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3AGH at Lemnos: Lt Col Dick's narrative

3rd Aust. General Hospital
Formation of: at Sydney N.S.W.
Voyages to England, and to Lemnos of 1915
Establishing at Mudros West, Lemnos

J.A. Dick [second-in-command of 3AGH at Lemnos]

The journey out

Following are notes only, with incomplete excerpts from the start of Dick’s narrative.

Sunday May 9th 1915

Fine weather. officers and Nurses fixed upon at Headquarters Melbourne. Queensland members to embark upon S.S. “Mooltan” at Sydney, with main body at noon on May 15th. Members from other states join “Mooltan” at their ports, and the Queensland portion to join ship at Sydney.

Tuesday May 11th

Miss Grace Wilson, Matron, “reported to the C.O.”

Saturday May 15th

Queens Park, Waverley – 3rd Gen. Hospital camp. Reveille 5am. Weather clearing up. At 8am unit formed up for purpse of embarkation PandO S.S. “Mooltan”. Col R.E. Roth and officers of 5th Field Amb. A.I.F. came and said goodbye and good luck to us. Col Roth sent their Piper and Drummer to assist. At 8:15 we marched off, passing to the front of the lines of the 5th Field Ambulance, the whole of whom were paraded and at “Attention” as we left. Marching to “Charing Cross” tram-stop (Waverley) with Bagpipe and Drum leading. There the unit entrained upon two tram cars for Circular Quay. At Circular Quay the unit embarked upon S.S. “Mooltan” well before the appointed time. The District Commandant came at 11:30am and made a final inspection of the ship; all men at their places at messes; the Sisters in the Saloon; the officers in the music room. The vessel sailed at noon…

The unit sailed from Sydney, one month to the day, after the first intimation that it was required, had appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Wednesday May 19th

At Sea: Lecture to Nurses; 3pm in Music Saloon. “Duties and Discipline”“ – brief description of military units and how to distinguish different ranks; saluting; and treatment of soliders as patients. (Lt Col. Dick)

May 21st at sea again

Lecture to Nurses 3pm – “Sanitation” (Lt Col Dick)

Final departure of 3rd A.G.H. from Australia at Freemantle May 24th 1915.

May 26th. At Sea.

Classes in practical nursing began today and were carried out by the Sisters. The men pupils being divided up into small groups arrayed about the upper decks.

Instruction classes on board “Mooltan” Photo: A.W. Savage. (State Library of NSW PXE 698)

At 5pm the Ladies on board, passengers and Sisters, gave a tea to all the men on board, both those belonging to 3rd A.G.H. and those of 2nd A.G.H. and 1st A.G.H. Reinforcements who were on board, also to a detachment of French sailors on board from the French warship (damaged by the enemy) named the “Zecla”[?].

May 27th at Sea

At 3pm: a lecture upon Florence Nightingale was given to the Sisters by Lt Col. [Richard Rawdon] Stawell.

[More lectures and nursing classes are mentioned]

London July 1st

3rd Aust G.H. A.I.F. to join the M.E.F. [Mediterranean Expeditionary Force]

July 2nd London

Rapid preparations for Mudros, Lemnos are proceeding.

July 12th includes the following sailing details:

“Simla” left Devonport July 12th [O.C. and men]
arrived Mudros July: 27/28 1915
“Ascot” left Southampton[?]
Arrived at Mudros Harbour: August 20th

July 18th Embarkation Female Staff
HUNTS GREEN (captured German liner DERFLINGER)

July 30th Alexandria

The Female staff was disembarked as follows to different hospitals for temporary duty pending embarkation for Mudros
Some to No. 21 General Hospital
ditto 17
ditto 19 (Deaconess)

Aug 2nd

Embarked upon H.M. Hospital Ship DUNLUCE CASTLE

3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos

Map included in Lt Col Dick’s narrative, drawn by him.

Following is a complete transcript of the remainder of Lt Col Dick’s narrative.

Aug 5th.MUDROS” Lemnos

Arrived at outer harbour Mudros Port, at 6am. Anchored in the Inner Harbour at 8 a.m.

Officers and Staff having their first meal on Lemnos Is. Photo: A.W. Savage. (State Library of NSW PXE 698)

At 11.45am Col. Fiaschi came on board, accompanied by Col. Sir Alex McCormick, and Mjr J. [John] Morton. They came in a small sailing boat – weather was rough and a strong wind. Majr Kent Hughes returned with them to the camp site. The “Simla” had arrived some days ago – a week. The store-ship “Ascot” has not arrived. The officers and men are bivouacing amongst the rocks and stones and thistles of the camp site – there are no tents: no store-ship.

Aug 6th

All nursing staff transferred from the Hosp ship “Dunluce Castle” to the transport “SIMLA” anchored also in Inner Harbour. Rhere were very large numbers of ships at anchor in the Inner Harbour. There were exceedingly few tugs or motor- or steam launches at disposal of the authorities who were located upon a vessel the “Arragon” in the middle of the harbour.

On 5th an officer asked for several nurses for a Transport – Lt Col. Dick then in charge referred the officer to Col. Fiaschi at the camp site: Turks head, Mudros West. Today Col. Maher, the A.D.M.S. [Assistant Director of Medical Services] called personally aboard the “Simla” and asked for six nurses to proceeed to H.M. Hosp. Ship “Formosa” for temporary duty for 10 days. At Lt Col. Dick’s request Col. Maher gave the order in writing and the sisters proceeded.

Aug 7th. A strong N.E. wind rose at 9pm.

At 6.30am – rowed ashore to report to Col. Fiaschi the move of female staff from the “Dunluce Castle” to the “Simla” and that six of the staff had been ordered away by the D.D.M.S. [Deputy Director of Medical Services]

By dint of hard work on the part of the C.O. [commanding officer] the hospital site has been pegged out, and some marquees erected which had been obtained from a small ordnance store, and from various other sources for the reception of patients. Bell-tents (Double Circular) are being erected for the Nursing Staff. Also some for the male personnel. The place of the hospital has been made out upon the site, which is upon Turks Head, and has frontage to the Inner Harbour.

Map included in Lt Col Dick’s narrative, drawn by him.

Aug 8th

40 of the female staff landed at North Pier, Turks Head, West Mudros, from H.M.T. “SIMLA”, 7pm, per tug “Hendon”, arriving in Camp at their tents 9.30pm. The C.O. marched them in with Piper Monk [4430 Staff Sergeant Archibald Monk].

The remainder of the nursing staff landed at North Pier next day Aug 9th and were marched to their quarters, bell tents, that had been prepared for them. Piper Monk again performing. A photograph was taken before the Sisters proceeded to their tents.


The Sydney Mail, 12 April 1916. Photo by A.W. Savage. Lt Col Dick’s narrative helped us identify the piper in this famous photograph.

The accommodation for Sisters is under canvas and is absolutely active service conditions at present. Two relays for meals. The cookhouse is at a great disadvantage in stormy weather or in wet or windy weather. Provisions other than strict army rations are alomst nil. Bathing accommodation: sponge bath and bathe in sea. Sometimes eggs were obtainable. The camp site generally stony, and a soil that when wet becomes extremely sticky and easily carries away with tent pegs when winds blow, and this is often. The weather is often windy at one time from a northern quarter followed by wind from a southerly quarter – frequently the wind has great violence and the camp site is a position exposed to N and S winds. In calm weather the site is very good.

Aug 9th. Monday. Hospital opens at Mudros.

Today before breakfast there were over 200 wounded and sick admitted to hospital – officers, NCOs and men. They were from Gallipoli and landed at South Pier. No bedsteads in the hospital. Our store-ship has not arrived. Mackintosh sheets, and blankets are chiefly used, and pailliasses were requisitioned from various vessels in Inner Harbour, also pillows. The feeding of the patients was difficult but managed. Cooking is in the open – a field Kitchen and kield Cookers are used. It was necessary to relieve patients so that every effort was made to accomodate to them. Lt Col Dick has charge of the wards for officer patients.

Six from medical officers and 20 of our Sisters attend daily for duty at No. 2 Australian Stationary Hospital (Lt. Col. [Arthur Thomas] White, C.O.) which occupies a site upon Turks Head, Mudros West, close to the site of 3rd A.G.H. The No 1. Austn. Staty. Hospl. (Lt. Col. [Henry William] Bryant C.O.) is located on the other side of the harbour Mudros East where the town of Mudros is situated.

Aug 10th. Tuesday.

More patients arrive today from the Peninsula (Gallipoli). The booming of cannon can be heard at our camp – coming from Gallipoli. The sounds are heard according to the stillness, or the direction of the wind.

Col. [T.W.] Gibbard (RAMC) A.D.M.S. Mudros West is a patient in hospital – officer section and is suffering from a severe form of diarrhoea.

Weather hot in daytime.

Aug 11th. Wednesday.

Wounded are still arriving – over 600 in hospital tonight. The officers mess and all mess utensils were given up today for wounded, so also the Orderly Office marquee was given up for the wounded. Our men are still bivouacing – bell tents form covering for them. The flies are a pest all over the camp. There ware places where troops encamped, or bivouaced, prior to proceeding to the Peninsula in April that have been fouled and have become fly breeding areas. And there always are flies at Lemnos – they are said to have come from Egypt by the local inhabitants, to have come by ships and passengers from Egypt, this may or may not have been so. At any rate the flies are referred as “The Egyptians” by the Lemnians.

Patients under canvas who arrived before wards were properly erected. Photo: A.W. Savage. Caption is from State Library of NSW photo album; the AWM J01440 caption dating the photo to October is probably not be accurate.

Aug 12th. Thursday. Fine. Very hot. 100 degrees F in tents.

There are over 700 patients in hospital, and the hospital is practically “improvised” as far as permanent canvas and other equipment goes. So far our store-ship “Ascot” has not arrived. All sick and wounded are upon the ground, upon mackintosh sheets and blankets or upon mattresses pailliasses upon the floor of the tents. They are being attended to excellently. Capt. [Alexander Percy] Davidson, H.M.S. “Cornwallis” visited the hospital and brought many gifts of “comforts” with a naval fatigue party. There are numerous warships lying in Inner Harbour. There is a “Boom” across the outer harbour to prevent entrance of submarine or other craft.

Aug 13th.

More patients admitted, total over 800. Weather very hot. Million and billions of flies, but not “Blow” flies and no mosquitoes seen so far. Diarrhoea prevalent. We hear that numerous enteric cases are at No. 2 Austn. Staty. Hospl., Turks Head. Capt. Davidson (Comm) H.M.S. “Cornwallis” sent his band to perform during afternoons for entertainment of our patients.

Aug 14th. A hot day.

No fresh admissions. Diarrhoea and dysentry cases numerous in hospital.

Aug 15th. Fine, N.E. breeze.

No fresh admissions. Church parade ordered for 7pm but Captain from “Arragon” (Hd. Qtr. Mudros Base L. of C. [Line of Communication]) did not arrive. We have no Chaplain of unit so far.

Aug 16th. Fine, Hot.

Reveille, 5am. The firing heard at 3am was distinct and loud: the conditions for hearing were good. A form of diarrhoea is prevalent amongst the whole staff and dysentery is watched for as there are numerous cases elsewhere. There are millions and billions of flies. The fly pest requires most stringent precautions being taken[?] as regards good and water – and latrines.

Aug 17th. Fine. Hot.

Col. Gibbard, A.D.M.S. of Mudros West discharged from a hospital a few days ago – visited the Camp today.

Aug 18th. Fine, calm, hot.

Hospital patients are progressing, many have recovered and have been discharged. Several snakes have been killed up on our Camp site. No cases of snake-bite so far. The largest killed was 4 foot long. Centipedes are numerous under the stones, and several cases of centipede-bite have arrived. They have smarted for about two hours, are treated with Tr. iodi [tincture of iodine?], also ammonia. There are numerous moles and mole-hills also about the camp site.

There are wells about the island, these are dug in the lower levels of the dry water courses. The water is mineralised the [?] being [?], Calcium Carb. etc. Water appears to be readily found in these well sinkings and in small quantities. Bathing is carried out by the officers at 7am at the South Pier where the Outer Harbour waters[?]. It is also carried out in the Inner Harbour along our frontage. There are areas for the NCOs and men, also the officers, and a place for Sisters. Band from H.M.S. “Nelson” for the patients today.

Aug 20th. Friday.

Our store-ship “Ascot” arrived today to our great satisfaction. The quartermasters are busy obtaining transport for unloading our equipment and bringing it ashore at South Pier. Col. [Albert Edward] Talbot (C. of E. Dean of Sydney) now attached to our unit as Chaplain C. of E. And Capt. Sibley (R.C. Canon of Hereford) attached as R.C. Chaplain. Mjr. Kent Hughes admitted to hospl. suffering from a severe attack of dysentery. Surg. Genl. Babtie [Surgeon General Sir William Babtie] passed through the camp.

Aug 21st. Fine hot and calm in A.M. Cloudy in P.M.

The flies increase in numbers as the hot weather continues. Unloading of “Ascot” continues. Surg. Genl. Babtie staying upon “Arragon” for a few days. Diarrhoea common amongst personnel.

Aug 22nd. Cloudy, cooler.

Church Parades. C of E: communion 7am in mess tent. R.C.: mass 9am in mess tent. Parade at 6pm in open. Dean Talbot – there were many present – patients personnel also many visitors from other units – also a number of Nnaval officers (including H.R.H. Prince Albert.)

Aug 23rd. A day of wind.

Over 200 sick admitted today. An “Evin-Rude” motor engine was obtained from our naval friends today (per Sir A. McCormick) and fitted upon the small but heavy fishing Greek boat which the C.O. purchased for the hospital after his arrival. This small boat is called “Dixie.”

Aug 24th. A windy day.

Inspection of the hospital was carried out today by Surg. Genl Babtie between 3 and 4pm.

Aug 25th. Wind subsiding.

Patients fit for discharge packed? up, also those who would be fit in 1 month, and those who would be fit in 2 months – these for evacuation to other hospitals if fit to travel: eg. to Alexandria or elsewhere. Nominal Rolls to be prepared of all such patients. This was the first large experience of “Nominal-Rolls” for some of the unit; it was an experience that they frequently had during their later? military life. There are some partridges on Lemnos, a few have been obtained by Lt Col [Arthur Murray] Cudmore and surg. Morton and Reid by the help of a Mr Constantine of Portianos – the partridges are rather wild for the sportsmen now. Orders received from A.D.M.S. for Nominal Rolls to be in at 7pm for all (1) cot cases (2) cabin cases (3) deck cases for Alexandria. Similar “Evacutation States” are asked for almost daily now.

August 26th. Windy and rainy day.

Five officer patients evacuated to steamer “ALONIA” stretcher (or cot) cases for Alexandria. Major Kent Hughes AAMC 3rd A.G.H. being one of these. They were kept 5 hrs. waiting on South Pier owing to stress of weather. The C.O. (Col. Fiaschi) has been ill, diarrhoea, three attacks, now he has severe relapse of illness – dysentery.

Aug 27th. Beautiful weather.

All the unit doing good work as far as their health permits. Several officers, Sisters and others are ill.

Aug 28th. Saturday. Fine.

Lt Marshall, Dental Officer, reported. Authorities have asked C.O. if a party of ladies could be put up in our camp – friends of Lady Hamilton – viz. Mrs Agnew and party.

Aug 29th. Sunday. Fine pleasant day.

Divine services as usual. Full parade of unit at 4pm when O.C. addressed the unit after inspection and thanked all for their hard work since July 29th the date they landed at Mudros.

Aug 30th. Monday. Fine, a beautiful day after a moonlight night.

When perfectly clam the waters of the Inner Harbour afford splendid reflections of the stars – the Great Bear reflected distinctly.

The hospital is assuming its own equipment of marquees and other equipment – ordnance, medical etc. Mjr. Herschel Harris Radiographer started his “X ray” work in the hut erected by the Engineers.

Aug 31st. Hot day. Fine.

More and more diarrhoeas and dysenteries admitted, also cases of enteric fever. Scarely any wounded cases coming, beyond slightly wounded. Visit from Generals Lindley and Hetherington from “Arragon” Hd Qrs. Also two Austr. journalists. The hospital marquees being erected and equipment issued – our own, per “Ascot”.

Interior of ward fully and properly equipped. Photo: A.W. Savage. (State Library of NSW PXE 698)

September 1st Wednesday. A heavy rainstorm at 3am followed by high winds.

Surg. Genl. Babtie visited the hospital, he having come upon a visit from Egypt to the Dardanelles. Three horses arrived today – saddle horses. The C.O. and Registrar (Lt. Col. de Crespigny [Sir Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny]) visited neighbouring camps on horseback.

Sept 2nd Thursday.

The Transport “Southlands” was torpedoed quite close to the Port of Mudros, the vessel did not sink but came into the Outer Harbour under her own steam. We can see the vessel from our Camp, where she is beached. The Staff of our 2nd Division was on board the Southlands: Mjr. Genl. Legge, Col. Sutton AAMC, Lt Col. Millard AAMC, and 200 others officers and men. About 30 lives were lost including Lt Col. [Richard] Linton of Victoria. Owing to the excellent behaviour of our troops many lives were saved. All had a miraculous escape. The troops were brought to the transport “Transylvania” lying in the Inner Harbour. The C.O. and our officers called upon Mjr. Gen. Legge and numerous other friends on the “Transylvania”, congratulating them upon their narrow escape. Our three Voluntary Aids left camp today for Alexandria. The weather was fine and calm when the “Southlands” was torpedoed. All sailings from Mudros temporarily stopped.

Sept 3rd. Fine. Calm.

The torpedoed troops of the “Southlands” now temporarily upon the “Transylvania” received many visitors from our Camp, and others.

Sept 4th. Fine. A strong S. wind.

Hospital work going on as usual. Many of the staff are suffering from illness, chiefly diarrhoea and dysentery. Many vessels sailed from Port between 5 and 6pm – over a dozen, the sailing having been closed for a few days on account of submarines.

Sept 5th. Sunday.

Divine services as usual. Hospital duties proceeding satisfactorily. Col. Sutton and Lt. Col. Millard AAMC dined with us yesterday – from the “Southlands” troops. Lt. Col. White C.O. 2nd Aust. Staty. Hospl. and other AAMC officers dined with us today. Genl. Sir Ian Hamilton was to have inspected the hospital today, the visit was postponed till tomorrow.

Sept 6th. Fine. Wind S.W. which veered to N.W.

General Sir Ian Hamilton (The G.O.C. M.E.F. [General Officer Commanding Mediterranean Expeditionary Force]) inspected the hosp. today, he was accompanied by the I.G.C. [Inspector General of Communications] Genl. Lindley, and Col. Gibbard, A.D.M.S., West Mudros. The General spoke to every officer patient and to a very great number of the others. At the end of the inspection the General expressed his satisfaction and pleasure with the way the patients were treated, and the arrangements made, and congratulated the C.O. upon the success of the hospital. The General added that he would cable to Australia his satisfaction and pleasure with his inspection of the 3rd A.G.H.

Sept 7th. Strong winds from N.E. at 3am, causing much labour in tent and marquee management.

Major C. J. [Charles James] Martin returned from Alexandria where he had gone a few days ago to collect his equipment which had been delayed but which arrived during his absence. He also brought other valuable items of equipment from Alex. Several of our officers, Sisters and Other Ranks are ill. including Lt Cols. Stawell and [Sydney] Jamieson from dysentry and 4 other officers, several Sisters and 40 NCOs and men. Sister [Annie (Nance)] O’Neill is dangerously ill from dysentery.

Sept 8th. Wind subsiding: cloudy.

Every officer is hard at work upon medical cases. Today one of the Sisters [Nursing Sister Mary Frances Elizabeth Munro] of the Canadian Hospital, West Mudros, succumbed to dysentery and was buried at the newly opened Military Cemetery attached to the Cemetery surrounding the Greek Church of PORTIANOS (Village). Our hospital was represented by two of our officers at the Military Funeral.

Sept 9th. Windy weather.

Hospital work is going on satisfactorily. The C.O. and Col. Dick, Capts. [Richard Arthur Phipps] Waugh and [Arthur Percy] Wall and 5 others invited to dinner on board H.M.S. “Blenheim”: the depot ship for the destroyers and anchored near our foreshores.

Sept 10th. Strong N.E. wind, fine – followed by a violent storm with rain at night – then a gale from N.E. causing a vast amount of extra work and anxiety regarding tents marquees and the cooking and all other hospital management.

We have now more officer patients in hospital than the establishment provided for. So far no deaths amongst officer patients. Col. Fortescue [not identified], Camp Commandant, West Mudros is a pt.

Sept 11th. Fine. N.E. wind still blowing.

Engineers are busy constructing kitchen and other huts for pathologist. Also with Egyptian Labour Corps are constructing some roads about North Pier, also about South Pier.

A road round the foreshore of Inner Harbour from East Mudros to West Mudros is needed. Transport across the harbour by water is very difficult and scarce, so also tranport to the H.Q. ship “ARRAGON”. If H.Q. were located on shore in huts it might be more accessible for all departments.

Sept 12th. Sunday.

Divine services held in the mens recreation tent recently erected. Visited the springs at “THERMA” where luncheon a la carte can be obtained and a few male visitors might be simply accomodated.

Sept 13th. Monday. Fine.

Hospital duties as usual. Sea bathing by officers before breakfast. Some at South Pier in waters of Outer Harbour, and others at officers bathing spot on hospital foreshore of Inner Harbour waters. The tides are exceeding small – perhaps 10 inches in outer harbour, and six to eight inches in Inner Harbour. G.H.Q. Mediterranean Force (Genl Hamilton’s H.Q.) is upon the island of “Imbros.”

Sept 14th. Fine am. after heavy rain at night.

Hospital duties as usual in forenoon. When off duty in afternoon visits may be made to Greek villages some few miles away.

Sept 15th. Raining am. Fine in afternoon.

Lord Dudley Col. is Camp Commandant East Mudros, and lunched with us today at the invitation of C.O. Lord Dudley visited the hospital and had an “X ray” taken of his injured hip (by Mjr. H. Harris).

Mr Lyster, Mudros representative of the British Red Cross Soc. at present at E. Mudros visited the hospital. We have heard that Messrs Adrian Knox and [blank] the representative of the Australian branch R.R.C. Soc. are in Egypt. Colonel Maher, RAMC, D.D.M.S. L. of C. Mudros (“Arragon” Hd. Qr.) visited the hospital and was taken round by the C.O. at 4pm.

Sept 16th. Fine in A.M. followed by a heavy rain storm at noon over 1 inch of rainfall.

The French admiral (C. in C.) according to appointment with his staff visited our hospital and was shown around by the C.O. who is a fluent French scholar. The admiral’s inspection fortunately escaped the storm. Many patients evacuated today per “Aquitania” to England.

A windstorm rose in the evening from the N.E. and continued for 24 hrs. No one able to sleep during Thursday night on account of the wind, many fatigue parties looking after hospital marquees, tents, etc.

Sept 17th.

The effects of the wind storms greatly interferes with the smooth working of the hospital, the marquees and tents are damaged. All cooking is delayed and sometimes prevented as it is still in exposed positions and in the open. Cooking is from a patients own point of view the most important portion of hospital work, he does not mind if his M.O. or Sister are not from one of the great hospitals etc but he does want very much a good cook and good food.

Sept 18th.

Hospital duties proceeding satisfactorily. There are numbers of medical cases, and very few surgical cases. The surgeons are very disappointed at this. The hospital is specially fitted to deal with the most grave and urgent surgical cases, special cases, as well as most minor cases.

Sept 19th. Sunday.

Divine services as usual and 6pm service in the open. Yesterday the O.C. and a party of officers and Sisters accepted an invitation to afternoon tea with Capt. Davidson and staff of H.M.S. “Cornwallis.” Today the C.O. and Lt. Col. Dick on horseback visited Lady Hamilton’s Camp, in charge of Mr Baker, and obtained a quantity of comforts for patients from their stock. Lady Hamilton’s Gift Store Camp in charge of Mrs Agnew and daughter – also Mr Baker of Constantinople.

Sept 20th. Monday. 3am. A strong gale from N.E. rising to a very boisterous wind 30-40 miles per hour, damaging marquees and tents of hospital. Subsided towards evening.

A Rest Camp has been established for A.I.F. troops near the village of Sarpi, distant about 2-3 miles round the west end of the bay. The C.O. and Lt. Col. Dick called upon the C.O. today.

There are said to be 50 thousand inhabitants upon Lemnos Island – mostly of Greek extraction – many however are Turkish. There are a few towns and numerous villages. The streets of the towns and villages are mere narrow rough tracks, only fit for donkey traffic. There is one fully paved good road that has been recently constructed – it runs between the towns of Mudros and Kastro [Myrina]. In ordinary times the activities of the island must be extremely restricted. The villages are either Greek or Turkish. Agriculture is carried on – there are some vines, millet, oats, barley, tobacco, figs, oranges. A few small cattle of mixed breeds, also some goats, donkeys, dogs and cats. Partidges as before mentioned are found in season, also at times numbers of other birds migrating N. or S. These include geese and duck. There are also numerous domestic fowls. The grain raised is ground by numerous wind-mills located up on various elevated slopes near the villages. These windmills form a familiar object on the skyline.

Sept 21. Tuesday.

Today Lt. J.H. [John Henry] Harrison, 3rd A.I.F. Battalion from N.S.W. succumbed to his wounds received at The Battle of Lone Pine Aug 8-9. Lt. Harrison was the first officer who had died in 3rd A.G.H. He had made a magnificent fight. The funeral took place in the afternoon at Military Cemetery Village of Portianos already mentioned with full military honours. Chaplain McAuliffe (R.C.) officiated and many officers and others were present. An official photograph was taken by the hospital photographer.

The Cemetery at Lemnos. Reading the Burial Service.

Based on this description by Lt Col Dick, and the location of the burial party which matches the grave reference, we believe that the military funeral photographed by Savage (An Australian Funeral, The Cemetery at Lemnos. Reading the Burial Service., The Last Post and The firing after the Burial.) is for Lt John Henry Harrison.

Sept 22nd. Fine, very windy, N.E.

Hospital duties proceeding as usual. Many Australian officers and O.R.s [Other Rnaks] from the Rest Camp, Sarpi, visit our hospital. All have been gladly welcomed. It is the desire of the C.O. and officers of our mess that Australians should be always welcome and that they regard our hospital as a centre and sort of second home whenever they call.

Sept 23rd. Gale from N.E. up to 40 miles per hour.

General Althen [?] and staff on horseback inspecting Mudros West, Camps. When crossing the shallows of the West arm of our bay the General’s horse came down in the water with him and he was brought to our hospital and attended by Lt. Col Dick in the officers section. No serious injuries were revealed. During the day the C.O. received a message from the D.D.M.S. L. of C. (Col. Maher) stating “there was a shortage of medical officers at Anzac and asking for as many as he could spare.” Volunteers were called for by the C.O. The following volunteered: Lt. Cols. DICK and de CRESPIGNY. Captains: R. Waugh, A.P. Wall, [Eric Mortley] FISHER, HARDY [John Hardie?], Sinclair-STEWART [Roger St Clair Steuart], MATTHEWS [?], GIBSON [possibly Arthur Harris Gibson or John Lockhart Gibson]. The following names were forwarded by the C.O. to the D.D.M.S: – Lt. Col. DICK, Capts. WALL, FISHER, HARDY, Sinclair-STEWART.

Sept 24th. Windy over 30 miles per hour from N.E. until towards sunset when it moderated.

Orders out that we are to establish a Sisters Hospital, for all Sisters. Mrs Van Agnew [Ada Vans Agnew] and daughter ill from dysentery, at the Gift Camp, are to come to hospl. Chaplain Sibley left us today. Our Sisters who have hitherto been sick have been accomodated in a small special Sisters hospital of our own.

Sept 25th. Saturday. Fine, cool, pleasant.

The matron of the Canadian Hospital [Nursing Sister Jessie B. Jaggard], a mile distant, succumbed early this morning to dysentery. The funeral took place this afternoon with full military honours at Military Cemetery, Portianos. There were many present, including representatives from our unit. Dysentery is quite epedemic and is chiefly of the amoebic type; there are also some bacillary forms. Lt. Col. Stawell who has been very ill, now convalescing, is up and about. Capts StClair STEWART and FISHER left us today. Capt. A.P. Wall goes per “Grampian” Hospital transport to England and back. Capt. Hardy leaves shortly so also Lt Col. DICK. There are many tranports and other vessels in port, and always some coming in every morning and others leaving every evening. Their syrens and whistles are many and varied in sound.

Sept 26th. Sunday. Calm, cool, pleasant. A most perfect morning, day and evening.

Divine services as usual – except that we had no R.C. Chaplain today. Chaplain [T.S.] Power (R.C.), one of my patients, who had promised to take Chaplain Sebley’s place, not being well enough to carry on. This early morning, and day throughout, was one of the most perfect experiences since our arrival on the island. From before sunrise, till after sunset, and onwards into the moonight and the night it was very pleasant. (Towards morning on Monday a South wind rose). The sounds of the derricks up on the ships can be heard distinctly. Also at night when these calms occur the barking of a dog or the braying of a donkey frm a distant village can be heard across the harbour arm. The sunrise over the irregular jagged hills, also the sunset is very fine tho same can be said for the moon when near the full, also the reflections in the Inner Harbour are very good in the calm periods. The hospital is to be hutted and will then stand the winds better. The C.O. and Lt. Col. Dick rode out one day and inspected a site in a more protected position, where a hutted hospital is in course of erection, and which was reported to be for 3rd A.G.H. It had a sheltered frontage to the outer harbour a considerable distance W. of the South Pier of Turk’s Head.

Sept 27th. Cloudy with a strong S. wind.

Capt R. Phipps Waugh left per “Grampian” for England as Capt A.P. Waugh arranged a transfer with consent of C.O. with him Capt Waugh not being very well. Water supplies have been coming from Alexandria by ship to Mudros. It is then pumped into water lighters and taken to North Pier, then pumped to reservoir upon a hill at rear of our camp, and from thence supplies are available for West Mudros units. The well-waters are suspicously unsanitary[?] but good for drinking.

Water tanks connecting with condenser. Lemnos '15

Water tanks connecting with condenser. Lemnos ’15 Photo by Sister Evelyn Davies, Australian Army Nursing Service, AWM file 419/25/12. Lt Col Dick may be referring to these tanks, although a water tower further along the Turks Head peninsula was also built.

When the hospital opened on Aug 9th the unit had been upon the site since July 29th – eleven days. It was only owing to the indomitable energy and will, perserverance and hard work of the C.O. – assisted by every member of the unit – that this hospital was ready for the Suvla Bay operations and the urgent[?] operations at Lone Pine. Marquees and tents and equipment were obtained locally from a small ordnance store, store ships, and other military units and from some naval sources. Had the C.O. waited for a hutted hospital, or even for the arrival of the “Ascot” containing our equipment, before starting the hospital, we would have missed take an active part in our share of the great operations above mentioned.

Lt. Col. Dick left 3rd A.G.H. on Sept 27th – with regret.

An excellent series of photos of 3rd A.G.H. was taken at Lemnos, by Pte A. W. SAVAGE, 3rd A.G.H.

Col. T. FIASCHI, D.S.O., the C.O. 3rd A.G.H. was evacuated seriously ill, also others of the staff, on Nov. 4th to England.

Lt. Col. de Crespigny, D.S.O., performed the duties of Ag. C.O. thereafter, till 3rd A.G.H. left Lemnos for Abbassia (Cairo), Egypt.

Closed at Lemnos Dec. 1915. Left Lemnos Jan. 1916.

Lt. Col. [indistinct] de Crespigny D.S.O. was succeeded by Lt Col. (now Col.) B. J. [Bernard James] Newmarch, C.M.G. in Egypt as C.O.

Lt Col. (now Col.) J. A. Dick was transferred to 2nd A.G.H as second in command and physician (Senior[?]) at Ghezireh (Cairo) Egypt, and accompanied 2nd A.G.H. to France; and afterwards became C.O. 1st A.C.C. [Australian Casualty Clearing] Station (Flanders), and afterwards C.O. 1st A.G.H. at Rouen, France, and brought that unit to Sutton-Veny, Wilts. – and reopened there in 1919.

3rd A.G.H. removed from Egypt to Brighton (England) thence to Abbeville, France, and closed at Abbeville on [blank] 1919.

2nd A.G.H. removed from Egypt to France 1/4/16 first to Mussot, Marseilles, then to Boulogne and closed there in April 1919.

1st A.G.H. removed from Heliopolis, Egypt, 4/4/16 to Rouen, France and remained there till Dec 1918 when it was transferred to England and renewed operations at Sutton-Veny, Wilts. and continued working there long after No. 2 and No. 3 had been demobilised.


Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick, 3rd Australian General Hospital: Formation of at Sydney, NSW, April 15th 1915, voyage to England and to Lemnos 1915, establishing at Mudros West, Lemnos, manuscript, MSS 407, Australian War Memorial 224.

Included in the file is a list of names and occupations of men serving with the 3rd AGH as orderlies. Knowledge of first aid and pharmacy is noted.

Also included in the file is ‘Register of deaths’ MS 408 – names of men and injuries, 1915-1919.

Published Monday December 28, 2015 · Last modified Monday July 4, 2016
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We're pleased that people are using this website as a source for locations, quotes and other primary source material. It's why we published our notes on the web. But we'd very much appreciate a footnote or credit. Much of the hospital (and other) location information for Lemnos and the Western Front is original research -- thank you, from Bernard & Cheryl