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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

Monday, 22 February 2016

Prahran's Link to Lemnos and Anzac - The Story of Private's George Drew and Peter Rados

Studio portrait of Prahran's Private George Drew. AWM

On Wednesday I will be speaking on Lemnos and Gallipopli at the Stonnington History Centre at High Street Malvern. Lemnos and Gallipoli is linked to many of Melbourne's suburbs and people. And no less in the City of Stonnington, which includes the previous municipalities of Prahran and Malvern.
Here is one part of that story - Prahran's Private George Drew and the Hellenic Anzac, Private Peter Rados.
Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

There are many aspects of the Hellenic link to Australia's Anzac story. One of those lies in the small Commonwealth cemetery near Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula, Ari Burnu Cemetery.
Over 250 Allied soldiers are buried here, including 151 Australian diggers.
The beach at Ari Burnu. Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Today, this Cemetery is located at one of the most beautiful locations on the peninsula. But in 1915 it was not so welcoming. It was one of the first cemeteries established after the Anzac landings nearby. Looking up from the beach, with the great physical feature named The Sphinx by the Anzac's looming above, it is not hard to comprehend how murderous these small landing places would have been for the diggers in 1915.
the grave of Private Peter Rados, Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Private Peter Rados, Hellenic Anzac
In the cemetery, lies Private Peter Rados of the 3rd Battalion AIF in grave plot G 21,the digger from Asia Minor. Having emigranted to Australia from nearby Artaky on the coast of the sea of Marmara, Peter had joined up at the beginning of the First World War, on the 18th August, aged only 23. The war brought him to Lemnos and to Anzac Cove. He was killed during a particularly fierce Ottoman attack on the morning of the 19th May. Peter was one of 12 Anzac's of Hellenic background who fought at Gallipoli and the only one to die on the peninsula.

The grave of Prahran's Private George Edward Drew, Ari Burnu Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Prahran's Private George Edward Drew
Nearby lies George Edward Drew, in grave plot F 34. George Edward Drew was living with his parents at 31 York Street Prahran when he enlisted on 1st March 1915. A 28 year old railway employee, George was enlisted as Private 705 in D Company of the 23rd Battalion. He embarked from Princes Pier on the Euripides (A14) on the 10th May 1915. George arrived at Lemnos’ Mudros Bay at 5pm on the 2nd September 1915.
Lemnos' Mudros Bay, in April 1915. AWM
After two days at Lemnos, the 23rd Battalion sailed from Lemnos at 4pm on the 4th September 1915, headed for to Anzac Cove
He survived nearly three months defending one of the most deadly sections of the Anzac front line at Lone Pine. On 21st November 1915 George was killed in action – just a month before his Battalion would be evacuated from Gallipoli in December. He is buried in the same cemetery as Peter near the beach at Anzac Cove. George is also memorialised at the local Prahran RSL, located on High Street.
the famous WW1 Roll of Honour Board at the Prahran RSL. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Peter and George are two of the 151 Australian graves in this little cemetery. It was a moving experience for me to visit their graves in April last year. They are just two of the estimated 8,700 Australians who were killed as the campaign on the peninsula wore on for eight long months.
Prahran Greek Community present Greek Flag to the Prahran City Council in February 1941. Stonnington Historical Centre

Prahran, Anzac and Greece - Across Two World Wars and Beyond
Here George from Prahran lies next to the only Greek Australian Anzac to be killed at Gallipoli. A link between Prahran and Greece that would continue as Prahran itself would become the home to many Greek immigrants.
When war would unite Greece and Australia again in the Second World War, Prahran's Greek community rallied to support the Second Anzac's as the fought valiantly to support Greece against the Axis invader.
See the photo above, showing Prahran's Greek community presenting the Greek National Flag to the
Mayor of Prahran, Mr Alfred Woodfull, in Febraury 1941 to honour Greek patriots then fighting alongside the Allies in the defence of Greece and Crete. The Council Annual Report records that the flag was flown from the town hall on the day of the appeal for contributions to the war effort in Greece.
The Post-War era would bring tens of thousands of new migrants to Prahran, including from Greece.
Hawksburn Primary School. Source: Web.

As a young immigrant myself in the early 1970's I attended local schools in Prahran - the then Hawksburn Primary School and Prahran High School. In the First World War, Historian Helen Doyle has written that Hawksburn Primary School provided over 800 recruits to the Australian Imperial Force.
The Hellenic presence in Prahran was evident across the community.
In the Greek language spoken in the schoolyards and in the playgrounds, in the lovely Greek cakes of the cake shops on Chapel Street, in the deli's and foodstores of the Prahran Market (which still hosts one of Melbourne' great Greek delicatessens, The Sweet Greek's Kathy Tsaples) and in the areas two Greek Orthodox Churches - St Demetrios in High Street Prahran and St Constantine and St Helen in Barry Street South Yarra.
St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
Sweet Greek, Prahran Market
A local Prahran family prepares to celebrate Greek Easter, Prahran 1977

Prahran's Lemnos Tavern, High Street.

Lest we forget
So when we commemorate the service of the Anzac's every 25th April - and especially this year during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Greece and Crete in WW2, remember the story of Private's Peter Rados and George Drew - and how one of Melbourne's suburbs can evidence the Hellenic link to Anzac.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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