|Greek labourers during the Gallipoli campaign, 1915. IWM/KCL|
The photograph above is one of the evocative images of the Greek civil involvement in the Gallipoli campaign. Here are Greek workmen, some appear to be carpenters, working on the edge of a bay. But where is it?
Greek labourers volunteered to work for the Allies during the Gallipoli campaign. Various sources reveal that these labourers came from many locations - Lemnos, Lesvos, Imbros, Tenedos and Asia Minor - and no doubt many other locations.
The identification of the location of photographs taken in 1915 can be a difficult process. Photographs have been filed incorrectly over the years. Some photographers were confused, maybe trying to specify locations weeks or months after the fact.
The photograph above was taken by the British war photographer Lieutenant Ernest Brooks in 1915.
A copy of the photograph is held in the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London. The description of the photograph says that it depicts "civilian carpenters at work at Mudros. In the background can be seen the shipping in the harbour."
However, another copy of the photograph is held in the archives of King's College, London, (KCL) in the collection of the former British General Ian Hamilton, the commander at Gellipoli for most of the campaign. This original has words written on the back stating that the photograph is of "Hundreds of Greeks employed on Imbros Island in various tasks."
Having visited both Lemnos and Imbros Island's I now feel convinced that the photograph is more likely to be of Kephalos Bay on Imbros - and not of Mudros Bay on Lemno. Below are some photos I recently took of Kephalos Bay on Imbros, where you can see in seperate photographs a similar gradient to the hill on the left of the 1915 photo and the sharp cliff of the promontory at Kephalos, similar to that on the right distance of the 1915 photo. But then again ...
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee