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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

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

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