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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Thessaloniki and the Anzacs - Lecture 16th November 2014

You are all invited to hear my address on the Australians who served in the Saloniki campaign of 1916-18. Hundreds of Australian nurses and soldiers served in mostly British field hospitals and military units in this long and devastating campaign around the great and beautiful city of Thessaloniki and surrounding Macedonia.
for information on this and other great events planned by Melbourne's Thessaloniki Association - "The White Tower" - check out their website by clicking here.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Lemnos 1915 - Honoured in the NSW Parliament

On the 18th September, the Hon Sophie Cotsis gave the following address to the NSW Legislative Council commemorating the role of Lemnos in 1915.
She reports on the work of the Lemnian Community of NSW, supported by AHEPA and the Consulate General of Greece in NSW:
  • They will hold a commemorative service at 5am, 4 March 2015, to mark 100 years since the first Australian troops landed on Lemnos.
  • They have established a dedicated Facebook Page, Lemnos 1915

We are also aware that Kogarah Council in NSW is planning to erect next year a memorial to the nurses on Lemnos.Watch this space.

Congratulations to the Lemnian Community of NSW. Thanks to John Pandazopoulos MP for this information.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Here is Sophie Cotsis, MP's speech:
In May 2011 I spoke in this place about the proud military history shared by Hellenes and Australians, as our two nations commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Crete during World War II. This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and next year will mark 100 years since Australian forces launched their campaign at Gallipoli. Gallipoli is rightly regarded as one of the most important campaigns in Australia's military history. It is also an important part of the story of Australia's relationship with Greece.
After their training in Egypt, the first contingent of the Australian Imperial Force travelled to the Greek island of Lemnos to prepare for the Gallipoli campaign. The Greek Government had made the island of Lemnos available as a base for the Allies' campaign against the Ottoman Empire. Lemnos became the final staging ground where Australian troops assembled and practised for their landing. Australians formed a special bond with Lemnos. As Gunner Sydney Loch of the Australian 2nd Field Artillery wrote:

      I never quite shook off the glamour of that island in the deep blue of the Aegean. Never was there an early morning when skies were not blue and waters unruffled. Breezes softer and more scented than human kisses floated perpetually to us from the hills of Lemnos.
For more than eight months following the invasion, Lemnos was the main staging area supporting Allied troops in Gallipoli. Lemnos 1915 is an initiative of the Lemnos Association of New South Wales, supported by the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association [AHEPA] and the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney. This initiative commemorates the relationship between the Hellenic island of Lemnos and the original Anzacs from 1915 to 1917. Australia and Lemnos are forever linked by the events of World War I yet little is known of the role that this island in the Aegean Sea played in the Gallipoli campaign. On 4 March 1915 approximately 3,200 Australians landed on Lemnos, the first Australian servicemen on active duty to set foot on Hellenic soil. By 21 April over 200 ships, the largest armada ever to be assembled anywhere in the world, had gathered in the Bay of Moudros. From here the armada set out for the famous Gallipoli landings on 25 April 1915.
All 50,000 Anzacs who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula first passed through Lemnos, along with hundreds of thousands of other Allied forces. Lemnos hosted hospitals and convalescent camps, housed the depots that supported the ill-fated campaign, and shared the suffering of tens of thousands of ill and wounded soldiers and sailors. It was from Lemnos that the first Australian submarine to serve in war—HMAS AE2—sailed into history as the first Allied vessel to penetrate the defences along the Dardanelles. Five Australian Navy warships patrolled the waters off Lemnos—HMAS Brisbane, HMAS Parramatta, HMAS Swan, HMAS Warrego and HMAS Yarra.
During the course of World War I, 371 Australian nurses, all volunteers, served in Hellas—360 in British and Australian army hospitals and 10 in Scottish women's hospitals. One Australian bacteriologist, Dr Elsie Jean Dalyell, also served. More than 57,000 sick and 37,000 wounded troops were evacuated from Gallipoli to the hospitals at Lemnos. Indeed the main thoroughfare through the tents that made up these field hospitals was called Macquarie Street—a reference to Sydney's own hospital. When Australian troops finally evacuated from Gallipoli in December 1915 they returned to Lemnos. Today Lemnos is the site of two Commonwealth War Graves, where 148 Australians and 76 New Zealanders are buried. Those Anzacs who succumbed to their wounds in the hospitals of Lemnos forever rest amongst friends in the Commonwealth military cemeteries at West Moudros and Portianos.
The inhabitants of Lemnos received the Anzac soldiers and nurses as friends and guests, making their island home the last paradise our Anzacs would see before heading off to Gallipoli. For those Anzacs wounded, ill or on leave, Lemnos represented life, beauty, hope and joy away from what was happening around Anzac Cove. The landscape of Lemnos and the smiles of her inhabitants were the last images that many of our Anzacs kept in their hearts and minds as they departed for the trenches at the Gallipoli Peninsula. Even there the Anzacs took a memento of Lemnos with them—I am told that the donkey used by Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick to rescue wounded Anzacs came from Lemnos. By early 1917 the last Australians had departed Lemnos. For most of them the island had been a place of transit. For many, it was a refuge for medical care or brief recuperation. For hundreds, it was a place of burial in the waters around the island or her welcoming soil.
The Lemnos 1915 committee is feverishly preparing a series of events that will cover the whole of the centenary of Anzac in 2015. One of those will be a dawn service at the Martin Place cenotaph on 4 March 2015 at 5 a.m, marking the time the first Anzacs landed on Lemnos. They also have a Lemnos 1915 Facebook page. Finally I would like to emphasise that Lemnos 1915 is among the more important episodes of 115 years of Australian-Hellenic sacrifice, courage and camaraderie since both peoples first went to war as allies defending democracy, rule of law and human rights. Since 1899 Australians and Hellenes have followed the recommendation of the sixth century Hellene philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras: Tas leoforous mi vadizeis—do not follow the beaten track

To view the full speech, click here.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Anzac Girls' Diary Re-published - We Are Here Too, Sister Olive Haynes wartime diaries and letters

Everyone who has watched the great new ABC drama, Anzac Girls, will be glad to know that one of the collections of diaries and letters of one of nurses who featured in the series and served on Lemnos has been re-published.
Sister Olive Haynes, who served with the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital on Lemnos, kept a beautiful diary and wrote many letters during her war service. These record here experiences on Lemnos in vivid detail.  Olive's letters and diaries was one of the main sources for the ABC miniseries.
Olive Haynes has been chosen by the WA Museum to represent the Anzac nurses at the National Anzac Centre at Albany, WA, at its opening in November 2014.
 These were edited and published as a book - along with a number of oroignal photographs, by her eldest daughter, Margaret Young, who was also a nurse. Published by the Australian Down syndrome Assocation Inc in 1991, this book has become hard to find.
for more information about the book, click here.
It has now been republished and is available to purchase.
You can order this great book from Adelaide Online Computers for $25 plus frieght costs - $7 Adelaide Metro Courier or $12 Australia Post everywhere else in Australia.
To order, click here.
Thanks to Arlene Bennett of the Nurses Memorial Centre, Melbourne, for this information.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Congratulations - New Greek Orthodox Community Centre in Melbourne Opens!

Photo by Konstantinos Kalymnios
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee congratulates the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) on the opening of their new centre.
This re-development is a visionary one. We are sure that this will become the cultural and community hub for all Greek-Australians and Phil-hellenes who live or come to Melbourne.
We have proposed to the GOCMV that some of the amazing Anzac images and stories connecting Greece and Australia will be displayed and become available within this wonderful new building. Like the stories of the Hellenic Anzacs Peter Rados and  James Zampelis, and some of the images from 1915 and 1941 - 
Their display will tell a thousands stories about the Hellenic link to Australia through Anzac.
Many members and supporters of our Committee attended the opening - Lee Tarlamis MP, John Pandazopoulos MP, Martin Foley MP, Nicholas Kydas, Steve Kyritsis, Ange Kenos, Chris Mingos, John Salpigitidis, Vicky Mastihi and many others.
Well done!
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

The formal opening of the building. Photo Jim Claven

Attendees enjoyed some beautiful traditional music. Photo Jim Claven
Lee Tarlamis, our President, with Chris Mingos one of our many members who attended the opening. Photo Jim Claven

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Come to Lemnos in 2015! - Reports that Gallipoli Dawn Service Attendance Too Expensive

A Lemnos sunset - viewing Mount Athos from Myrina. Photograph Jim Claven
Media reports today reveal that many Australians who have won tickets in the Gallipoli Dawn Service Ballot are handing back their tickets - with some citing the cost of travel and accommodation in Turkey.

Now is the time for those interested in commemorating our Anzac Centenary and the Gallipoli campaign to seriously consider the Lemnos option.
East Mudros War Cemetery. Photograph Jim Claven

For the commemorative traveller, Lemnos has everything:
  • As the former base for the Gallipoli campaign, you can walk in the footsteps of the Anzac soldiers and nurses who walked the Island in 1915 and listen to the stories of Matron Grace Wilson, General John Monash, John Simpson, Albert Jacka VC and many others;
  • Enjoy the views that the Anzacs did - across the great Mudros Bay, from the Castle in Myrina, of Mudros' great Cathedral, and from Mount Ilias;
  • Enjoy a cleansing thermal bath at the Ancient natural springs of Therma - as the Anzacs did;
  • Discover the stories of the over 1,200 soldiers and nurses buried in the Island's two Commonwealth War Cemeteries- and the memorial to Egyptian Labour Corps and Ottoman prisoners of war who are buried on Lemnos;
  • Enjoy the hospitality of this northern Aegean Island - as the Anzacs did in 1915 - sitting in the tavernas of Kontias, Mudros, Myrina, Portianou and others as the Anzacs did;
  • Attend the moving commemorative services to be held on the Island in 2015 - including the visit of the Royal Australian Navy warships in the week before 25th April 2015.
Where the Anzacs and Odysseus departed for Asia Minor - the Bay of Pournia. Photograph Jim Claven
The oldest ampitheatre in Greece - Ifestia. Photograph Jim Claven

In the footsteps of the Anzacs - The view of Mudros Bay from Mt Ilias. Photograph Jim Claven
To look on Trojan times - the ancient settlement of Poliochni. Photograph Jim Claven
 And experience the ancient history of Lemnos, going back to the era of the Trojan Wars, of Homer and Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts. See its ancient culture - the oldest amphitheater in Greece at Ifestia, the temple of the Kabeiron, Philoctetes Cave and one of the oldest settlements in Greece at Polichni.
And while on Lemnos enjoy its wonderful beaches, its natural environment, great food and hospitality.
And Lemnos can be the beginning of your Anzac tour of Greece - to Gallipoli and Istanbul, to Thessaloniki and northern of Greece, to Vevi, Brallos and Thermopylae, Athens and the Phaleron War Cemetery, the great cities and towns of the Peloponnese and the memorials of Crete.

Come to Lemnos in 2015 and enjoy a real Anzac experience that you'll never forget.
Beautiful Myrina harbour. Photograph Jim Claven
The windmills of Lemnos - now accommodation. Photograph Jim Claven
Walking the Anzac trail on Lemnos - Myrina. Photograph Jim Claven

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative committee is working to ensure that Lemnos places its role in the Centenary of Anzac. For too long Lemnos' historic links to Anzac and Gallipoli, its memorial and war graves have been overlooked. That's why we have been working with authorities on Lemnos, in Greece and Australia to promote commemorative tourism on the Island and enhance the experience of commemorative visitors to Lemnos and Greece in 2015 and beyond.
For more information on experiencing your Anzac tour of Lemnos and beyond, contact Jim Claven on

The War Memorial on Anzac Day, East Mudros War Cemetery. Photograph Jim Claven
Media Report from NineMSN and the Melbourne Herald Sun:

"Anzac Day centenary tickets returned due to high prices - 18 September 2014
Up to 300 people who won a national ballot to attend next year's 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey have handed their tickets, with some saying the trip is now too expensive.
Passes went out to 8000 Australians to attend the Anzac Day ceremony next April, News Corp reports, but many have been turned off by the cost of hotel accommodation in towns nearest to the Gallipoli peninsula, including Eceabat and Canakkale. Some hotels reportedly have raised room rates by 300 percent, pushing the average cost of hotel accommodation in the area to $642 per night.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said some ballot winners said accommodation costs was a reason for handing back tickets but most cited other reasons, including age and disabilities making it too difficult to attend.There have also been several cases where ticket holders have died.
If a primary ticket holder can no longer attend the ceremony their whole double pass has to be surrendered and entered into a second ballot for runners up in last year's main ballot."

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Skyros - Island of Refuge

Skyros houses. Painting by George von Peschke
In April, I wrote an article on the Greek Island of Skyros. This story tells of a web linking Lemnos to Skyros, the Anzacs to the famous British soldier poet Rupert Brooke, Greeks and Australians and both World Wars. The story begins today and travels back to 1941 and on to 1915. Enjoy.

Skyros - Island of Refuge
by Jim Claven

As we commemorate Anzac Day, Greek Australians have a lot to be proud of. For the Australian connection to Greece - stretching from the story of Lemnos’ link to Australia’s Anzac legend onwards - has been one of comradeship and shared sacrifice.
Across both World Wars, Australian diggers and nurses served alongside their Greek allies. Along with the many Greek Australians who served as Anzacs, the experience of Australians fighting in Greece was one of support and friendship in the common struggle – from both soldiers and civilians – often at great cost.
There are few places across Greece that doesn’t have an Anzac story to tell. This Anzac story is from Skyros.
You could say Skiros is a kidney shaped Island, its northern and southern expanses reaching to Mount Olympus in the north and Mounts Kohias and Dafni in the south pinched in the middle, near the main port of Linaria on the west coast.
Skyros is the largest Island in its group. Despite its name – which translates as stony – the Island is not barren, with forests, pasture, wheat, citrus fruits and vines.
It is famous for its coloured marble, veined with red and green, its distinctive pottery, woodcarving and embroidery. The embroidery is lively, featuring ships, villagers, animals and flowers. Its distinctive folk dresses feature prominently in Athens’ famous Benaki Museum. 
A recreated living room on Skyros, in Athens' Benaki Museum. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
Traditional dress on Skyros, in Athens' Benaki Museum. Photograph Jim Claven 2013
During Lent, the Islanders enjoy a particular festival unique in Greece. For its folk art, customs and architecture, Skyros has attracted artists over the years, one of the most famous being George von Peschke. 
George von Peschke and his wife in traditional Skyriot costume.
One of the oldest inhabited islands in the region, its longevity has given Skyros a role in Greece’s great myths. In these legends, Skyros is a place of refuge but also of danger.
It is on Skyros that Theseus, King of Athens and the slayer of the Cretan minotaur, seeks to retire. Instead he is murdered by his host, the jealous King Lycomedes, who has him thrown from the acropolis above Skyros town.
Skyros was also a place of refuge for the great warrior Achilles. Foretold of her son’s early death at Troy, Achilles’ mother Thetis hides him on Skyros dressed as a woman. Yet his fate cannot be avoided. The cunning Odysseus lures him to Troy by blowing a war trumpet, the young Achilles stripping off his dress and seizing his weapons.
This story of war and refuge is reflected in Skyros’ Anzac story.
While the modern traveller can travel to Skyros by plane, the ferry from nearby Evai will take you in the footsteps of the Anzacs.
As you leave the ferry Achilleas you’ll find that Linaria is a lovely little Aegean port, with a welcoming harbour front of tavernas and ouuzeries, sheltered by some wooded hills and above all, the church of Agios Nikolaos.
This is how the Anzacs first caught sight of the Island that would lead them to freedom 63 years ago this month.
Some six hundred Allied soldiers evaded the Germans and escaped back to the Allies in the Middle East with the help of brave Greek civilians.
And for many Skyros was one of the main routes of escape on the famous caique runs, the traditional Greek fishing vessels that sailed the Aegean. Arriving at Linaria from Evia, the Anzacs made their way across the sea to freedom. 
Warrant Officer Milton Boutler. AWM
So it was that one sick and tired Aussie soldier from East Malvern arrived at Linaria in June 1941.
We left the story of Warrant Officer Milton Boulter in Evia in a previous Neos Kosmos article. Born in Frankston, Milton had joined up in June 1940, aged 25. After the fighting in Greece, Milton was captured at Kalamata on 29th April 1941.
Escaping at Lamia, he made his way across Greece and on to Evia. He would write in the Melbourne Argus of the generosity and help he received from local villagers who fed and clothed him, and helped him on his way.
Speaking a little Greek, he reached a monastery on Evia’s east coast where the welcoming Bishop and monks arranged for a fisherman to take him to Skyros. 
Escaped New Zealand soldiers with a Greek caique fishing vessel in the western Aegean - not unlike the experience of Milton Boulter. AWM
Milton put ashore on the west coast, most probably not far from Linaria. Weakened by illness he crossed the Island by foot to reach Skyros Town on the east coast.
Making this trip today is an easy drive or bus trip along a sealed road. But in 1941 poor Milton had to walk all the way, following the paths across the rocky heights.
When he arrived, what he saw was one of the most picturesque visions in Greece. Just as today, the lovely white Cycladic-type houses with their distinctive grey roofs cluster around the mountain amongst a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets. The mountain is topped by the Monastery of Agios Georgios, its acropolis and the remains of a Venetian fortress, with its Lion adorning the once strong gate. 
Skyros Town houses and roofs. Note the closeness of the houses and the winding streets of the town.
Walking through this beautiful town, I wonder at the refuge Milton found here in 1941. He would have enjoyed the hospitality of the Skyriots, maybe admiring their unique home crafts. It is touching to think that this modern day warrior may have dreamed of that other ancient warrior, Achilles, who sought refuge as he did.
It is here that Milton met his saviour, Emanuel Virgilou.
Emanuel was a key member of the resistance and working for the Allies to ferry escapers like Milton to neutral Turkey.
At great risk to his life, Emanuel made a special trip to ferry the sick Milton to freedom, Milton reaching Smyrna then Haifa in early August 1941.
Milton’s story is just one of the many. Parties of Anzacs made there way to Skyros throughout 1941. Emanuel and his fellow Skyriots evacuated some 250 Allied soldiers to freedom during the war.
But while these Anzacs escaped to freedom, other Allied soldiers in other wars did not. And the most famous of these lies in a solitary war grave near a beautiful bay to the Islands south.
When we think of the Gallipoli campaign and Greece, it’s natural to recall the role of Lemnos as the base for the campaign. But many of the surrounding Islands also were drawn in to play a role in the conflict. So it was with Skyros.
As the Allied armada assembled for the landings, ships were diverted from Lemnos’ Mudros Bay to Skyros’ great southern bay, Tris Boukes. 
 Sub-Lieutenant Brooke was a famous young poet, steeped in a classical education. Joining the Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, he was headed for the Gallipoli landings when he and his comrades were diverted to Tresbourkes Bay on 17th April.
 His unit included a number of Australians and New Zealanders. While in the Bay, they practiced their landing techniques and marched across into the valleys that surrounded the harbour.
It was here that Brooke rested at a quiet olive grove, remarking on “the strange peace and beauty of this valley”. Three days later he would be buried here. For Brooke had never fully recovered from an infection contracted in Egypt only weeks before.
 On the evening of the 23rd he was carried the two hour walk from the harbour to the grave by a party of twelve Australians in Brooke’s unit. The service was attended by his company commander Bernard Freyberg, who would become one of New Zealand's most decorated soldiers.
At the final committal, sprigs of olive and sage branches were placed on the coffin.
One present remarked that he felt the presence of "old Greek divinities", and "was transported back a thousand years". A small cairn of white and pink marble rocks was erected on the grave - a cairn to a soldier on the Island of Achilles.
The wooden cross erected at the grave contained the following Greek inscription composed and written by a Greek interpreter from Lemnos:
Here lies the servant of god, Sub-Lieutenant in the English Navy, Who died for the deliverance of Constantinople from the Turks 

The grave was restored in the 1960’s and is maintained by the Anglo-Hellenic Society in London. The original cross has long been removed to Brooke’s school, but a visit this grave is well worth the journey.
Unveiling of the memorial to Rupert Brooke, Skyros, 1931.
Returning to the harbour of Skyros town, the traveller will notice the statue by the sculptor Tombros dedicated to Rupert Brooke, erected in April 1931. Just as they honoured the Philhellene Byron, so the Greeks honour a soldier and an ally – but also a poet.
As you sit in one of the harbour’s tavernas, think of those Australians carrying their dead comrade to his resting place under an olive tree, and think of Milton the Anzac from East Malvern and his savour, the Skyriot, Emanuel Virgilou.
Lest we forget.

Last April, Neos Kosmos published this story in its Greek language edition. To read this article in Greek, click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Melbourne Artist George Petrou - Supporting our cause

Melbourne artist George Petrou with some of his Anzac works in his studio.
Recently, the famous Melbourne graphic designer and artist George Petrou approached our Committee to see if we could work together to support the Lemnos Gallipoli cause.
George's is a local Melbournian, born in Cyprus.
He has recently completed a series of original paintings based on the famous photographs of the lost diggers of Vignacourt. These photographs were only found in recent years and reveal a startling group of clear portraits of hundreds of diggers, many of whom were later to die in Western France.
George's original works, are inspired by these photographs, giving them a modern feel that many say bring the images to life for our own day. Below I have reproduced some images of these great paintings by George to give an indication of his work:

It is hoped that these images will soon be on show at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
George is proposing to reproduce some of the famous Anzac images of Lemnos in 1915 for a modern audience. One can imagine who amazing original paintings of the nurses on Lemnos, Lance Corporal Albert Jacka or General John Monash walking the Island or the images of Anzac's and local villagers would inspire a new generation.
The sale of these images will help raise funds for our Lemnos Gallipoli projects.
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee is working with George to make these new images a reality.
If you are interested in purchasing one of George's Anzac or future Lemnos paintings please contact me.
Watch this space.
Thanks to George for his great initiative.

The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt - More Information
The small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines. For much of the First World War it was a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme.
Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs made by the Thuillier family enabled Australian soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones in Australia. The Thuillier collection covers many of the significant aspects of Australian involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians.
The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection contains almost 4,000 glass-plate negatives depicting British, French, Australian, US, and Indian soldiers, Chinese labour corps, and French civilians. More than 800 of these glass-plate negatives featuring Australians were generously donated to the Australian War Memorial by Mr Kerry Stokes AC in August 2012.
Thanks to the Australian War Memorial for this information.

See the Lost Digger Images

You can view these photographs in Ross Coulthart's lavishly produced book, The Lost Diggers, availabel from most bookstores. It retails for $70 and is well worth the purchase.
Detail of the book from Angus and Robertson states:
"The Lost Diggers is the riveting detective story of the hunt across northern France to Vignacourt for a rumoured treasure trove of antique glass photographic plates that led investigative journalist Ross Coulthart to an ancient metal chest in a dusty attic in a small farmhouse. The nearly 4000 glass plates taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier that he and his team discovered are being hailed by experts as one of the most important First World War discoveries ever made. But that was just the beginning. With meticulous research and the help of descendants, Coulthart has been able to discover the stories behind many of the photos, of which more than 330 appear in the book. The book's release coincided with an exhibition of the photos at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra."
To purchase the book, click here.

The Australian War Memorial’s travelling exhibition Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt hich tells the story of how one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of this passing traffic to establish a business taking portrait photographs and showcases 74 photographs specially hand-printed in the Memorial’s darkrooms from the original glass-plate negatives.It also and draws on the Memorial's own collections to tell the story of these men in their own voices. You can view some images of the exhibition by clicking here. You can see more images from The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection on Seven Network’s Lost Diggers Facebook page.
Check the Australian War Memorial for details of the exhibition - click here.
Thanks to the Australian War Memorial for this information.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Supporting our Campaign - Melbourne's Nurses Memorial Centre

Australia's WW2 nurses march through Melbourne at the end of the war. In the collection of the Melbourne Nurses Memorial.
Yesterday members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee were invited to make a presentation to Melbourne's Nurses Memorial Centre.

The Nurses Memorial Centre was establised after the Second World War to commemorate the service of Australia's nurses in that conflict and to support Australian nurses into the future.The forecourt near the Centre contains Melbourne's major commemorative memorial to our Australian nurses who served in the Second World War.
Two tragedies inspired the establishment of the Memorial - the sinking of the Hospital Ship Centaur on 14th May 1943 with the loss of 11 Australian Army Nursing Service nurses and the Banka Island massacre of 21Australian Nurses in 1942. Only one nurse survived this massacre, Sister Vivian Bulwinkle. Vivian, along with Sister Betty Jeffrey - another Australian nurse who survived the horrors of Japanese POW camps, played a large role in the establishment of the Centre and Memorial.
The Centre's Ms Arlene Bennett at the Nurses Memorial.
Today, in addition to providing a place for nurses to meet and commemorate nurses' war service, one of the major activities of the Centre is to provide important higher education scholarships for nurses.
The Centre's Ms Arlene Bennett has already sold many of our Committee's commemorative badges in support of our new Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
The Centre is keen to work together with us to ensure that the nurses story on Lemnos in WW1 is not forgotten and is given due recognition in the Centenary of Anzac next year.

The Centre is located on St Kilda Rd, near Toorak Road, with easy access to public transport and the Melbourne CBD. It's facilities include an auditorium or large meeting room, with podium and multimedia facilities, as well as areas for wall hanging displays. Kitchen facilities are also available.The Centre could be a great function local for our fundraising and promotional activities in the future.

It is great that this important Melbourne nursing institution has approached us to assist in achieving our aims. We agreed to work together to identify how we can cooperate to promote the Lemnos Gallipoli link.
Watch this space.
Thanks to Ms Arlene Bennett, Ms Karla Freer and the Nurses Memorial Centre.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee