An evocative series of ‘then and now’ photographs – on show at the State Library of NSW from 24 February 2015 – will help shed light on the little-known stories of Australian nurses and soldiers on the small Greek island of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign.
Lemnos 1915: Then & now presents 16 powerful photographs which place 100 year-old B&W images of Australian nurses and soldiers within modern, colour landscapes taken in the same location by Sydney-based couple, playwright Cheryl Ward and Bernard de Broglio.
“I was fascinated with Lemnos. It was probably one of the hardest places for the Australian nurses to serve,” says Cheryl Ward. “The hospital tents were regularly blown over, the tent kitchen would catch on fire, not to mention the dysentery, lack of fresh water, the relentless swarm of flies and burrs blowing around that forced nurses to cut off their hair.”
Lemnos was the principal assembly, embarkation and supply point for the Gallipoli landings. Thousands of exhausted and badly wounded Anzacs were treated there by some 130 Australian nurses in makeshift hospitals set up from August 1915. Other major Allied medical hospitals supporting the Gallipoli campaign were also on the island and included Canadians, British and New Zealanders.
With few physical remnants of WWI on the island, Cheryl and Bernard set about relocating the original site of the field hospitals using a sketch map, then poured over Google Earth to match the background in the historic photos they found in the State Library of NSW’s collection, taken by Australian soldier Albert William Savage.
See the full media release and little-known facts about Lemnos attached.