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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, 18 March 2014

Mystery of the First Anzac Ashore at Gallipoli

Sergeant Joseph Stratford
The Melbourne Age newspaper recently report the continuing controversy concerning which Anzac was the first ashore at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.
The two claimants are Sergeant Joseph Stratford from Lismore NSW and Duncan Chapman from Maryborough in Queensland. Both were members of the 9th Battalion and both landed on the 25th April. But there the stories diverge.
Australian War historian Charles Bean referred to Duncan Chapman as the first Anzac ashore. But there is eyewitness evidence to the contrary that Sergeant Stratford landed first. The Lismore paper, the Northern Star reported in 1939 that:

''This recalls the belief, on the evidence of a returned Victorian soldier, that Sgt Stratford was the first man to land. The assertion was made by Private Studley Gahan, son of Councillor J. Gahan, of Wellingwood, that 'Joe Stratford was the first of Australia's troops ashore at Gallipoli'.''
The Uniting (formerly Methodist) Church in Lismore has a plaque which states:  
''In memory of Sgt Joseph Stratford who attended the mid-Lismore Methodist Church Sunday School. Eyewitnesses state that he was first Australian to land at Gallipoli''.
Nevertheless, the Maryborough RSL has committed to erecting a statue to Chapman in April 2015.

For the full story, click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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