Photographic display
State Library of NSW

We’ve worked with the State Library of NSW to create new, large prints of our Lemnos ‘then and nows.’ They’re on display at the library’s Macquarie Street building, on level 1, until 24 May 2015.

Lemnos 1915: Then & Now combines images of contemporary Lemnos with eyewitness photographs taken in 1915 to reveal a unique perspective.

Lemnos was pivotal in Australia’s First World War campaign. The island acted as a port on the way to and from Gallipoli, providing a hospital for the wounded and a rest from the terrors of war.

In 2011 Cheryl Ward and Bernard de Broglio visited the Greek island. Using sketch maps from 1915 and contemporary satellite imagery, they were able to match photographs in the State Library’s First World War collection to their exact location.

The display is presented with Lemnos1915 as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney. We’d like to acknowledge the warm friendship and support of the Lemnian community. The Greek Festival of Sydney is a great supporter of multiculturalism and the arts in NSW, and we’re proud to be a part of it.

Thanks also to the State Library of NSW, custodians of these wonderful photographs, for giving us — and anyone with a library card — access to their collections.

Lemnos 1915

The venue

State Library of New South Wales
Level 1, Macquarie Street building
Macquarie Street
Free admittance

Opening hours

Week days
Monday – Wednesday, 9am to 5pm
Thursday – 9am to 8pm
Friday – 9am to 5pm
Saturday & Sunday – 10am to 5pm


Getting here by car
The nearest parking station is Sydney Hospital, located on Hospital Road.
Get directions with Google Maps
Getting here by public transport
The closest train stations are Martin Place (200 metres) and St James (450 metres). Circular Quay is only a short walk away.
Transport Info

Media Release

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 gruesome Gallipoli campaign.

Lemnos 1915: Then & Now presents 16 powerful photographs which place 100 year-old B&W images of young Australian nurses and injured soldiers within modern, colour landscapes taken in the same location by Sydney-based couple, playwright Cheryl Ward and Bernard de Broglio.

Lemnos was the principal assembly, embarkation and supply point for the Gallipoli landings, and where thousands of exhausted and badly wounded soldiers flooded the makeshift hospitals staffed by some 130 valiant Australian nurses.

“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 the burrs blowing around that forced nurses to cut short 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 pored over Google Earth to match the background in the historic photos they found in the State Library’s collection, taken by Australian soldier Albert William Savage.

“The landscape had barely changed. When we stood in the footsteps of the photographer from 100 years ago and matched the landscape it was a revelation,” says Cheryl.

This ‘revelation’ was shared with the Australian Greek community and the Lemnians who became aware of Cheryl’s ‘then and now’ images when they were posted online. The Greek community has embraced the photographs.

According to Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Dr Stavros Kyrimis, “these remarkable images recover an important part of Greek history. They provide a poignant visual record to bring us closer to the WWI story of Lemnos and renew the bond that was forged between Greeks and Australians 100 years ago.”

Lemnos 1915: Then & Now is a collaboration by the Australian Greek community, the Embassy of Greece, Cheryl Ward and Bernard de Broglio and the State Library of NSW to commemorate a shared Australian and Greek story from the WWI Gallipoli campaign.

Lemnos 1915: Then & Now is a free photographic display at the State Library of NSW from 24 February 2015 to 24 May 2015. #Lemnos #Gallipoli #WWI