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 June 2015

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Unveiling Announced - 11am 8th August 2015 Foote Street Square Albert Park - All Invited

Our Lemnos Gallipoli nurses face. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee today announced the details for its forthcoming unveiling of Australia’s newest Gallipoli memorial – The Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
• The event will take place at 11.00 am on Saturday, 8th August 2015 – one hundred years to the day that Australia’s nurses arrived on Lemnos to care for the sick and wounded from the terrible fighting across the Aegean at Gallipoli.
• The event will take place at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial site – Foote Street Square, Albert Park. The location is diagonally opposite both Albert Park Secondary College and the Gasworks Arts Village Precinct.
• The Memorial Statue will be unveiling in the presence of a number of descendents of nurses and diggers who served on Lemnos in 1915
The unveiling is a public event and all members of the public are welcome to attend.
Peter Corlett's signature on our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
The Memorial has been created by Australia’s pre-eminent commemorative sculptor, Mr Peter Corlett, OAM. Mr Corlett has created some of Australia’s most endearing and moving commemorative sculptures, such as Weary Dunlop in Melbourne’s Domain gardens, Cobbers at Fromelles in France, the Bullecourt Digger in France, Simpson and his Donkey 1915 in Canberra and the Australian Light Horse Memorial at Beersheeba, Israel. Information on these works is contained on Peter’s website -
Memorial sculptor Peter Corlett OAM, with Lee Tarlamis, LGCC President, at the foundry with our scuplture. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
The Memorial Sculpture consists of two statues - one of a nurse and one of a sick or wounded digger – standing and resting on a stone plinth, that has been etched with the names of the villages on Lemnos visited by the Anzacs in 1915 as well as Lemnos and Gallipoli, in Greek and in English. The Memorial statue site is complemented by an information board and flagpoles, the latter for commemorative events.
Our Lemnos Gallipoli diggers face. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

A detail from the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial's stone plinth. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

In designing the Memorial Sculpture, Mr Corlett has been informed by his passion for classical sculpture and the story of Lemnos and Anzac, assisted by historian Jim Claven, Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
The Committee has today announced that the creation of the Memorial Statue is now on schedule for unveiling as planned on the 8th August 2015. Photographs of the bronze statues in development and details of the plinth are reproduced here and below. The sculptures are in the final stages of production.
A detail from our Lemnos Gallipoli nurse. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Mr Lee Tarlamis, President of the Committee, said that this was a proud moment not only for the Committee but all interested in the further recognition of the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli story and specifically the role of Australia’s nurses.
“For too long this aspect of Australia’s Gallipoli story has been either ignored or lightly treated.
The vital role played by Lemnos as the forward base for the Gallipoli campaign, the care of Australia’s nurses and other medical staff for the wounded brought to the Island in great numbers from the peninsula and the support of the local population for the Anzacs and other Allied soldiers, has deserved better recognition.
Our new Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Statue will form a long overdue lasting tribute to this service and the sacrifice of those 148 Australian soldiers who remain buried on Lemnos in its two Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries.”

Another detail of our Lemnos Gallipoli diggers face. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Mr Jim Claven, Secretary of the Committee, said that it was fitting that the Memorial was being erected in Albert Park.
“Nearby Princes Pier witnessed the departure of the thousands of nurses and diggers for Gallipoli one hundred years ago. Its location near the waters of Port Phillip Bay resonates with the nurses and soldiers who served and were cared for on the shores of Lemnos’ great Moudros Bay.
And Nurses like Matron Grace Wilson and Nurse Clarice Daley who both served on Lemnos in 1915 have strong connections to the local area. Clarice returned to live in Elwood after the war with her husband Sergeant Ernest Lawrence, to whom she was married while on Lemnos. Corporal Albert Jacka, Australia’s first VC winner, served on Lemnos and returned from the war to serve as Mayor of nearby St Kilda.
Some associations are not so happy. Corporal George Knight, a local electrician, and Driver Ralph Berryman, a South Melbourne-born warehouseman, both of whom departed from this area only to sadly die and be buried on Lemnos.”
Our Lemnos Gallipoli digger's slouch hat detail. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Mr Claven added that the Committee was particularly glad to welcome the descendents of a number of nurses and diggers who served on Lemnos in 1915, including those of Matron Grace Wilson, Nurse Daley and Sergeant Lawrence – amongst others.
A detail from the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial stone plinth. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
In proposing and completing the Memorial, the Committee has received the financial support of the Australian Government, the Victorian Government and the City of Port Phillip, as well as a range of other organisations and many individuals. The Committee is particularly grateful for the support its has received from the City of Port Phillip.
Many of our Committee and supporters reviewing an earlier stage of the creation of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial. Photograph Jim Claven 205
The Committee
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee is a not-for-profit community organisation founded in 2011 that has been working to raise awareness of the role played by the Greek Island of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign and its connection to Australia’s Anzac story. It has representation from Australia’s services community, historians, the Greek community, nursing organisations, political representatives and the general community.
Further Information
To download a copy of our media release, click here.
For further information on the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, the Memorial project, Lemnos’ connection to Anzac or for high resolution images of the photographs for this media release, please contact the Committee secretary, Jim Claven – E or 0409402388.
For further information regarding the Memorial Statue unveiling event on 8th August 2015, please contact Committee Executive member, Ms Christina Despoteris – E:
Another detail of our Lemnos Gallipoli diggers face. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Memorial sculptor Peter Corlett OAM with Jim Claven LGCC Secretary and our Lemnos Gallipoli nurse. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

A detail from the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial's stone plinth. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

A detail from the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial's stone plinth. Photograph Jim Claven 2015
Memorial sculptor Peter Corlett OAM, with Lee Tarlamis, LGCC President, at the foundry with our scuplture. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Our Lemnos Gallipoli digger. Photograph Jim Claven 2015

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Nurses Exhibition features Lemnos and Salonika Nurses

The recent Red Cross and WW1 Nurses exhibition held at Geelong's Osborne House was well worth the visit. Put together by the Osborne House Geelon and the Osborne Park Association Inc, this exhibition shows just how rich the link between Australia and Greece was in the First World War.

The exhibition was well put together and assembled. It featured a series of panels telling the stories of many of the nurses with connections to the Geelong area who served in WW1. These were illustrated with photographs.
Some of the nurses stories included were:
Nurses who served on Lemnos - Sister Violet Blanch Duddy, Staff Nurses Victoria Wakley, Staff Nurses Edith Avice Watson, Sister Evelyn Davies, Sister Ida Mary Mockridge and Sister Catherine (Kit) McNaughton.
Nurses who served on Hospital Ships at Gallipoli -Sister Hilda Samsing, Staff Nurse Mina Alice Bromley, Staff Nurse Bernice Loughrey and Staff Nurse Leonora Millicent Allender.
Norwegian-born Sister Hilda Samsing who served on the Hospital Ship Gascon during the Gallipoli campaign.

Nurses who served on the Salonika Front (Greece and Serbia) -  Staff Nurse Eva Gladys Moule, Sister Ethel Maud Biggs, Sister Ethel Giddings, Sister Ethel May Gillingham, Sister Ellen Barnett Issacs, Staff Nurse Alice Hartridge, Staff Nurse Edith Eileen Malcolm, Staff Nurse Daisy Florence McIntyre, Staff Nurse Olive Winifred Petersen, Staff Nurse Caroline Hanah Sheldon, staff Nurse Laura May Appleton and Sister Laura Beatrice Begley. Also Doctor Mary De Garis.

Staff Nurse Edith Malcolm, who served on the Salonika Front, with other members of her family who served in WW1. Source AWM

The exhibition also included an impressive display of medals awarded to individual nurses. Of special interest were those of NurseVictoria Wakley Born in Melbourne in 1893 and trained at the Melbourne Hospital, she was one of the 130 Australian nurses who served on Lemnos. Also displayed are the medals of Sister Winifred Jane Smith who was also trained at the Melbourne Hospital and was awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal (2nd Class). Sister Smith's medals are reproduced below.

Below are some photographs I took at the exhibition.
For those who didn't make it to the exhibition in Geekong, the good news is that parts of the echibtiion will be on display at the Nurses Memorial Centre in St Kilda Road Melbourne in coming months. Watch this space.
It is interesting to see the wealth of material and information that is available to tell the often overlooked story of Australia's nurses in WW1. Our major institutions - like the Australian War Memorial - could learn a lot from such exhibitions and finally provide some improved recognition of the service of our nurses in WW1.
Thanks to Arlene Bennett of the Nurse Memorial Centre for alerting me to this great exhibition.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

St Kilda's Private Albert Alfred Bent - Medals found and re-united with his family!

Private Albert Alfred Bent's WW1 Medals (front). Source: Jim Claven

Private Albert Alfred Bent's WW1 Medals (rear). Source: Jim Claven
In early April, I reported the story of Private Albert Alfred Bent and my finding his grave at Gallipoli's Aru Burni Cemetery. As a result of this initial post, I can now report that Albert's long lost WW1 medals have been returned to his descendents.
Firstly, Richard Watkins of Tasmania, contacted me to let me know that for some unknown reason his family were in possession of two of Private Bent's medals. Maybe the families were related in some way. At the same time, one of Albert's descendent's - Helen O'Connor of Sydney - had thanked me for posting my initial story about her great uncle. She told me how she had been researching Albert's story for ten years and the family treasured Albert's WW1 memorial plaque and scroll that they had. But sadly, they did not know what had happened to his medals.
Private Bent's WW1 Memorial Plaque and scroll. Source: Helen O'Connor
On behalf of Richard, I have been able to re-unite Albert's long lost medals with his family.

This just shows how powerful and useful the internet can be.
On behalf of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, I would like to thank Richard Watkins for re-uniting Private Bent's WW1 medals with his descendents. Well done.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Below is more information on Private Albert Alfred Bent.
Private Albert Alfred Bent. Source: NAA
Private Albert Alfred Bent - a St Kilda Digger

Private 223 Albert Alfred Bent, of the 8th Australian Light Horse, was a digger from St Kilda. Although his time on Lemnos was brief, like all diggers who served at Gallipoli, he saw Lemnos' great Mudros Habour before he sailed for the horrors of the peninsula..
Private Bent's service record. Source: NAA

Born in Wodonga Victoria, he had attended Albury State School. Enlisting at the age of 35 in Melbourne on 17th September 1914, he listed his profession as a labourer, working in the building trade. His place of association is listed as St Kilda - his mother Preston C Bent lived at 57 Spencer Street in that suburb (subsequently moving to St Kilda's Acland Street), and maybe that's where Albert lived before he enlisted.
A Trooper in the 8th Australian Light Horse, Albert served in A Troop, B Squadron, 3rd Brigade.
8th Light Horse troops - including Trooper Bent - about to board the Star of Victoria at Port Melbourne. Source: AWM

He sailed from Princes Pier, Melbourne, aboard the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria. It left Melbourne on the 25th February 1915.When it left Perth as part of the First Anzac Convoy for Egypt, aboard were 26 officers, 487 other ranks and 461 horses. Albert's troopship sailed via Colombo in then Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). As they crossed the equator, photographs show the troops taking part in the traditional "crossing of the equator" ceremony, with officers being "dunked" in makeshift pools aboard ship on the orders of "Neptune".
Private Bent would have enjoyed the crossing of the equator ceremonies! Source: AWM

After arriving in Egypt, Albert sailed for Lemnos and Gallipoli from Alexandria on 16th May 1915. The Unit Diary records that like all Light Horse units sent to Gallipoli, their precious mounts were left behind in Egypt.
We know from the Unit Diary, that Albert and his comrades arrived at Lemnos on 19th May, proceeding to Gallipoli the next day. Their first role was to relieved the Wellington Mounted Rifles at Gaba Tepe.
By the 25th May, the 8th Light Horse had moved to Walker's Ridge where they suffered many enemy attacks. Just over a month after his arrival at Gallipoli - on 27th June 1915 - Albert was killed in action defending Walker's Ridge.
Excerpt from 8 Light Horse Unit Diary recording Private Bent's death. Source: AWM
The Unit Diary for this day records Alfred having been killed during a period of heavy enemy shelling - from 4pm on the 27th June until 7.15am the following morning. Albert was recorded as having been killed along with the Unit's Second-in-Command Major Gregory, Headquarters Adjutant Captain Joseph Crowl, Troopers CT King (830) and EL Smith (666) - the latter both of C Squadron. Sixteen of the Unit were wounded in the action on this day, including the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel White, who is recorded as having received a slight shell wound to the forehead.
It should be noted that Captain Crowl - a former Geelong VFL footballer - was born not far from where Albert came from - nearby Emerald Hill.
Reverend Chaplain Edward Makeham, of Perth WA, photographed with other 10th Battalion officers in Belgium, 1918. Source: AWM

Albert was buried at the cemetery then called Gallipoli Point, now known as Ari Burnu - as was Captain Crowl. The Reverend Chaplain Edward Makeham officiated at his burial. It should be noted that after the evacuation from Gallipoli, the Reverend Chaplain Makeham served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbassia Egypt - which had been located on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign. He would go on to serve in France.
He received the British War Medal, 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal.
Lest we forget.
Private Bent's grave, Ari Burnu Cemetary Gallipoli, April 2015. Source: Jim Claven

Ari Burnu Cemetery, Gallipoli, where Private Bent's grave is located. April 2015. Source: Jim Claven
Sources: National Archives of Australia, Australian War Memorial