th March 1916 and was discharged from the Army on 31st July 1916.
Ernest returned to Australia in November 1918 and the two commenced their life together, going on to have four children. They returned to Australia to live at 52 Docker Street Elwood and are buried in St Kilda Cemetery. Ernest died in 1933 and Clarice in 1944. After the war, Clarice was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Their grand-daughter Judith was still alive and living in Port Philip in 2010.

Ernest and Clarice's Grave - Acknowledgement and Place of Remembrance

Below are images of the grave of Ernest and Clarice at St Kilda Cemetery. Sadly, there is no acknowledgement of their joint service in WW1 and their unique Lemnos story. It would be fitting if this was acknowledged with the Anzac "Rising Sun" badge and in the guide to the Cemetery produced by the Cemetery Trust. The Committee is endeavoring to contact any surviving family members to ascertain their wishes.
This could also be an annual place of remembrance - on Anzac Day or on 8th August, the day Clarice arrived on Lemnos - for Ernest and Clarice, and all the 130 nurses who served on Lemnos and the 148 diggers who remain buried there. Watch this space.
Grave stone of Clarice and Ernest, St Kilda Cemetery. Photograph Jim Claven 2014
Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial - 8th August 2015
Clarice Daley and the nurses of Lemnos will finally have a memorial to commemorate their service. On 8th August 2015, a new memorial statue designed by Peter Corlett OAM will be unveiled in Albert Park dedicated to Anzac nurses and soldiers who served and who are buried on Lemnos in 1915. The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative committee is currently raising funds to make this a reality.
Lest We Forget

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
An edited version of this story will be published by the Box Hill RSL in the November edition of their magazine, Scuttlebut. Thanks to George Petrou. To view and download the article, click here.