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, 24 December 2015

President's Message for the Festive Season

As the President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee I would like to wish all our members, friends and supporters all the very best for the festive season.
Thank you for your support and assistance which has helped deliver many successes during 2015 including the unveiling of the new Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial at Foote Street Reserve in Albert Park.
2016 will also be a big year and we look forward to working with you all as we continue to delivering the other important projects we have been working so hard to achieve.
We'll keep you posted on our progress and we look forwarding to working with you in the New Year.
Best Wishes.

Lee Tarlamis
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Anzac Gallipoli Centenary Commemorative Event - The Anzac Evacuation of Gallipoli

Lambis Englezos, Christina Despoteris and Jim Claven at the Shrine. Photo Jim Claven 2015

On Sunday 20th December a moving commemorative event was held at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
The occasion was held to commemorate the end of the Gallipoli campaign, marking the day one hundred years ago that Anzac troops evacuated the Gallipoli peninsula. Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay were evacuated by 20th December 1915. The last Allied troops to leave the peninsula evacuated from Cape Helles on 9th January 1916.
The ceremony is an annual one organised by the Friends of Gallipoli Inc., led by Dr John Basarin, OAM.
The ceremony began with a short commemorative service at the new Gallipoli memorial  that has been erected near the Shrine, followed by a formal wreath laying within the Shrine itself.
Photo Jim Claven 2015
Photo Jim Claven 2015

Many were in attendance, including diplomatic representatives, members of parliament and many descendants of Anzac's who served at Gallipoli - including the daughter of Alec Campbell the last WW1 Anzac to pass away.
Alec's daughter spoke movingly of her father, of how he was born in Tasmania, suffered the diseases of the peninsula, was eventually invalided to Egypt and then Australia. Alec became a fervent opponent of war and marched in the anti-conscription marches held during WW1.
Photo Jim Claven 2015

Photo Jim Claven 2015
Nick McCallum of Channel 7 interviews Alec Campbell's daughter. Photo Jim Claven 2015

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee was represented at this event and was invited to lay a wreath at the service at the Shrine. Ms Christina Despoteris, Vice President of the Committee, assisted by myself, layed our wreath. Other members of the Committee attended the event, including our Patron Lambis Englezos.
The Friends of Gallipoli Inc. (FOGI) have been supporters of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial project. For more information about the FOGI click here.
The new Gallipoli memorial near the Shrine. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

WW2 Anzac Veteran Bill Rudd Honoured - Moves to erect a new Commemorative Memorial at Methoni and Pylos

Mr Nick Georgopoulos, Mr Bill Rudd and myself. Photo Jim Claven 2015
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Crete and Greece in WW2, it was a pleasure to assist in organizing a small gathering to honour one of Australia's veterans who survived a tragedy off the coast of Greece in 1942 - former Anzac Sapper Bill Rudd, survivor of the Nino Bixio tragedy off Methoni in 1942. 
The gathering took place in early December and included introducing Mr Bill Rudd to the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to Australia, his Excellency, Mr Dafaranos, and Mr Nick Georgopoulos, who as a young man in Methoni helped lay to rest some ANZACs who had died in an earlier tragedy near Methoni in 1941. 
Mr Nick Georgopoulos greets Mr Bill Rudd. Photo Jim Claven 2015
The occasion was Mr Rudd's 98th birthday. 
Essendon-born Bill was a Sapper in WW2, serving in the Middle East. A veteran of the battle of El Alamein, Bill survived the tragedy of the Nino Bixio - an Italian vessel transporting Allied Prisoners of War from Benghazi to Bari in Italy. 
The ship was torpedoed off Methoni in August 1942 and was eventually towed into Pylos harbour. Approximately 400 Allied POW's were killed. Bill would eventually escape from Italian captivity and make his way successfully to Switzerland and survived the war.
Sapper Bill Rudd in WW2
Nino Bixio
The Nino Bixio followed in the wake of the tragedy of the Sebastion Venier, another Italian POW transport ship (formerly the Dutch vessel the Jason or Jantzen). This ship was also torpedoed off Methoni in December 1941, with many POWs being killed. Mr Nick Georgopoulos was a young man living in Methoni at the time who helped bury some of the Allied dead.
Mr Rudd has dedicate much of his time to recording the story of Allied POW's in Europe and especially the tragedies of the Nino Bixio and the Sebastiano Venier. He has been hoping that a memorial be erected at Methoni and possibly Pylos to honour those Allied POW's who suffered in these tragedies off the Greek coast.
Photo Jim Claven 2015
It was an emotional meeting between Bill and Nick, with His Excellency Mr Dafaranos expressing the appreciation of the Hellenic Republic for his service and communication a personal message on his birthday.
Mr George Iliopoulos, His Excellency Mr Dafaranos, Mr Bill Rudd, Mr Nick Georgopoulos, Cr Jim Grivokostopoulos and Mr Paul Sougleris. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Representatives of Melbourne's Messinian community - Mr George Iliopoulos, Mr Jim Grivokostopoulos and Paul Sougleris - were also in attendance, presenting Mr Rudd with some gifts from Greece and announcing their intention to support the erection of commemorative memorials at Pylos and Methoni.
It was a pleasure and an honour to help bring them together.
Pylos harbour and Navarino Bay. Photo Jim Claven 2013
Others in attendance included Mr Peter Ford, the son of a New Zealand veteran of WW2's Greece and Crete campaigns, and Mr Steve Kyritsis, RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch President.
To view the news report in Neos Kosmos, click  here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Hellenic Ambassador to Australia visits our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Last Saturday  our President, Lee Tarlamis, accommpanied the the Ambassador for Greece in Australia Mr Haris Dafaranos, on a visit to our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park.He was accompanied by our Vice President Christina Despoteris.
This was the first opportunity the Ambassador has had to visit this new Memorial and he was extremely impressed.  Lee said it was an honour to show His Excellency the Memorial, explaining the journey we have all been on, how the memorial was created by our sculptor Peter Corlett OAM and the beautiful unveiling event we held on the centenary of the arrival of the Australian nurses on Lemnos in 1915.

His Excellency expressed his appreciation at our achievement and the lasting legacy that we have created symbolized in this memorial to the Hellenic link to Anzac.

The President of the Thessaloniki Association 'The White Tower' Paul Mavroudis also visited the memorial. The Thessaloniki Association have been long supporters of our Committee, including hosting the launch of our photographic exhibition earlier this year. It was Paul's first visit to the memorial and he said that the memorial reinforced the enduring links between Australia and Greece.
If you haven't been to see it yet make sure you visit Foote Street Reserve, Albert Park. You won't be disappointed.
To read the Neos Kosmos report on his visit (in the Greek language), click here.
To read the Ta Nea report on his visit (in the Greek language), click here.
Thanks to Neos Kosmos and Ta Nea for covering the Ambassador's visit. 

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pack up your troubles - Music and the Great War - Free Exhibition at the Percy Grainger Museum

There is a very good exhibition on at the University of Melbourne's Percy Grainger Museum on Royal Parade, Melbourne.
The exhibition explores the role the music played in Australai's Great War, with exhibits exploring some the following themes:
  • the various patriotic songs that were written, performed and sold during the war;
  • the bands that were formed within the Anzac units;
  • some of the instruments that were played - and even made - by serving units;
  • how music was used to help the injured in hospital;
  • Percy Grainger's war - in the US Army;
  • music hall and other reviews that were performed for the troops overseas.
Below are some of my photographs from the exhibition. The exhibition is open until the end of December 2015. It's worth a visit.
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Percy Grainger's US Army uniform. Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Anzac band marching through Bapaume France. Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Anzac band leading Australian nurses in march past Melbourne Town Hall. Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Illustration from Egyptian themed musical popular with Anzacs. Pack Up Your Troubles Exhibition. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Jim Claven 
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Lemnos Nurse Evelyn Hutt's 1915 Map - Lemnos, Imbros, Tenedos and more

Lemnos, Imbro and Tenedos.

Tasmanian Nurse Evelyn Hutt served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos in 1915.
Amongst Evelyn's collecrtion of memorabilia treasured by her daighter, Ms Judith Gunnarsson, is a map dated August 1915.
It is Bartholomew's War Map of Italy and the Balkan States and appears to have been published as part of the British magazine, the National Review. Evelyn has even signed the map.
As well as Lemnos, Evelyn served on the Italian front towards the end of the war.
The map contains a number of interesting histoircal features. Above and below are reproduced some of my photographs of some of these details.
Thank you to Ms Judith Gunnarsson for sharing this beautiful map.

Rhodes and Symi. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

The Cyclades. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Samos to Kos. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Chios and the Chesme peninsula, including Reis Dere. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Mytilene. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Genoa and surrounds, Northern Italy. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Constantinople. Detail from Bartholomews 1915 War Map owned by Nurse Evelyn Hutt. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

You are Invited - Centenary of the end of the Gallipoli campaign - The Melbourne Shrine, 12 noon, 20th December 2015

Gallipoli, Turkey. 1915. A group of some members of the 1st Light Horse Brigade Train, AIF. These men were the last of the unit to leave Gallipoli at the evacuation. AWM

The Friends of Gallipoli Inc (FOGI) will be holding a commemoration of the centenary of the end of the Gallipoli campaign in December 1915 at the Melbourne Shrine.
The formal event will take place at 12 noon, The Sanctuary of the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, on Sunday 20th December 2015. All are welcome to attend the ceremony.
As the Friends of Gallipoli promotion states:
"The guns fell silent in the ANZAC Sector at Gallipoli in the early hours of the 20th of December 1915. The Centenary of this important event is to be commemorated at the Shrine of Remembrance with a wreath laying ceremony at the Sanctuary.
After nearly nine months of fighting, the last of the ANZAC troops evacuated with heavy hearts and in anticipation of a different kind of a Christmas, leaving their dead comrades behind. The Turkish forces were relieved that there would be no more fighting, that they could mourn many thousands who perished defending their homeland and that peace had finally prevailed."

The event at the Shrine will be proceeded by the inaugural FOGI Award presentation at the Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial at 11 a.m. The memorial is located about 200 m. north of the Shrine. After the presentation, the participants will move to the Shrine for the ceremony.
The FOGI, a not-for profit organisation, is co-ordinating these ceremonies.
All are welcome to attend both ceremonies.
Thanks to Dr John Basarin for sharing this information.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Melbourne at War - Hidden Stories - Heritage Victoria Council Walking and Audio Tour

Portrait of "Peace Celebrations", AIF soldiers march through city, Spring Street. July 1919. AWM DAX2081

The Heritage Council of Victoria has put together an audio tour of historic Melbourne locations connected to WW1. The sites include:
Government House. Government House became the national headquarters of the Australian Red Cross whose work boosted morale, not just for the serving soldiers who received its ‘care’ parcels, and but also for those at home, by helping locate missing soldiers especially after Gallipoli.
Victoria Barracks. Built in the late 1850s and early 1860s as a base for the British Imperial Forces to defend the colonies, Victoria Barracks played a major role as the headquarters of the Department of Defence including the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy during WWI. Flinders St Station
Flinders Street Railway Station, along with Spencer Street Station (or Southern Cross as it is now called), was busy with young recruits coming in and uniformed soldiers leaving for the front, often with a farewell kiss from a stranger.
Speakers Corner. A major venue for public speaking from the late 1880s, Speakers Corner (then Yarra Bank) staged the country’s largest anti-conscription rally in October 1916. With more men needed to fill the ranks, conscription seemed the only answer, but Australia twice voted against it. 
Paliament House. During WWI, as the home of the Commonwealth Parliament, Melbourne was where Australia declared war on Germany and passed related legislation. Parliament House witnessed protests and unrest but then saw celebrations for the Armistice and returning personnel.

Collins Street. Melbourne’s major newspapers at the time had offices in Collins Street – The Age at No 239 -241 and The Argus at No 76. It was also the venue for large farewell parades as soldiers marched through the streets heading for Port Melbourne and the waiting troop ships.
 Melbourne Town Hall. Young men were encouraged to enlist and Melbourne Town Hall was a major recruitment centre. It was also the Victorian centre for the Australian Comforts Fund (originally the Lady Mayoress’s Patriotic League) which organised ‘comforts’ for soldiers on the battlefields. 
Melbourne Hospital. Melbourne Hospital acted as the Military Base Hospital and, with many other hospitals, served as training centres for nurses and repatriation hospitals for wounded returned servicemen. With demand for doctors overseas, the Red Cross auxiliaries played a vital support role.
Russell Street. Known as ‘Red’ Russell Street, it was the home to many radical left-wing groups and organisations. Vehemently anti-war and anti-conscription, these groups played influential roles in the defeat of the two conscription referendums.
The Royal Exhibition Building housed the Victorian State Parliament during the war and, as part of the local battle against the post-war influenza pandemic, it was transformed into a Spanish Flu hospital between March and August 1919, treating more than 4000 people. 

To follow and listen to the tour, click here.
Thanks to Faye Threyfall for finding this.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Xmas Reading - Archipelago of Souls, a novel of an Anzac on Crete in WW2

Here is a good book for all those Phil-Hellenes thinking of a present for Xmas - Archipelago of Souls by Gregory Day, $27.99
Nick Andriotakis writes:
"Gregory  Day is an award winning  novelist, poet and musician  based in Victoria. He  traveled to Crete when he was 21 and  was impressed by the philoxenia  (hospitality) given to him by the Cretan people and more so because he was an Australian . They continually  talked to him about the  Battle of Crete and the role of the Anzacs and this left on him a burning impression  and a desire that one day he  must write  a novel on this story. About  twenty  years later, his new  novel is  Archipelago of souls is the  result of this long standing dream and  has just come out."
The story unites an Australian Island - King Island and the Bass Strait - with the Island of Crete, through the story of a digger, Wes Cress, who takes part in the battle of Crete, is left behind and fights with the Cretan resistance. As an article in the Sydney Morning Herald states:
"Who can unite these very different places? An Australian soldier in World War II, Wesley Cress, who finds himself left behind in Crete after the Germans have invaded and Allied troops have evacuated. At the end of the war, a hero of the resistance, he returns to King Island to lick his psychological wounds and feel his way cautiously towards love and redemption."

To read an article from the Syndey Morning Herald, please click here
Readings Bookshop have published a piece written by Gregory on his book:
"It might these days be fashionable to say it but nevertheless the seeds of all of my books have begun in walking. The trigger for my new novel Archipelago of Souls lies in a pretty arduous but wonderful walk I took around the island of Crete back when I was still at university. My eyes were opened in many ways during those days, not only to the sea-lit slopes and valleys of the classical world of Minoan and Homeric myth, but also to the more recent events that occured on the island when Australians fought alongside the Cretans, and the Kiwis and British, in the Second World War.
It’s taken me years to find a way but I knew back then that the idea of a relatively raw young Australian man being thrown into such a historically layered yet awful situation, was something I would write about. I’ve made constant sketches since, scribbling down many notes on the different yet strangely similair landscapes of the Mediterranean and where I live on the southwest coast of Victoria, and comparing the young myth-seeking culture of Australia with the ancient myth-bound society of Crete. What happened back in 1941 when these two cultures intersected in such dramatic circumstances? I wondered. What happened on the inside?
A soldier returning from war is one of the oldest story-tropes on earth. I think of The Odyssey as an ancient example but I wanted to express a new iteration of the theme, which juxtaposed that classical world with the reality of a grounded Australian perspective. We don’t romanticise Greece like they do at Oxford and Cambridge, or if we do, we do it in a different way. When Australians suddenly found themselves fighting a war in the birthplace of western myth their reactions were varied but predominantly they were visceral, realistic and life changing. That’s why they got on well with the locals on Crete and it’s also one of the reasons why post-war immigration to Australia from Greece has been so influential and successful.
With my central character returning to live on King Island, Archipelago of Souls is also a continuation of the exploring of my home coastal landscapes of Bass Strait, which really are the overiding creative force of my work, not only in my three Mangowak novels, The Patron Saint Of Eels, Ron McCoy’s Sea Of Diamonds, and The Grand Hotel, but in my music and poetry as well. The sky here for me is a proscenium arch, the world a natural theatre. For mysterious reasons stories come alive for me here and the scenes in the book on King Island, and around the lakes near Colac and the cove of Lorne, are indicative of that I hope."

The book sells for $27.99 at Readings.

Thanks to Nick Andriotakis for this story.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Guest of the Unspeakable - Photographs of the Ottoman Empire from Australian Pilot Captain Thomas White

Captain Thomas White was a member of the fledgling Australian Flying Corps, the precursor to the Royal Australian Air Force.
He served in the Middle East, including in the Mesopotamia campaign.
In 1915 he was foced to land during active service behind Ottoman lines and surived capture. He was interred - along with other Australian and Allied prisoners of war - at Aifion Kara Hisar, in Asia Minor, the former Armenian quarter having been converted into a POW camp.
He would escape from Ottoman custody in Constantinople, making his way through Russia then engulfed in Civil War, eventually arriving in northern Greece and safety, as the First World War came to an end.
In 1928 he published his war memoirs - Guests of the Unspeakable - which recounted the story of his capture, time as a POW and escape. 
He also bore witness to the Armenian genocide that was occurring around him in Asia Minor.
The book is difficult to obtain. Thanks to Steve Campbell-Wright for sharing his first edition copy with me.
Reproduced below are the images from White's book. They show some interesting and unique images from the Ottoman Empire, as well as of the Australian POW's held there during the First World War.
He would be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and be mentioned-in-dispatches twice. He was also knighted. He was elected MP for Balaklava in 1929, serving for twenty-two years.







Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee