A story that remains largely unknown is set to be brought to life with a joint commitment from the Australian and Greek Governments for the creation of the Lemnos Remembrance Trail.
The Greek island of Lemnos was a significant base for the Allies throughout the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War.
Lemnos was an important staging post for the Allied forces before the landings on Gallipoli. The Australian 3rd Brigade undertook their final training on the island, then, throughout the Gallipoli campaign, Lemnos played an important role as a hospital base.
Medical staff on Lemnos were flooded with casualties and worked under difficult conditions caring for personnel wounded in action on Gallipoli as well as those suffering illness like dysentery, pneumonia and enteric fever.
During a peak period between August and November 1915, close to 100,000 sick and wounded allied personnel arrived at Lemnos.
The Lemnos Remembrance Trail will allow travellers to visit key sites of significance, and a website will be developed to tell the Australian story on Lemnos for those unable to visit in person.
When completed, more than a dozen significant sites on Lemnos will be publicly accessible, giving visitors’ insight into the experiences of the soldiers and medical staff on the island.
A $4.9 million funding commitment to the trail was made by former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in March last year.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh today paid tribute to the sacrifice and dedication of the nurses and doctors who ran this important hospital base out of little more than tents and shacks.
“The history of Lemnos in the First World War is of significance to both Australians and Greeks, and we have been working closely with the Greek authorities to make this important project possible,” he said.
“In particular, I would like to thank The Hellenic Ministry of National Defence, which has agreed to own, manage and maintain the physical trail in perpetuity.”
The Trail is expected to be opened in April 2024 pending development approvals and construction.