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montbrehain

LEMNOS and MUDROS Harbour , Greece

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Bernard_Lewis

Klaus - I am sure it is one worth telling even if not on THIS forum. Crete was a tough assignment whether defender or attacker.

Bernard

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grantmal

Great 'before and after' stuff, MO.

Good on you,

Grant

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montbrehain

If you refer to my map in an earlier post you will see just how small the peninsula is. The first view is taken from Portianou end and shows the octopus fishermans pick-up truck and you can just make out the cairn on the end . The next one is taken from the top of the cairn looking back to where the 1st pic is taken from. The 3rd is looking over at Mudros from the top of the cairn and the fourth is ruins on the site of No 3 Australian General Hospital. Like I said in an earlier post, there is not a great deal to see. But its like when you walk the battlefields and especially if you have read a bit on the subject. It is possible to imagine what might have been here. There are some "Hospital" ruins and the site of a Muslim cemetery which I will post pics of in the next few days . Thanks for the comments too. "MO"

post-13272-1190959510.jpgpost-13272-1190959545.jpg

post-13272-1190959589.jpgpost-13272-1190959597.jpg

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wilkokcl

Fascinating pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Mark

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Ozzie

Thanks Mo.

And thanks for the map you sent me before our trip. It got us out of trouble more than once! It was a great kindness of you to mark it up and send it!

Cheers

Kim

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stevem49

Mo

A public thanks for visiting my men's graves and taking photos, also for the photos on the thread. Really enjoying them.

stevem

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redescort

MO

Got the pics great job hope I can return the favour one day.

Cheers

Ray

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montbrehain

Glad I could help Ray . Kim I knew that map would come in handy ;) and "all" glad your enjoying the pictures. I remember when I was living in Australia , I would read of far flung places in connection with my interest in the AIF and the "Great War" in general.And I wonder what was there and what it looked like ? I know many people reading this will never have the chance to get to Lemnos/Mudros and many wouldn't even want to. But to see just a glimpse of these places is better than nothing ( I think :huh: )

Anyway..... If you leave the Village of Portianou and head towards the sea the road soon becomes gravel. Just over the rise about a mile away is a small beach. Here was the site of a British hospital and a Convalescence camp. About 100 yards before you get to the beach a track leads off to the left . The sea is now on your right and as the land rises a low cliff begins to form. Not far along this track is a Muslim Memorial and cemetery. I knew nothing of this cemetery and thanks to forum member APWRIGHT for bringing it to my attention. It is maintained by and mentioned in the CWGC records ( although their directions on how to get to it could now do with an update ).

The first thing you come to is a low stone wall on your right that stretches about 100 feet from the track you are on the edge of the cliff. just this side of the stone wall are 2 CWGC markers

post-13272-1191045199.jpg . About 100 yards further along the track is the memorial. I reckon that the burials are between the markers wall and the memorial.

The following pictures are of 1 , portion of the Australian plaque at Mudros showing the map I copied the camp and hospital details from . 2, Map of local area I talk about in this post. Portianou is marked as 21. then some shots of memorial and finally looking up towards "Hospital" ruins from the area marked on the plaque as a pier. "MO"

post-13272-1191045589.jpgpost-13272-1191045657.jpg

post-13272-1191045706.jpgpost-13272-1191045719.jpg

I believe the burials are in the foreground between the camera and the memorial in the left photo. And between the memorial and the wall in the distance in the right photo

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montbrehain

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montbrehain

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apwright

Mo,

Thanks very much for the pictures of the Muslim Memorial (it's a lot smaller than I expected!), and indeed for all your photos from Limnos. Fantastic!

Now I know where I'm going for my summer hols next year :)

Adrian

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montbrehain

I think I have now sent all the Headstone photographs that people have requested (phew!) ,or at least tried to make contact with those who requested them. If you think I may have missed you or have any other requests then please do let me know. "MO"

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montbrehain

On the highest part of the small peninsula standing beside a dusty track are some ruins. I asked a few local people what they were ? and they all told me that it was a British hospital. Now its obvious that its not a hospital. ( I believe all the hospitals were tented and according to the Australian plaque at Mudros they seemed to have an average capacity of around 600 ! beds) But could it have been the admin center for the hospitals and perhaps built by the Royal engineers ? It has a perfect view over the whole area but I really don't know , but I can tell you its one eerie place to visit and stand. (or is that just my imagination :blush: ) I would appreciate it if anybody comes across a period photo or map of the peninsula to let us know about it too. "MO"

post-13272-1191133941.jpg

post-13272-1191134029.jpg looking towards the village of Nea Koutali (where we stayed). By my reckoning the Australian rest camp was very close by to this village.

post-13272-1191134055.jpg

The village of Portianou in the back ground

post-13272-1191134084.jpg

Looking back towards Muslim memorial

post-13272-1191134114.jpg

a view of the peninsula from distance, ruins are just out of pic on the right

There is also a New Russian memorial (well sort of signpost really) on the peninsula. I was told a team came out from Russia last year and excavated a cemetery (Which can be seen) of those who died after the evacuation of Novorossisk in 1921. There are also a further 28 burials from this time in East Mudros cemetery. I know absolutely nothing about this period , so can anybody enlighten me ?

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montbrehain

Well that's about it for now , perhaps somebody else may be able to add more to this thread over time. There may be more to see or find but as we only had a week there ..... Lemnos itself is an undiscovered Gem. It has not been tainted by mass tourism (although for how long remains to be seen). The people are friendly and talkative (half seem to have been born in Melbourne :lol: ) In fact I was told that there are more Lemnetians in Melbourne than there are on the island ! If you fancy a quiet holiday (although I hear it gets busy in July/August) with beaches and history then Lemnos is your place. And for those that may have wondered ? no I did not drag my family to all the places I photographed :D I just got up at dawn (about 6am) and would go out for a few hours on my own and arrive back at 9am just in time for breakfast.

post-13272-1191218526.jpgpost-13272-1191218546.jpg

The photo on the left shows men of the Egyptian Labour Corps loading donkeys with supplies. The photo came from the the photographic diary I have. I searched everywhere in Mudros trying to find where it was taken, with no luck. One night we were seated in the restaurant on the right of the picture and a group of men were also there having a chat. I went over and asked if anybody knew where this photo was taken ? all shook their heads. Except one. He told me to follow him. Not 150 feet from where I was sitting he showed me through gate (it was dark) where the buildings were. it turns out they are now the local school. The next day I came back and took these. "MO"

post-13272-1191218973.jpgpost-13272-1191218979.jpg

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montbrehain

There is one more Photo I would like to add. I was reading along the rows of headstones and this one stopped me in my tracks. The soldier is buried in East Mudros cemetery. I suppose in the years following the war many many people asked this question, but to see it on a headstone and to feel all the bitterness behind it truly makes you think. may he rest in peace "MO

post-13272-1191264327.jpg

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ZackNZ

The immediate impact of just one word is amazing! "Thanks" doesn't say it! R.I.P.

Zack

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Bryn

Great stuff, MO. Thanks very much for the photos you sent me, they're much appreciated.

Regarding the story behind Captain Francois Balli, Turkish forces, who's buried in Portianos Military cemetery, I have no idea. I'm guessing he may have been on Mudros as part of a Turkish delegation after the signing of the armisitice. I've always been intrigued, though, that he's buried in a CWGC cemetery and somehwhere along the line lost the photo I took of his headstone in 1996. I have never seen that before at or near Gallipoli - an enemy soldier buried in a Commonwealth cemetery.

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lemnosexplorer
Ok this is going to take a while so I hope you will all keep popping back as I add stuff? Well what can I say, firstly what's to see on Lemnos that is of interest to a "Great war" buff or Pilgrim to the cemetery's. The honest answer is not much. Of course there are the 3 cemeteries and the Australian memorial plaque at Mudros and these would be the visitors main points . BUT if you go armed with a bit of knowledge and a armful of photographs taken at the time (as I did) things become much more interesting. So I hope to be able to show you a bit of what I found in the following pages. I must admit that the Australian plaque at Mudros was a great help and the map that I have drawn for the forum was taken from the info on the plaque. I thought that everything was centred around the village of Mudros, but that assumption is wrong. In fact across the Harbour near the village of Portianou is a small peninsula of land (Which I believe was known then as "Turks head" peninsula) . Although there is not a lot to see there now , at the time it was a hive of activity. Of course Portianou is the site of 1 of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery's too and there rests those who died in the nearby hospitals. I will try to add something each day and let you know when I have finished posting. Hope you enjoy this "MO"

1, map of Mudros Harbour. 2, Myself taken at Mudros harbour looking across towards "Turks head" peninsula (from now on refered to as TH). The harbour area has been much reclaimed over the years and now the area is much higher than it was. 3, Portianou CWGC cemetery.

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post-13272-1190659445.jpg

post-13272-1190659475.jpg

post-13272-1190659534.jpg

post-13272-1190659578.jpgpost-13272-1190659586.jpg

Your photos are spot on !

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lemnosexplorer
Glad I could help Ray . Kim I knew that map would come in handy ;) and "all" glad your enjoying the pictures. I remember when I was living in Australia , I would read of far flung places in connection with my interest in the AIF and the "Great War" in general.And I wonder what was there and what it looked like ? I know many people reading this will never have the chance to get to Lemnos/Mudros and many wouldn't even want to. But to see just a glimpse of these places is better than nothing ( I think :huh: )

Anyway..... If you leave the Village of Portianou and head towards the sea the road soon becomes gravel. Just over the rise about a mile away is a small beach. Here was the site of a British hospital and a Convalescence camp. About 100 yards before you get to the beach a track leads off to the left . The sea is now on your right and as the land rises a low cliff begins to form. Not far along this track is a Muslim Memorial and cemetery. I knew nothing of this cemetery and thanks to forum member APWRIGHT for bringing it to my attention. It is maintained by and mentioned in the CWGC records ( although their directions on how to get to it could now do with an update ).

The first thing you come to is a low stone wall on your right that stretches about 100 feet from the track you are on the edge of the cliff. just this side of the stone wall are 2 CWGC markers

post-13272-1191045199.jpg . About 100 yards further along the track is the memorial. I reckon that the burials are between the markers wall and the memorial.

The following pictures are of 1 , portion of the Australian plaque at Mudros showing the map I copied the camp and hospital details from . 2, Map of local area I talk about in this post. Portianou is marked as 21. then some shots of memorial and finally looking up towards "Hospital" ruins from the area marked on the plaque as a pier. "MO"

post-13272-1191045589.jpgpost-13272-1191045657.jpg

post-13272-1191045706.jpgpost-13272-1191045719.jpg

I believe the burials are in the foreground between the camera and the memorial in the left photo. And between the memorial and the wall in the distance in the right photo

hello again, I agree with the 'left' photo. I see 2 images. One with car and one without. One on top of another. Definitely is the one without, as I have heard while checking information for my guide, that the burials are upto the single wall seen at the far end (photo with car) after the car. They say that area in between left as is, due to the fact no money was available at the time from the casualties side to maintain their burial space. Any other info by your side on this please ?

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lemnosexplorer

I was wondering if anyone has heard my piece of info: These ruins were a huge water deposit tank in the past which was distributing water (to hospitals, tents ?)

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Paul Treclyn

Looking at these fascinating pictures and posts has sent me to look at the letters of Pte Ben Noot of the RAMC relating to his time on Lemnos during July 1915. Its interesting to hear the words of someone who saw it all those years ago, at the height of the operations in the Dardanelles.

He sailed on the Royal Edward from Avonmouth on June 23rd, with the 39th Field Ambulance. They were in Valetta Harbour on June 30th, and Alexandria on July 5th. On July 9th he was writing home from Lemnos, and was at Turks Head from July 13th. This was his first taste of active service. Although he avoids mentioning the name of the island, he gives an interesting description of the place, pencilled over by the censor, but revealed again through the efforts of his family after they received the post it seems. I have marked the censored passages in a different colour.

"There are a great number of big camps here, near the sea shore and in the harbour there are [French and English Battleships and Destroyers and any number of] English and French transport vessels. There are two tiny villages near where we are bivouacing and the natives seem to live by farming. They appear to me to be living exactly like the shepherds we read of in the Bible; on nothing particular. There are any number of donkeys and sheep here, and a few cows and it is one of the dreariest places I have ever imagined. About half a mile away there is a concentration camp containing Turkish prisoners.

I have been on fatigue ever since I finished the first part of this letter. The sun today is scorching and yet in the night the weather is extremely cold. We sleep out in the open air, we have no tents or any cover of any kind.

[There are a lot of Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, Sengalese, French, Egyptians and British here.] A lot of them are resting after operations in the Dardanelles. [They say that we were too long getting the hill ...... ... which is such a vantage point on the peninsula.] The Australians have a particularly good name and one of the fellows was telling us that the Australians never retire now, because they have known the Turks to murder the wounded and they have sworn vengeance. Of course, it might be all a tale."

There are a few more interesting little insights into life on Lemnos in a subsequent letter.

July 29th: "It was deadly monotinous on the boat during the whole voyage, and for this last month here I have had nothing hardly to read... I have had to sell all my soap to Jack Fear for six envelopes this afternoon... Everything goes along here as usual. There has not been a drop of rain here since we landed. The only things that trouble us here are the pestilential flies. They are the cheekiest flies I have ever known; they will even walk into my mouth and they have become so used to the pipe that they settle on the glowing tobacco.

On August 4th the 39th Field Ambulance set off for Anzac Cove, and that, as they say, is another story.

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montbrehain

Thank you very much for that Paul, your right it does help in imagining what it may have been like. I'm sure there are probably many tales such as the one you have supplied. its just locating them . I hope others may add to this thread over time as you have done. thanks "MO"

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James Brown

Hi Mo

Thanks for the photographs. I recieved them ok, everyone a person with their own story to me. Again I'm running at the "coos tail" .....late reply!! You did a sterling job with all the photos, the map and your interpritation of the Island.

Kind Regards

James

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alliekiwi

Fantastic photos and information, Mo. I knew next to nothing about Mudros and what had been there, so it was wonderfully informative to see your map and then view the sites then and now as you were able to find them.

Allie

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Guest terry c
On the highest part of the small peninsula standing beside a dusty track are some ruins. I asked a few local people what they were ? and they all told me that it was a British hospital. Now its obvious that its not a hospital. ( I believe all the hospitals were tented and according to the Australian plaque at Mudros they seemed to have an average capacity of around 600 ! beds) But could it have been the admin center for the hospitals and perhaps built by the Royal engineers ? It has a perfect view over the whole area but I really don't know , but I can tell you its one eerie place to visit and stand. (or is that just my imagination :blush: ) I would appreciate it if anybody comes across a period photo or map of the peninsula to let us know about it too. "MO"

post-13272-1191133941.jpg

post-13272-1191134029.jpg looking towards the village of Nea Koutali (where we stayed). By my reckoning the Australian rest camp was very close by to this village.

post-13272-1191134055.jpg

The village of Portianou in the back ground

post-13272-1191134084.jpg

Looking back towards Muslim memorial

post-13272-1191134114.jpg

a view of the peninsula from distance, ruins are just out of pic on the right

There is also a New Russian memorial (well sort of signpost really) on the peninsula. I was told a team came out from Russia last year and excavated a cemetery (Which can be seen) of those who died after the evacuation of Novorossisk in 1921. There are also a further 28 burials from this time in East Mudros cemetery. I know absolutely nothing about this period , so can anybody enlighten me ?

I am not sure if this is of any help , but my grandfather was sent out to Mudros in the early part of 1915 , in charge of carpenters to construct hospitals there . In his diary he says that he was put in charge of a squad of Arabs ,driving piles for hospitals at West point ,Mudros . Could this be the ruins in your photo . He also mentions being in the 27th Genral Hospital with dysentry , do you know if there is anything left of this .Great to see these photos as it helps to bring to life his diary.

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