Remembering Gallipoli's Nursing Heroes: Helen Zahos Pays Tribute to Their Sacrifice

Helen Zahos: Remembering the Sacrifice of Nurses at Gallipoli

The Greek Orthodox Community of St. George, Brisbane, Australia held a remembrance ceremony in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who died in the Gallipoli expedition during World War I and later in World War II during the Greek campaign.

Helen Zahos: Remembering the Sacrifice of Nurses at Gallipoli
(Left to Right) Freda Valassakis, Mr. George D. Mastrocostas, Ying Mastrocostas, Dr. Vlas Efstathis

Among the poignant moments was the laying of wreaths at the Hector Vasyil Memorial, commemorating the tragic story of an 11-year-old Greek-Australian newspaper boy. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made during wartime and the enduring impact of a young boy's selflessness and compassion. Then continued to the Shrine of Remembrance ANZAC Square, followed by the ANZAC Day parade with the Hellenic Sub-Branch RSL down Brisbane streets,

However, for many, the true essence of the day lies in honouring the Australian and Greek nurses who served on the island of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign. Some of these remarkable women were as young as 14. Yet, they faced unimaginable challenges - harsh weather, food shortages, lack of running water, and exposure to diseases like dysentery - to care for the wounded soldiers.

In a heartfelt Facebook post, the call went out to share these stories to ensure that these women's history and extraordinary efforts are never forgotten. It's a reminder that even in today's conflicts, such as those in Ukraine, women continue to play crucial roles, sewing camouflage covers, feeding soldiers, and nursing their injuries.

Helen Zahos: Remembering the Sacrifice of Nurses at Gallipoli
Speaking retired Colonel Dr. Vlas Efstathis with the Hon. Mr Kon Penkilis

Ms Helen Zahos, speaking, emphasised the importance of recognising and honouring the sacrifices made by these brave nurses. The sight of youth dressed in traditional costumes, paying homage to the fallen, added to the poignancy of the occasion. Ms Zahos went on to say "Today, as we pay tribute, we remember the courageous nurses who served on the island of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign. Their unwavering commitment to providing essential care amidst the chaos of war is a testament to the human spirit's resilience and compassion."

Ms Helen Zahos went on to say to Greek City Times "It was a privilege to join the ANZAC march in Brisbane alongside the Hellenic RSL and the Brisbane Greek Orthodox Community of St. George as we honoured these unsung heroes."

Lest We Forget.

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Helen Zahos at Brisbane Greek Orthodox church of St. George, Australia

The sacrifice of nurses at Gallipoli:

The sacrifice of nurses at Gallipoli during World War I is a poignant chapter in the history of nursing and military service. Gallipoli, a peninsula in modern-day Turkey, was the site of a gruelling and ultimately unsuccessful Allied campaign against the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Nurses played a crucial role in caring for the wounded soldiers throughout the campaign. Despite the dangers posed by the harsh conditions, including constant shelling, lack of medical supplies, and the threat of disease, nurses worked tirelessly to provide comfort and medical assistance to the wounded.

The nurses stationed at Gallipoli faced significant challenges. They often worked long hours under difficult circumstances, with limited resources and inadequate facilities. Many nurses showed remarkable courage and resilience in the face of danger, risking their lives to tend to the injured.

Several nurses lost their lives during the Gallipoli campaign. Some were killed by enemy fire, while others succumbed to disease or injuries sustained while caring for the wounded. Their sacrifices underscored the bravery and dedication of those who served as nurses in wartime.

The story of the nurses at Gallipoli is one of courage, compassion, and sacrifice. Their contributions are remembered and honoured as part of the broader narrative of the Gallipoli campaign and the First World War.

Photo Gallery of ANZAC Day 2024 Brisbane Australia. Images by Greg Gavriniotis

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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