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

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Also  features excerpts from several unpublished journals by: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.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

News Flash - Official Visit to Lemnos to plan 2015 commemorations

"Representatives of the Australian Embassy, two army representatives from Australia and Turkey as well as Consular staff will visit Limnos on 11 and 12 November 2014.
They will meet with representatives of the local authorities and the local armed forces. The reason for the visit is the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli and the possible visit of an army ship to Limnos next summer when the events in both Greece and Turkey will reach a climax."
Thanks to Christina Despoteris for this news.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 2 November 2014

WA Hellenic Centre - Anzac Hellenic Honour Board honours WW1 WA Hellenic Anzacs - Private's Gunellas and Kailis

Foundation Committee member and former Minister, the Hon John Pandazopoulos, MP recently visited WA to promote awareness of the Hellenic link to Anzac.
During the visit and presentations to parliamentarians, schools and the WA Hellenic community, John had the pleasure of visitng the WA Hellenic Centre.
One of the important features of the Centre is its Hellenic Honour Board - honouring the service in Australian forces of those Western Australians of Hellenic descent - including those who served in WW1.
 It honours two Western Australians of Hellenic descent whoi served in the AIF:
  • Private Mick Gunellas of the 11th Battalion AIF, born in Perth, who enslisted in 1916 aged 21. He served and was wounded in France. He later served in the RAAF in WW2.
  • Private Con Kailis of the 51st Battalion AIF, born in Kastelorizon, Greece, who enlisted at Geraldton in 1917, aged 21. He also served and was wounded in France.
Both diggers survived the war.
It would be good if the new Hellenic Centre in Melbourne was similarly able to honour those Anzacs of Hellenic descent from Victoria. The Committee has already proposed that the new Melbourne Hellenic Centre concisder displaying some photographs or even paintings commemorating the Hellenic connection to Anzac across WW1 and WW2.
Thanks to John for his work and highlighting this.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commeorative Committee

Below (and above) are some images of the WA Hellenic Centre Honour Board - Photographs by John Pandazopoulos MP, 2014:

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Black Diggers - Stories of aboriginal WW1 soldiers

It is estimated that approximately 1,300 aborigines served in the AIF in the First World War. Above is a studio portrait of one of those - aboriginal Anzac Corporal Harry Thorpe from Lakes Entrance in Victoria.
He enlisted at Sale in 1916, serving with the 7th Battalion in France. He was awarded the Military Medal for his courage and leadership in the field. He was killed in August 1918 and is buried in France - with his friend William Raelings,another aborignial Soldier who was awarded the Miluitary Medal and was killed on the same day.
The recent ABC Big Ideas forum at the Brisbane Festival held a discussion about the experience of Aboriginal soldiers in WW1. The following description of the program is from the ABC website:

"Black Diggers is the story of the aboriginal men who served overseas in World War One. They joined up even though, at the time, they had no voting rights and were not counted as humans in any national census. But they would fight and die for their country, approximately 1300 of them signed up for service.
But just why did these men enlist? Wesley Enoch is the director of Black Diggers, a play written by Tom Wright, and he has some very interesting answers as to motivation, “these men were fighting for the idea of another country.”
But these men came back to the same prejudices and racism. Many found that their wages had not gone to their families; some discovered their children had been taken; and others had their land seized for returned ‘soldier settlers,’ a group for which they did not qualify.
In addition to Enoch, the panellists include Lisa Jackson-Pulver, a public health epidemiologist and a Group Captain in the RAAF Specialist Reserve; Lee-Ann Buckskin, a board member for the Australian Council for the Arts; and Uncle Dave Williams, who is from the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Association and served 30 years in the navy.
Katrina Sedgwick, from ABC Arts, moderates this session from the Brisbane Festival.
NOTE: If someone in your family enlisted for WW1, and they are not currently included in the 1300 indigenous soldiers already acknowledged, please get in contact with Gary Oakley at the Australian War Memorial."

Thanks to Vicky Kyritsis for alerting me to this program.
Lest we forget.
If you want to watch the video or listen to the audio of this interesting ABC program click here.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee