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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

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour - Lemnos Diggers and Nurses Honoured

Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Last weekend I had the good fortune to visit the Brunswick Town Hall. The entrance foyer is a magnificent memorial - in garnished wood and bronze - to all those who served and died in the First World War.
The Roll of Honour Memorial commemorates the over 500 local recruits who died in the war, along with many more who enlisted. The National Archives of Australia database records that nearly 1200 locals volunteered from the Brunswick area.
There are many familiar and less well known names amongst the names forged in bronze on this memorial. And there are diggers and nurses who came to Lemnos in 1915. This is yet another local connection to the Hellenic link to Anzac.
Brunswick's Lieutenant William John Symons VC - A Lemnos Veteran
Cigarette card in honour of Capt Symons, VC. AWM
One of these is Lieutenant William John Symons VC, who was awarded his Victoria Cross for his bravery at Jacob's Trench, Lone Pine, Gallipoli, 8th August 1915. He had been born in Eaglehawk in Bendigo in 1889, but by 1914 he was working as a commercial traveler and resident in Brunswick. He spent much of his spare time serving in the military before the war - 5 years in the 5th Battalion and 3 in the 60th battalion. He enlisted on 17th August 1914, and was allocated to the 7th Battalion and promoted to Colour Sergeant. He departed from Port Melbourne on SS Hororata on 18th October 1914.
Like many diggers at Gallipoli, William would spend time on Lemnos. From the 11th April until their departure for Anzac Cove on 24th-25th April, William and his battalion was at Lemnos. Landing at Anzac on 25th April, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant the day after, promoted to Lieutenant in July and Captain in May 1916. He returned to Australia briefly in 1916 - and was given a civic reception at Brunswick Town Hall - before departing for war a second time in June 1916 with the 37th Battalion as a company commander. He was mentioned-in-despatches for his service in France and survived the war. He died in 1948.
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Brunswick's War Nurses
One of the aspects of the memorial that I noticed was the listing of a number of nurses.
Sister Alice Elisabeth Barrett Kitchen
The State Library of Victoria has a number of holdings in the Alice Kitchen Collection (MS 9627).
Alice trained as a nurse at Melbourne Hospital. Prior to the war she served in the Australian Army Nursing Service. Her address on enlistment was her mother Margaret's - 337 Sydney Road, Brunswick. She enlisted on 26 Sept. 1914, was promoted to sister.
Her diary records her service on the Hospital Ship Gascon, her regular stops at Lemnos' Mudros Bay conveying wounded and sick diggers from Gallipoli to Lemnos, Imbros, Malta and Alexandria.
She is quoted by the AWM as writing that of her experience of nursing during the war that "It is all too dreadful and every day we hear of someone we knew being killed or wounded."
Given the photograph contained in her collection held in the State Library reproduced below, Alice most likely spent some time on either Lemnos or Imbros.
She was repatriated to Australia on 28 Aug. 1919.
Lemnos or Imbros. Alice Kitcen collection, State Library of Victoria. Image Ref MS 9627PHO7.

Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Other nurses listed include the following, althouh none odf these served on Lemnos.
Staff Nurse E.R. Cecil
Edith Ruth Cecil was born in Carlton in 1881. She was trained as a nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital. She joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in October 1915 and served with the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis in Egypt. When she embarked from Australia, her address was given as the corner of Hunter and Daly Streets, West Brunswick. She also served in other medical facilities in Egpyt and in England and France. She returned to Australia in December 1918 and was discharged on 4th January 1919. After the war she worked at the Caulfield Military Hospital. She died in 1940.
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Sister C.J. McAllister
Sister McAllister (third from left) with other nurses, India c1918. AWM
Charlotte Joan McAllister was born in Melbourne 1890. She enlisted in the AANS in September 1916, aged 26, and served in India and England. Her address when she embarked from Australia in December 1916 was 11 Charles Street, Brunswick. She was mentioned-in-despatches, returning to Australia in 1919. She was awarded the OBE in 1951 and died in 1987.
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Sister S.J. Proctor
Sarah Jane Proctor was born in Stawell. She enlisted in the AANS in August 1915, aged 45, serving in France and England. When she departed Australia she was living in Brunswick. She returned to Australia in February 1919. She died in 1945, aged 76.
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.

Sister H.E. Tait, Royal Red Cross 2nd Class
Helen Elisabeth Tait was born in Maffra in 1880. She trained at the Alfred Hospital. She enlisted in November 1914, aged 34 and served with the 1st Australian General Hospital in Egypt and on a hospital ship. She also served in France and England. Her address on embarkation from Australia was given as 54 Park Street West Brunswick. She returned to Australia in January 1919 and was appointed Matron of the Caulfield Military Hospital. She died in 1976. She was awarded the royal Red Cross 2nd Class for her "valuable service to the Armies in the Field."
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.

Staff Nurse F. Willans
Florence Willans was born in Melbourne and lived at 111 Park Street, East Brunswick when she embarked from Australia in April 1917. She enlisted in April 1917, aged 28. She served on England and France, returning to Australia in April 1919.

Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
The Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour is well worth a visit.

Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Brunswick Town Hall Roll of Honour detail. Photo Jim Claven 2016.
Sources consulted include the National Archives of Australia, AWM, the State Library of Victoria, Australian Nurses in WW1 website (http://nurses.ww1anzac.com/), Lionel Wigmore's They Dared Mightily (AWM, 1963) and Laurie Cunningham and Laura Donati's Our Anzacs - A Scrapbook of Brunswick during World War 1, (2014)

Jim Claven
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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