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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, 25 April 2016

26 April 1941 - Australian Allen Group arrives at Kalamata, Australians arrive on Crete and evacuations from Megara

Men of the Australian 2/1st Field Regiment arrive in Kalamata, 26th April 1941. AWM
On this day 75 years ago, Allied troops were evacuated from Megara and Australian and other troops under Australian commander Allen arrived at Kalamata.By the end of the 26th April some 5,900 troops were evacuated from Megara (including over 1,000 wounded and the last of the Australian and British nurses in Greece). They were transported by HMT Thurland Castle, HMAT Wryneck, HMS Coventry, HMS Havelock, HMS Hasty and HMS Decoy. Two Royal Australian Navy warships also took part in the evacuation. - HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Waterhen.
On this day, the Allen Group - comprising Australian, British, Palestinian, Cypriot and Yugoslav troops arrived at Kalamata. The convoy comprised some 600 vehicles, conveying approximately 6,000 troops in all. Photographs from the time show Australian gunners of the 2/1st Field Regiment walking through the town of Kalamata heading for the waterfront (above).
Meanwhile a number of Australian units had already been successfully transported from the Greek mainland to Crete - the 19th Brigade Headquarters, as well as both the Australian 2/1st and 2/11th Battalions.

Australian Unit Locations - 26th April
16th Brigade HQ - Kalamata
17th Brigade HQ - Kalamata
19th Brigade HQ - Suda Bay
2/1st Battalion - Suda Bay
2/2nd Battalion - Kalamata
2/3rd Battalion -Kalamata
2/4th Battalion - Megara
2/5th Battalion - Kalamata
2/6th Battalion - Kalamata
2/7th Battalion - Kalamata
2/8th Battalion - Kalamata
2/11th Battalion - Suda Bay
2/1st Machine Gun Battalion - Kalamata
Thanks to Paul Sougleris of Greek Anzacs for his information on unit locations drawn from the official unit dairies.

Jim Claven
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
& Member, Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council 

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