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Development   /  Jacinta Dunn

Lemnos: Heroes Behind Gallipoli’s Frontline

A History Remembered


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR Pria Viswalingam

  • PRODUCER Elizabeth Kaydos & Jacinta Dunn



Archaeologist Neil Oliver discovers the extraordinary story of a Greek island in the Aegean and its pivotal role in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.
His exploration of the wartime history of Lemnos reveals his own surprising and deeply moving connection to this island.

This blue-chip documentary explores themes that are in the national interest. These include:
* The critical role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli Campaign
* The foundation of Australian-Greek relations
* Women in Conflict Contexts (now in the National School Curriculum)
* Pioneering medicine in war-zones
Few people are aware that Lemnos served as the base for the Allied campaign against the Ottoman Empire. The island became the M*A*S*H for the Gallipoli peninsula where medical procedures were pioneered in make-shift conditions under challenging environmental extremes.

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  • $284,000.00

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  • April 2021

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Lemnos was crucial to the Gallipoli Campaign, but has been forgotten by History.
The story of Lemnos provides rare insight into life away from the horror of the trenches. The film will highlight the pioneering medical procedures and nursing practices used to deal with some of never-before-seen wounds inflicted by this ‘modern’ war. The film also celebrates Women's role in conflict zones: Just 136 Australian nurses cared for thousands of wounded, sick and dying in chaotic conditions. We follow the story of one Australian nurse who recorded her time in Lemnos with an unrivalled collection of photos, letters and postcards. And finally the film celebrates Australian-Greek relations - enduring friendships with the locals were evidenced in the fact that more than a few Australian and New Zealand babies were named 'Lemnos' in the years following the war. This documentary will tell this amazing history and draw out themes that remain in our national interest today.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The documentary will bring to light a forgotten foundational history and draw out themes in Australia's national interest such as Lemnos' role in the Gallipoli Campaign, Women in Conflict Zones, Pioneering Medicine and Australian-Greek Relations.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We hope to tell the broader history of Gallipoli and draw out some key elements that relate to the national interest. As well as a national broadcast we also aim to distribute the film internationally and through Australian / New Zealand educational institutions.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

SBS Television have indicated they will broadcast the documentary. The producers are working with some key individuals and organizations that have been helping to promote WW1 history in Australia and Greece (the Lemnos1915 WWI Commemorative Committee is one such organization). They have unique access to key talent and locations on Lemnos.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

This important film will better inform the audience of a hitherto little known part of the WW1 Gallipoli Campaign.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We hope that as many Australians can see this film as possible. We are aiming for broadcast on SBS Television on Anzac Day 2021 with free-to-air, international distribution and National Educational Distribution to follow.