Lemnos - Gallipoli (1915-2015) by Debbie Papadakis
Republished from protothemanews.com
Australia and Greece… Remembering war heroes on Lemnos (photos)
By Debbie D E Papadakis
The honor of writing about the women-in-action, particularly the nurses and doctors stationed on the island of Lemnos located in Greece , was requested by the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney in Australia. Mrs. Kathy Stojanovic, a prominent representative of the H.L.S , who organizes cultural events collaborating with Traditional Greek dancing groups from the Greek islands and mainland Greece, brings culture to life in Australia by establishing cultural bonds and lasting friendship between Australia and Greece. This alone, enhances an understanding between cultures bringing people together. It is women like her, and many other ladies behind the scenes, working tirelessly for charity and promoting culture that play a vital role in society, in which the course of their living every-day lives, together with the ethics and values they embrace, mark the course of events that have led to show us and on-coming generations, of how-to-do things that give life added meaning.
Each year from my childhood, ANZAC DAY, 25th April commemorates those that had fallen in battle with honors. Indeed, they should be honored due to the fact that these men and women gave their lives and saw it their duty to support their fellow men with courage and personal sacrifice.”How did they do it?” is a question that should be asked, presenting their reasons to be written in history. Furthermore, since the Great War nothing was ever the same. Every thing changed; the way people thought and the way life was lived changed. The course of social history marked changes with women entering the work force and gaining the right to vote; Naturally, the course of history challenged these changes, as these changes challenged the course of history, which brings us to this day for governments and organizations through political and economic institutions to acknowledge these changes and to respect societies of people.
On this day Saturday, 10th May 2014 a chapter was inspired of wanting to remember the women who trained as nurses. These nurses vowed to follow the men who were their husbands, their fiancés , their brothers as they headed into battle to fight in what is known as the Great War. Who were these women? What did they encounter? How did they over come difficulties in their efforts to help the wounded? How did they feel? What can be said of their character, having to organize hospitals and casualty units? Their story, not told in history, will unfold as a book of poetry and accounts bringing to life the images and experiences learned.
In the light of Nurses Day, we commemorate the sacrifice and diligent service of the Nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS); The Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Service (QAIMNS)known as the RED CROSS NURSES and the Australian Casualty Cleaning Station (3rd. ACCS). These ‘silent heroes’ accompanied and stood beside the soldiers of ‘The Great War’ in Gallipoli, a series of poems and written accounts will be documented to be presented in their honor. It was the first time in history mankind had entered such a war of such a grand scale; It was known as a war to end all wars. . No one knew the magnitude of destruction and the loss of life that it would cause. No one knew what they expected to find supporting their loved ones as they left the security of their shores. Many nurses in Greece stood by these nurses from Australia and New Zealand in the Mediterranean. Many more nurses worked heroically throughout the European continent. Lest we forget!
Venue: DIMOKRITOS APHITHEATRE Agia Paraskevi.
Date: Saturday 27th June 2015.
Guest speaker: Australia’s Ambassador Mr John Griffin.
There will be other speakers too from the Omospondia Syllogon Lemnioton.
The Hellenic Lyceum of Agia Paraskevi and as guests the Hellenic Lyceum of sydney will be dancing.
‘The Unforgotten Silent Heroes of WW1.’
By Debbie D E Papadakis
Lest we forget.
Never before in History books,
Have I encountered their names.
Never before had these nurses,
Been mentioned, nor accounts of the magnitude of pain!
Never before had the youth of Australia seen,
The capability of mass devastation, that a World War could bring.
For they had true values of loyalty in their heart,
In support of the drum beats, from the ‘Mother Land’, right from the start.
However, these nurses doctors and soldiers, as the story goes, you will see,
They discover ‘true mate-ship’ of added values, at Lemnos and Gallipoli.
For Australia’s, Andrew Fisher backed Great Britain’s urge to victory :
Pledging support : “To the last man and the last shilling” marked our History.
As Australia, in 1900 was a New Nation,’ International ground’ it wanted to mark,
Supporting honour, what they believed in and was logical, that set them apart.
Thus, Australians and New Zealanders,
Came in great numbers from States and towns.
People that were teachers, maids , farmers , bushmen
City workers, clerks, architects, civilians, they still came in crowds!
Gathered in strength, as volunteers, as soldiers in thousands, more were bound ,
For the Nations bell’s had sounded, accompanying the war drum to the beat, nothing profound.
These soldiers , these ‘Diggers’ known by all ‘Fair Dinkum’ to be,
Were followed by their wives, fiancés and sisters, as doctors and nurses we see.
Their bravery, the ‘Australian Spirit’ that had developed from a new land..
Was to bond with a ‘hard people’ on a Greek Isle, I have come to understand.
The Isle of Lemnos today, memorials stand so proud to be…
In memory of The ‘ANZAC ‘ diggers and the ‘Silent Heroes ‘, we all can see.
At the ‘Great War’ these people, the Lemnians and Australians had come to be,
Forming a strong bond of fraternity for humanity.
100 years on, now may we mark their names,
As Nurses and Doctors and common people, that tried to soothe the pain .
100 years on, now may we mark and see,
The humane support, given by those on Lemnos , after the carnage on Gallipoli.
100 years on, may we remember the Australian youth of that day,
That penned out history, in a different way.
To you and me they were soldier and nurses of the ’Great War’,
But carried a story, a story of ‘mate-ship’ worth to be told.
They were unique in values and strength, I have come to see,
The AANS, the QAIMNS and the 3rd ACCS are too, known as The ANZACS in history!