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

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Victorian Parliamentary Gardens Greek Anzac Plaque - RSL Vic Mufti Article

Photo Jim Claven 2017

The latest edition of the RSL Vic member journal - Mufti - includes an article by Tony Tsourdalakis on last years unveiling of the commemorative plaque and olive tree planting in the gardens of the Victorian Parliament.
The plaque commemorates the Hellenic link to Anzac across both world wars, as well as the link between Australia and Greece through the waves of post-war migration.
The plaque and tree was organised jointly by our Committee and the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council - just one example of what we can both achieve by working together.
You can read and download the article by clicking here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Photo Jim Claven 2017

Launch of Swinburne/Boroondara James 'Jim' Martin Scholarship

Hawthorn Roll of Honour Book - opened at the page with James Martin, Former Hawthorn Town Hall. Photo Jim Claven 2018

On Wednesday I attended - along with other members of our Committee - the above launch.
The $1,000 scholarship is open to Year 9 Secondary School Students in the Boroondara and has been named in honour of James 'Jim' Martin, at 14 years old the youngest Australian soldier to serve. He was killed by disease contracted on the Gallipoli Peninsula and buried at sea in the waters of the Aegean.
It should be noted that Jim came to Lemnos with the rest of his Battalion on his way to Gallipoli in September 1915. Along the way he survived the tragic attack on his troopship, the Southland.
This scholarship program has been put together really well, and aims to enhance awareness amongst young people of the local stories associated with Australia's Anzac tradition from WW1. It is supported by the "My School Remembers" program.
Students will research the archives and write about a local Boroondaradigger or nurse.
Eventually, this information will be accessible through a mobile application, which will enable anyone using it to follow the story of each of these diggers around the locations connecting them to Boroondaraand beyond. Amazing.
The launch was attended by descendants of Jim Martin, as well as the author of "Soldier Boy", Anthony Hill, the story of Jim Martin.
the launch also include an amazing performance by actors in WW1 uniform, bringing vividly to life the life and tragic death of Jim martin and two other local diggers killed at the later battle of Fromelles in France.
Congratulations to all involved in this worthy project, and to Swinburne and the City of Boroondarafor supporting it.
It would be great if this sort of program could be rolled-out to other communities.
Thank you to George Verginis of the Kew Rotary for inviting us to attend the launch.
Details on the My School Remembers program can be read by clicking here and here.
Details on the scholarship can be read by clicking here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 1 March 2018

2018 Scholarship and Awards Presentation - Nurses Memorial Centre

It was a great evening at the Nurses Memorial Centre (NMC) at the Presentation of Scholarships and Awards. The President Dr Elizabeth Lavender warmly welcomed guests and Dr Beverley Wood, the Chair of the NMC Scholarship Committee commented on the difficulty that the judges had in selecting the finalists for the scholarships as the standard of the applicants was very high.
The NMC offers a number of scholarships to exceptional candidates, such as nurses and midwives, undertaking postgraduate study at an Australian University or accredited higher education institution. The purpose of these scholarships is to increase access to postgraduate study for nurses and midwives as part of the NMC’s mission to act as “a living memorial” by advancing the nursing profession through education.

The Award recipients are as follows:
  • The Anne Murray Mental Health Scholarship - Miss Eliza Otte - Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing RMIT University
  • Indigenous Scholarship - Miss Chloe Reid - Master of Advanced Nursing Practice University of Melbourne
  • Prince Henry’s Affiliates Scholarship -  Mrs Catherine Halmarick - Certificate in Allied Health Professionals Ultrasound Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine
  • The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarships: Miss Amy Grant - Graduate Certificate Nursing (Emergency Care) Latrobe University;Ms Kylie Kidner - Master of Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) Charles Darwin University; Miss Lindsay Scudder - Master of Advanced Nursing Practice University of Melbourne
  • The Nurses Memorial Centre Vivian Bullwinkel Award - Mrs Monica Schoch PhD - Point of Care Ultrasound in Haemodialysis Access Deakin University
  • Nurses Memorial Centre Betty Jeffrey Award - Ms Abha Somesh - Master of Nursing Practice (Critical Care) Deakin University
The Indigenous Scholarship was introduced this year for the first time. It was made possible by generous donations to the NMC which recognises the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses to the health and well-being of the community. The NMC is pleased to offer this Indigenous Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses undertaking postgraduate Nursing Studies at an Australian University or other accredited higher education institution.
Arlene Bennett Vice President of the NMC and Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Member presented the Prince Henry's Affiliates Scholarship.
Following the Awards Presentation, we heard from Mr Paul Gardner, RN, MN Gerontic (res) - Recipient of the 2016 Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women Scholarship.
Congratulations to all the recipients of the Awards and Scholarships and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Christina Despoteris
Vice President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Lemnos' Sister Florence James-Wallace - Shrine Presentation Noon, Thursday 8th March 2018

Photo - AWM
Sister Florence James-Wallace was stationed at Villers-Bretonneux during the early stages of the 1918 German offensive. She described it as resembling 'Dante's Inferno'. The hospital overflowed with badly wounded men and hundreds more lay in the streets on stretchers needing her nursing skills. This is her story.
Queensland born, Florence was 29 years old when she enlisted in the AIF on 26th April 1915.
She previously served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos in 1915. She collected a number of iconic photographs taken by the Hospital's resident photographer, Albert Savage.
She returned to Australia on 7th March 1919.

Presenter: Susanna de Vries and Phil Castle
Date: Thursday 8 March, midday
Cost: $5.00 (non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours of the event)
Location: Shrine Auditorium
Book on-line through the following link - Sister Florence James-Wallace Presentation Booking

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Cretan Resistance and SOE on Crete Presentation - You are Invited

The Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council and Melbourne's Greek Centre are proud to bring to Melbourne a unique presentation by British-based author and historian Chris White on his research into the Cretan Resistance and SOE in WW2.
In his presentation, Chris will outline his research into the story of the resistance to German occupation on Crete during WW2, including the experience of the British SOE agents and the famous kidnapping of the German General Kreipe in 1944.
The presentation will feature photographs from the time - many rarely seen before - as well as Chris' own taken as part of his identification of the locations used by the resistance and SOE.
There will be an opportunity afterwards for attendees to meet with Chris to discuss specific villages and areas and to consider some of the many photographs taken on Crete in WW2 in his collection.
A unique presentation not to be missed.
You can download a flyer on the presentation by clicking here.

Where: Mezzanine, Greek Centre, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
When: 2.00pm start, Saturday, 17th March 2018

Chris White Biography 
Chris White is a British-based author and historian who has researched the resistance on Crete during WW2 for many years, including the kidnapping of the German General Kreipe made famous in the book and film "Ill Met by Moonlight." He has identified, located and recorded many of the trails and over 100 hideouts used by the resistance and SOE agents on Crete. He has assembled an extensive archive of photographs from the period, which have then been used to locate, photograph and confirm locations. Chris' website, showing some of his research is:

Jim Claven
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Member, Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council

Monday, 26 February 2018

Royal Australian Navy Bridging Train Honoured - Satuday 24th February 2018

Photo Jim Claven 2018

As announced earlier, the service of the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) was honoured in the gardens of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne last Saturday morning, 24th February 2018. I attended the event, along with Committee Vice-President, Ms Christina Despoteris.
Photo Jim Claven 2018

The service featured the laying of a new commemorative plaque at the foot of the tree dedication to the RANBT (Memorial Tree B68). The gathering included representatives of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), led by Captain Tim Standen, CSC, RAN, Commanding Officer of HMS Cerberus. The RAN also provider the bugler for the event.
It was great to be able to meet the grand-daughter of the commander of the RANBT, Ms Mary-Anne Gourley.
Our Vice=President Christina Despoteris talks with Mary-Anne Gourley. Photo Jim Claven 2018

Her grand-father Lieutenant Commander Lieghton Bracegirdle, DSO and Three Mentioned-in-Despatches (MiD), commanded the unit from its formation and throughout the Gallipoli campaign. As recounted earlier, the unit served on Lemnos in 1915. It was the most decorated unit of the RAN in WW1, with 16 sailors being Mentioned-in-Despatches (MiD.
A short history of the unit written by Dr John Carroll is contained within the event booklet attached below.
Photo Jim Claven 2018

We also met David Dwyer, the Hon Sec of the HMAS Sydney and Vietnam Logistics Support Veteran's Association, who helped organise the event.
It was a great opportunity to both take part in this important event and connect with descendants of service personnel and supporters of the RANBT. We took the opportunity to explain our Committee and our Memorial at Lemnos Square, Albert Park. We extended an invitation to this organisation to attend our event in August.
This was an important event in enabling our Committee to connect with one of the many service associations connected to Lemnos and Gallipoli.
For all those Committee members and supporters unable to attend the service, please find below scans of the event booklet.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 12 February 2018

Commemorative Service - Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train, Shrine, 24th February 2018

At 10am on 24th February 2018 a commemorative service will be held in the gardens surrounding Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance in honour of the service of the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train. The service will include a plaque dedication and wreath laying at Memorial Tree B68.
All members and supporters of our Committee are encouraged to attend this service.
The 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train, Gallipoli and Lemnos
This unit played a significant and essential role in the Gallipoli campaign as well as serving on Lemnos in 1915.
The unit was formed in February 1915, with its troops assembling at its camp at the Domain (the site of the Shrine of Remembrance) throughout March and April. Over 360 officers and men would join the unit at its formation - more would serve as reinforcements arrived overseas.
Originally intended for service on the Western Front with the British Royal naval Division, the unit was diverted to the Gallipoli campaign in July 1915 after its arrival in Egypt.
The unit arrived at Lemnos on the 21st July before proceeding to Imbros for training on the 24th. The unit then proceeded to Suvla Bay on the 7th August, where they remained until mid to late December 1915. The soldiers of the unit were the last Australians to evacuate the Peninsula on 20th December 1915, leaving after 4.20am.
After the evacuation of the Peninsula, the unit came to Lemnos and remained there until the 17th January 1916, when they sailed for Alexandria.
At Suvla the unit had been engaged in the construction and maintenance of piers and jetties, the landing of supplies and the evacuation of troops. Their tasks required specialist naval engineering and construction skills. And all of this was done under the constant reality of enemy shelling. One pier was constructed under fire within 20 minutes and operational soon after.
A RAN Sapper Buried on Lemnos
One of its members died and is buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery on Lemnos - Petty Officer Philip Clement Le Sueur. A sailor by profession, Philip was from Jersey in the Channel Islands. He contracted gastroenteritis while at Suvla Bay in August 1915 and died on a hospital ship on the way to the hospitals on Lemnos.
He is buried in plot 2, Row E, Grave 83 at East Mudros Cemetery. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Grave of Petty Officer Philip Clement Le Sueur, East Mudros Military Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2015
Praise for their service
Their dedication and service was commended by Allied commanders.
They became one of the most decorated units in the Royal Australian Navy in the First World War, its members receiving twenty honours and awards, including the Distinguished Service Order.
As the Australian official war correspondent and later official historian wrote in October 1915:
"There they are today in charge of the landing of a great part of the stores of British Arms. ... If you want to see their work you only have to go to Kangaroo Beach, Suvla Bay, and look around you. They have made a harbour"
We should commemorate this important and often overlooked component of Australia's Gallipoli story - the role of the Australian Navy in the campaign and especially its Bridging Train engineers.
Source Monuments Australia website. Photographs supplied by Kent Watson/Graeme Saunders
For more information on the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train see:
  • T.R. Frame and G.J Swinden, First in, last out: The Navy at Gallipoli, Kangaroo Press, 1990.
  • David Stevens, In All Respects Ready: Australia's Navy in World War One, Oxford UP, 2014 Greg Swinden, "A Short History of the RAN Bridging Train (1915-17)", Naval Historical Review, September 2007.
  • Tom Frame, The Shore of Gallipoli: Naval Aspects of the Anzac Campaign, Hale and Iremonger, 2000.
  • Tom Frame and Kevin Baker, Mutiny! Naval Insurrections in Australian and New Zealand, Allen and Unwin, 2000.
For more information on the service, please click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee