This April the Greek island of Lemnos will be flooded with visitors from Australia and New Zealand, including several Australian politicians. Navy ships from both countries will sail to Lemnos, along with cruise ships and private yachts for the 100 year celebration since the Australian troops (ANZAC), disembarked in Gallipoli, Asia Minor during World War I.
The event coordinator, Greek-Australian politician and former Victoria Minister John Pandazopoulos released information regarding the celebrations, taking place from April 18 to 21.
Australian MPs will also visit other locations across Greece where Australian troops fought during the First and Second World War. Furthermore, in order to show their appreciation for Lemnos’ contribution to the war, Australians are planning on organizing for a cruise ship carrying 100 nurses to arrive on the island in September 2015, in memory of the arrival of nurses that treated the wounded during the unfortunate campaign.
The battle of Gallipoli took place between April 1915 and January 1916 during World War I. Its aim was for the Allies to seize Dardanelles, thus weakening the Ottoman Empire. Lemnos played a significant role in this campaign. Greek Prime Minister at the time, Eleftherios Venizelos gave his permission to the British government to use Lemnos as their base in order to take control of Dardanelles.
The Greek island was also used as a supply station. During the war several infrastructure projects were completed, such as docks, roads, water pumps and a rudimentary railroad network, as well as the construction of two Australian military hospitals, with surgery and X-ray equipment.
Around 4,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers were hospitalized in Lemnos, while another 150 Australian soldiers were buried in the two war cemeteries located on the island.
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