|One of the homes built by the Asia Minor refugees in Thrylorion with the help of George Treloar. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
The Pontiaki Estia and its members have been strong supporters of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial project.
When: 7pm, Friday 6th November 2015
Where: Pontiaki Estia Club Rooms, Sydney Road, Brunswick
Further details: 0421 804 968; firstname.lastname@example.org
The George Treloar Memorial
The Memorial will commemorate Major Treloar's service in assisting the tens of thousands of refugees who fled Asia Minor following the end of the First World War and Greco-Turkish War. In his capacity as representative of the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, between 1922 and 1926 Treloar helped re-settle an estimated 108,000 refugees who had come to northern Greece. They were assisted with the provision of food and essentials, as well as help with employment and in the construction of new homes and villages. For his efforts, George Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and one of these villages was named in his honour by the Greek Government - Thrylorion, near Komotini. See below for a report on my visit to this village. In addition, the people of Ballarat also raised funds to assist these refugees at this time.
The Memorial will be a fitting commemoration of Major George Treloar and the residents of Ballarat in their assistance to these tens of thousands of refugees. This will be another important recognition of the Hellenic connection to Australia forged in the aftermath of the First World War.
The campaign already has the support of the City of Ballarat and the Ballarat RSL.
A preliminary location has been identified by the City of Ballarat - a new addition to Ballarat's avenue of memorials erected in the central large median strip on Sturt Street, Ballarat. This location already contains important memorials to Major Harold 'Pompey' Elliot (erected 2011; Sculptor: Louis Laumen) and Sir Albert Coates (erected in 2000; Sculptor: Louis Laumen).
For those interested in the erection of the Pompey Elliott statue in Ballarat, click here for a link to the ABC Ballarat report with great photographs on the unveiling in 2011.
On 28th October 2015, Neos Kosmos Greek-language edition reported on the George Devine Treloar Memorial project. To read this article, click here.
Below is your invitation to this important event:
Major George Devine Treloar - A Short Biography
"George Devine Treloar (1884-1980), gentleman of fortune, was born on 23 April 1884 at Ballarat, Victoria, son of Thomas Reid Treloar, chemist, and his wife Jane, née Devine, both Victorian born. Educated at Ballarat's St Patrick's College, he was a bank clerk at Ballarat for five years, then a jackeroo in western Victoria before he farmed in Western Australia. While travelling by ship to Adelaide, he was recruited by actor-manager Julius Knight and toured Australia with his troup, playing in romantic dramas. Oscar Asche took Treloar to South Africa and England where he was acting when war broke out in 1914.
Having previously served at Ballarat as a lieutenant in the 3rd Victorian Rifles, Treloar immediately volunteered. Although rejected because of defective eyesight, he wangled his way into the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Rifle Volunteers in 1915 as a private and secured a transfer to the Coldstream Guards. He served in France, was commissioned and ultimately promoted to major, second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion. Buried twice by shellbursts on the Somme and almost bullet-riddled at Ypres, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross. In 1918 he commanded the Brigade of Guards Officers' School of Instruction and, following the Armistice, served with his battalion in the Rhineland Occupation Force.
After commanding the post-war Royal Military, Naval and Air Force Tournament at Olympia, London, in 1919, Treloar joined the British Mission to the White Russian armies as assistant military secretary to Major-General Holman. At Constantinople after the withdrawal of the mission, Treloar served with the Tsarist army as a colonel under Baron Wrangel. When the White Russians were defeated Treloar commanded a British camp for Russian refugees at Tousla on the Sea of Marmora. His attempt to set up as a timber concessions trader in Constantinople was frustrated by the Turks. He then became a representative of the League of Nations High Commissariat for Refugees in northern Greece.
In 1922-26 Treloar was engaged in the resettlement of Greek refugees from Asia Minor; at first he worked at Gumuldjina (Komotini) in Thrace and later in Salonika; by 1923 his mission was handling over 108,000 refugees. His efforts to organize food, shelter, medical care and resettlement precipitated disputes with indifferent league officials in Geneva and with a senior Greek official. Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and a refugee village (Thrilorion) near Komotini was named after him.
In Constantinople on 27 December 1923 Treloar married Kathleen May Douch whose father was an engineering consultant to the Turkish government. When the league's resettlement operation ended, Treloar suffered severe financial loss in a fraudulent mining investment and in 1927 returned to Australia to seek work..."
By Hugh Gilchrist
Australian Dictionary of Biography
George Treloar in Constantinople
I recently wrote an article for Neos Kosmos about the Anzac connection in Constantinople. This referred to the presence of Major George Treloar here in 1920. To read this story, click here.
I have also been able to discover George Treloar's wedding certificate. George and Kathleen were married in the Crimean Memorial Church, an Anglican Church, in Pera.
|Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul. Source: web|
|Crimean Memorial Church, Istanbul. Source: web|
Thrylorion - A Commemorative Visit
In 2013, I had the pleasure of visiting the village as part of a commemorative tour of Greece. As Australians, we were welcomed by the villagers - descendants of those Asia Minor refugees saved through the efforts of George Treloar, the League of Nations and his helpers. The local community hall is decorated with reproductions of photographs taken by or of George Treloar, donated by the family of George Treloar.
|Local villagers in traditional dress, welcome our delegation. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
|The Hon John Pandazopoulos giving a media conference on the importance of George Treloar and the Australian-Greek connection. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
|Main Church, exterior. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
|Main Church, interior. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
|Wall of an old barn or home, possibly from the time of George Treloar. Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
|War Memorial, main square, Thrylorion, Greece, 2013. Photo Jim Claven 2013|
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee