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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

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Vale James Zampelis - Honouring the sole Anzac of Greek heritage buried in Greece

Gunner James Zampelis. AWN
The arrival of the first Australian soldiers and nurses in Greece on Lemnos in 1915 was the beginning of the strong connection between Australian soldiers and nurses and Greece that would grow with the years.
Less than 30 years later, Australian soldiers and nurses - along with their New Zealand and British allies - would return to Greece to defend it against an aggressive invader.
So it was in 1941 that Gunner James Zampelis - from Melbourne's St Kilda and whose family traced their origins to Lefkada - along with his comrades followed in the footsteps of those first Anzacs on Lemnos.
James and his unit fought in some of the toughest battles in the Middle East and Greece - taking part in the successful assault on the well-defended Italian base of Bardia in Libya, and then the fighting withdrawal through central Greece, including the famous defence of Brallos Pass and then the battle of Crete.
James is the only Anzac of Greek background (his father was born in Greece) who not only fought in the defence of Greece and Crete in 1941 but sadly was killed in action and is buried on Crete. He is memorialised at the Phaleron War Cemetery in Athens.
He was buried by his comrades near where he fell at the village of Mournies, south of Suda. But this grave could not be located after the war. So his name alone is memorialised at Phaleron.
Modern techniques might help identify his grave and remains.
It would be a fitting commemoration of James' service an sacrifice if his remains could be located and re-interred at either Phaleron in Athens or at the Suda War Cemetery on Crete.
Neos Kosmos Article - Vale James Zampelis
As part of its feature on the anniversary of the Battle of Crete, Neos Kosmos featured my article on James Zampelis and his war this weekend.
To link to the article on the Neos Kosmos webpage, click here.
Alternatively, you can read my scan of the pages by click here - for page 1 and for page 2.

Lest we forget.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Australian troops evacuated from Greece arrive at Crete's Suda Bay. AWM
Suda Bay harbour under attack from German bombers, May 1941. AWM
the commemoration of James Dimitri Zampelis on the memorial walls at Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens. Photo Jim Claven 2014.

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