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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial Commemorative Service 2017 - Congratulations!

Lemnos Gallipoli Committee members with Col Jan McCarthy (at right). Photo Peter Ford 2017
As the President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee I would like to thank all those who attended, took part in or helped organise our annual Commemorative event earlier today at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial.
The feelings of pride that we all experienced when we unveiled this Memorial two years ago, were repeated today with the official naming of Lemnos Square and unveiling of the new sign acknowledging this naming that will soon accompany our Memorial.

Cr Bernadene Voss and Lee Tarlamis unveil the mock-up of the proposed Lemnos Square sign. Photo Peter Ford 2017
Appropriately we also welcomed the addition of an olive tree. We will continue our work to promote the important connection between Lemnos, Greece and the Anzac's and the role of the nurses, diggers and local Lemnians during this defining time of our country. Stay tuned for announcements of more initiatives soon and thank you again for all your valuable support.
Photo Peter Ford 2017

Piper Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright. Photo Peter Ford 2017

Cadets of 30 Amry Cadet Unit form the catafalque party. Photo Jim Papadimitriou 2017

The RAN Band perform. Photo Peter Ford 2017

Thanks to all who were able to join us - Cr Bernadene Voss, Mayor of Port Phillip, Colonel (Ret.) Jan McCarthy, Father Konstantinos, Members of Parliament, Councillors, Royal Australian Navy Band, Piper Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright, 30 Army Cadet Unit, the various descendants of Anzac's who served on Lemnos as soldiers or nurses, representatives of a number of Melbourne's Hellenic community organisations, members of our Committee and the many members of Melbourne's Lemnian community who attended. Your involvement was essential to making our event such a success.
And thanks to Peter Ford for the photos and to John Irwin for filming the event.

Lee Tarlamis
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 10 August 2017

BBC Scotland reports on our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Piper Alan Leggett performs at our unveiling ceremony in 2015. Photo Anthony Leong 2015
A key element of every Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative event is the playing of the bagpipes by a Scottish piper. This has been performed at our unveiling and at each of our annual commemorations.We do so in tribute to the 3rd Australian General Hospital's Warrant Officer Archibald Monk who piped the Australian nurses ashore at Lemnos' Turks Head Peninsula on the 8th August 1915.
Piper Steve Campbell-Wright performs at the inaugural commemoreative service, August 2016. Photo Peter Ford 2016.
A native of the Scottish Outer Hebrides Island of Benbecula, Archibald had served in the Cameron Highlanders before he decided to join the rush of new migrants to Australia. It was after arriving in Australia, working as a hospital orderly, that he joined the Australian Imperial Force in March 1915.
Piper Archbald Monk pipes ashore the Australian nurses, August 1915. AWM
I have recounted Archibald's story on a previous post. You can read that post by clicking here.
Scottish Anzac's
Some 30% of the Anzac's were overseas-born, with 18% coming from the United Kingdom. Archibald would have been one of many Scottish-born Anzac's.
Some preliminary research reveals that Anzac's even came from some of the more remote parts of Scotland - 73 having been born in Shetland and 54 from Orkney, 7 of the latter being killed in Western France. They include diggers like Kirkwall-born Private (Service Number 4441) James Millar of the 33rd Australian Infantry Battalion, a 22 year old carpenter, who was wounded at Gallipoli on the 18th August 1915 and brought to Mudros' Australian Hospitals. After a bought of enteric fever, James was repatriated back to Australia in January 1916.
And of course, there is the commanding officer of the 6th Australian infantry Brigade - Colonel Richard Linton - who was born in Dalton, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He was off Lemnos with the torpedoing of the troopship Southland in 1915.
These are just some of the Anzac migration stories. 
BBC Scotland and the Monk Connection  
The news is that today we have been contacted by a relative of Archibald who has provided us with more information on this famous piper on Lemnos.
Ms Seonag Monk works with BBC Scotland's Gaelic language service and although based in Glasgow (my birthplace) was himself born on Benbecula.
Archibald Monk was Seonag's grandfather John Monk's brother from the Island of Benbecula.
She told me that Archibald's family knew that he had gone to Australia but had no more news of him.
Seonag writes that the family story is that on the day Archibald left the island that he had been out ploughing in his his home village of Uachdar. At this time making a living in the Hebrides was difficult with much poverty. As Seonag says:
"The story goes that he stopped the plough mid furrow and released the horses headed home and changed into a clean pair of trousers and left the island forever."
This story will have much resonance with Lemnos' migrants to Australia - and many others - who also left the land of their birth due to difficult circumstances at home and made a new life in Australia.
Seonag will announce our coming Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative service during his afternoon music show with the BBC's Gaelic language program. As Seonag says the program has "many listeners from the gaelic diaspora worldwide."
Update - The BBC Scotland Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee program.
Well I know most of you won't be able to understand Scots Gaelic but here it is - the Lemnos connection to Anzac has been broadcast on the BBC Scotland's Gaelic language program. You can listen to it by clicking here.
If you listen in from 21.19 minutes onwards, you'll hear mention of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, Lemnos, Anzac and the Nurses, the announcement of Lemnos Square's naming, Archibald Monk - the Anzac piper from Benbecula who welcomed the nurses to Lemnos in 1915 - and one of our pipers Steve Campbell-Wright, who will be performing later today at our Memorial. Seonag also plays Eric Bogle's And the band played Waltzing Matilda - sung by the Pogues - a great version!

A big thank you to Seonag Monk, a relative of Archibald Monk and to both Alan and Steve Campbell-Wright for volunteering their services at our events, enabling us to pay homage to Piper Archibald Monk - The Piper of Lemnos!

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Lemnos Hero - Private Edward James Cummings - Digger and Freemason

Gravestone of Private Edward Cummings, East Mudros Military Cememtery, Lemnos. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Today we recognise the service of Private (Service Number 2052) Edward James Cummings who was buried on Lemnos this month 102 years ago.
Edward is the first Freemason to be identified among the diggers buried on Lemnos.
Edward enlisted at Liverpool on the 18th January 1915 into the 5th Reinforcements of the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion 5th Reinforcements. He was relatively old for a digger, recording his age as 33 years old on his AIF Attestation Paper.
Sydney Morning Herald, 9th September 1915. Uploaded to NAA by Kiely McGregor
An engineer by profession - or more specifically an engineers pattern maker, Edward had been born in England - at St Mary’s Extra in Southampton, Hampshire. By the time he enlisted Edward was living at Napier Street in Drummoyne, NSW - residing with the Bulfin family - and by this stage his next of kin was given to be his brother George Cummings of Victoria Dock, London. He was one of many diggers born in the United Kingdom.
Edward embarked from Sydney on the HMAT A55 Kyarra on 13th April 1915.
Having served on the Gallipoli peninsula for a number of months, Edward was tragically wounded and while at sea aboard the SS Reiva died of these wounds. He had received a"shrapnel wound head” during action on the peninsula.
He was taken ashore at Lemnos and buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on 3rd August 1915. His grave is located at III. D. 53.
His family requested the following epitaph to be placed on his grave stone – “God be with you Till we meet again.”
Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Among his personal effects returned to his family was a "masonic diploma." While he is most likely not to have been the only Freemason to have been buried on Lemnos, this is the first time I have discovered documentary evidence of such.

Service File of Private Edward James Cummings, NAA
Another possible digger buried on Lemnos who may also have been Freemason is another English-born Anzac - Corporal (Service Number 353) John Charles Douglas of the 1st Divisional Headquarters. Born in Hackney, London, John was 23 years old when he succumbed to enteric fever and typhoid while under the care of the medical facilities on Lemnos. He is also buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery. After his death, his next of kin - his sister Ethel - sought particulars of her brothers death, in part "for Lodge purposes" This reproduced below. This implies that John may well have also been a Freemason.
Correspondence of Ethel Stott, Service File of Corporal John Charles Douglas, NAA.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 4 August 2017

Reminder - Lemnos Gallipoli Commemoration Next Saturday

Download our event leaflet!

A reminder to all that our Second Annual Commemorative Service in recognition of Lemnos' role in the Gallipoli campaign will take place next Saturday, 12th August 2017, starting at 11am, at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial, Lemnos Square, Foote Street, Albert Park.
Our President Lee Tarlamis will be Master of Ceremonies.
This year our event will take place at the same location - recently re-named Lemnos Square by the Victorian Government on the submission of the City of Port Phillip, following our proposal to the City.
Colonel (Retired) Ms Jan McCarthy will give this year's keynote address. Jan is a former Director of Army Nursing and current President of the Returned Nurses Sub-Branch of the RSL. She served in 1st Field Hospital in Vung Tau during 1968-1969 during the Vietnam War and went on to complete 26 years service with the Australian Army.
In honour of Warrant Officer Archibald Monk who welcomed the Australian nurses to Lemnos in August 1915 - Shrine Governor & Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright will play the bagpipes at the event.
Again we will have representatives of the Sunshine 30ACU Cadet Unit, thanks to Major Terry Kanellos, Committee member and Secretary of the RSL Hellenic Sub-Branch.
And a lot more!
A big thank you to Committee member and Lemnos veteran descendant Deb Stewart for distributing 500 of the above event leaflets throughout the surrounding area of the Memorial.

Come along. All welcome.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Battle of Crete Memorial Lecture: Maleme – Fulcrum of War - Greek Centre, 7pm, 3rd August 2017

Maleme, 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv

We are proud to publicize this weeks lecture on the Battle of Crete, sponsored by our "sister" organization, the part of the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council.
This is part of the series of annual commemorative events and talks, Dr Peter Ewer will deliver this important lecture at the Melbourne's Greek Centre, 7pm, this Thursday, 3rd August 2017.

The Battle for Maleme
Why were the Nazi paratroopers victorious at Maleme, when in very similar circumstances, Australian, British and Greek troops successfully held the equally important aerodromes at Rethmyno and Heraklion?
Maleme - Fulcrum of War - Synopsis
It is a matter of historical record that the Nazi invasion of Crete succeeded because of their victory at the airfield at Maleme west of Chania, in fierce fighting between 20 and 22 May 1941. But why were the Nazi paratroopers victorious at Maleme, when in very similar circumstances, Australian, British and Greek troops successfully held the equally important aerodromes at Rethmyno and Heraklion?
Dr Ewer analyses the battle in detail, beginning with the plans of defending General, the New Zealander Bernard Freyburg, He had come out of retirement in 1939 to take command of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), and faced on Crete complex tactical problems which few had seen before. Freyburg feared most of all an invasion from the sea, and in attempting to meet that threat, he left the vital ground at Maleme too weakly defended, with disastrous results.

Dr Peter Ewer
Dr Peter Ewer is an Australian historian and author.
He is published in internationally renowned academic journals the Journal of Military History (University of Virginia). He has also published in the Journal of Transport History (University of Manchester Press, UK), and a range of local history journals, including Australian Historical Studies (University of Melbourne).
Forgotten Anzacs: the campaign in Greece, 1941, published in 2008, was the first extensive re-examination of the Greek campaign since the publication of the official histories in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s. The revised edition of the book published in 2016, incorporates fresh archival research into British planning for the campaign, shedding new light on the ANZAC contribution to the defence of the Greece.
Peter served as the historical advisor to the 42nd Street Memorial Trust, the community organisation that built the memorial at Tsikalaria Street, Tsikalaria, Crete, to commemorate the fighting there on 27 May 1941, and unveiled by the New Zealand Governor General on 19 May 2016.

This presentation is sponsored by the Battle of Crete & Greece Commemorative Council.
Attendance is free, all welcome.
Information supplied by The Greek Centre and Dr Peter Ewer.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Council

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Remembering two soldiers named Lemnos

Australian soldiers and nurses on Lemnos, 1915. AWM

One of the curious ways that the Island of Lemnos has been remembered and its connection to the Allied soldiers who served there in 1915 is in the names given to future generations.
Today I have discovered two Allied soldiers who served in the Second World War - one Australian and the other British - who include the name of Lemnos in their own names. One wonders what their parents were thinking when they included the name of this Greek Island in the names of their newborns. There is no soldier with either surname buried in either of the two military cemeteries on Lemnos.
But nevertheless to me it is obvious that there must have been some family connection to Lemnos and its role in the Gallipoli campaign. Maybe their father had served on Lemnos or been cared for in its field hospitals in 1915. Lets hope we can find out more about why these soldiers were named Lemnos.
The details of these soldiers are listed below:
Private Charles Frederick Lemnos Power
A soldier with the Second Australian Imperial Force, he was the son of Thomas and Mary Arm Power of Merbein South in country Victoria. His service number was VX47054 and he served with the 2/29th Battalion. He died on the 22nd January 1942, aged 23 and his name is written on the Singapore Memorial.
Gunner Jack Lemnos Gladish
British Gunner 1591274 served in the 433 Battery of the 131 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was the son of Lilian Gladish and the wife of Vera, of Histon, England. He died on the 17th September 1944, age 28, and is buried at the Cambridge City Cemetery.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece - Statement by Steve Dimopoulos MP

Recently the co-chair of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, Mr Steve Dimopoulos MP for Oakleigh, made the following Statement in recognition of the recent planting of an olive tree and unveiling of a memorial plaque in the grounds of the Victorian Parliament.
This new memorial space honours the Anzac connection to Greece and the connections between Greece and Australia through the waves of post war migration.
Below is the text of his statement.

"Mr DIMOPOULOS — I was proud to take part in the ceremony to plant an olive tree in the gardens surrounding Parliament House. This tree recognises the enduring friendship between the Australian and Hellenic people both during war and peacetime. I would like to make special mention of the Parliamentary Friends of Greece, the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council, in particular Tony Tsourdalakis and Larry Irwin, and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, in particular Jim Claven and a former member of the other place, Lee Tarlamis. I would also like to thank Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros, deputy chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Christina Simantiraki, and the many other dignitaries for assisting and taking part in the ceremony. May this olive tree be a lasting memorial to the peaceful and long-term friendship between Australia and Greece and their peoples."
If you would like to download a copy of Mr Dimopoulos' Statement (on page 1851 of the Hansard document), please click here.

The Committee thanks Mr Dimopoulos for his Statement and support for this important act of commemoration.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee