Lemnos’ role in ANZAC story to be told in major new publication

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Historian and Lemnos-Gallipoli Commemorative Committee secretary Jim Claven, will write and prepare the book

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee has commissioned a major new publication to commemorate the role of Lemnos and Greece in Australia’s Gallipoli story.

In an interview with Neos Kosmos, Mr Lee Tarlamis, president of the Melbourne-based committee, announced the committee had recently decided to commission historian and committee secretary, Mr Jim Claven, to write and prepare the publication.

“The publication will showcase the iconic photographs of Lemnos taken by the Anzac nurses and diggers in 1915. Many of these have never been published before, and the committee is excited to finally bring these images to a wider audience,” Mr Tarlamis said.

The publication will be a large format book, recounting the full story of Lemnos and Greece’s role in ANZAC, drawing on the words of the Anzacs themselves, recorded in the hundreds of diaries, postcards and memoirs written during the Gallipoli campaign.

It will be lavishly illustrated, with the layout being undertaken by renowned Melbourne artist and graphic designer, Mr George Petrou. George is currently touring his collection of original paintings inspired by some of the most iconic photographs of Australian diggers from WWI.

Mr Claven, who studied history at Melbourne’s Monash University, completing his Master of Arts degree there, said that it was an honour to be asked to produce this new book.

“Since I started researching the Lemnos and Hellenic connection to ANZAC four years ago, the vividness of the archive of photographs and written records has been a constant source of fascination for me. And I have wanted to share this enthusiasm through a major new publication.”

The book will reflect Mr Claven’s detailed field research of ANZAC sites in Greece and archives across the world, including the unique map archives of Lemnos in 1915 held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

The publication will recount the crucial role of Lemnos – along with nearby Imbros and Tenedos – in supporting the Anzacs during the Gallipoli campaign, the classical heritage of Lemnos as well as the touching interaction of the local Lemnians and other Hellenes with these visitors from the Antipodes, the first major interaction between Greeks and Australians. And it will list the diggers who remain in the Island’s military cemeteries, recounting some of their personal stories.

Mr Tarlamis said he was particularly taken by the story of diggers like Corporal George Finlay Knight. “The son of Scottish migrants to Australia, 21-year-old George was an electrician from Albert Park who enlisted in 1915. He arrived at Gallipoli in August and took part in the deadly fighting at Lone Pine. Yet just over two weeks after his arrival at Gallipoli he was struck down by one of the most common killers at Gallipoli – dysentery – and is buried on Lemnos. The graves of Lemnos are full of such tragic stories.”

The book will include many never-before-published photographs. Many have been mis-identified in the past and others have come to light following the work of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, with descendents bringing forward photographs taken by family members and kept in private family collections since 1915. It will complement these with Mr Claven’s photos of Lemnos today, bringing into vivid colour the locations where the Anzacs walked in 1915.

Mr Tarlamis said that he also hoped the book would overcome the failure in the past to include this essential Hellenic connection to ANZAC in commemorative and historical publications, as well as introduce Lemnos and Greece to many more Australians through the lens of the ANZAC story.

“Jim’s book will take us on a walking tour of Lemnos, guided by the photographs and words of the Anzacs themselves, brought up-to-date with his own stunning images. We hope this will encourage a new generation of Australians to visit Greece, walk its ANZAC trail and help the Greek people in this difficult time.”

Mr Tarlamis said the publication is planned to be launched on 8 August 2016, the anniversary of the arrival of Australian nurses and the recent unveiling of the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park.

“This new publication will be the perfect complement to the creation of our new memorial. We have been committed to funding these two lasting commemorations to Lemnos since we began our journey in 2011.”

The committee has commenced discussions with authorities in Greece for the commemorative publication to be translated into the Greek language and published in Greece.

If you would like to make a donation to this commemorative publication, find out more information or would like to pre-order a copy, please contact Mr Lee Tarlamis on 0411 553 009 or leetarlamis@hotmail.com

source:Neos Kosmos

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