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2nd Nov 1915: WW1 Letter - Life on Lemnos Island rest camp

Updated on January 19, 2012
'Sarpi' rest camp on Lemnos Island
'Sarpi' rest camp on Lemnos Island | Source

In this letter written by my great grandfather Reginald Trevor (an Australian soldier serving in World War One), he writes to his mother about life at 'Sarpi' on Lemnos Island, a temporary rest camp (pictured) for soldiers returning from the front. Lemnos Island was also the site for The 3rd AGH (Australian General Hospital) which was opened on 8th August 1915.

Another Australian soldier, Lance Corporal Archibald Barwick wrote a diary during his visits to Lemnos Island. As my great grandfather writes in his letters from Lemnos Island, grapes were one of the only fruits available and the island was pretty bleak.

To read excerpts from Barwick's diary click here.

For more information about the ANZACS and Lemnos Island, please visit the 'Gallipoli and the Anzacs' website run by the Australian Government's Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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Transcribed letter:

Sarpi Camp

Lemnos

November 2nd, 1915

My dear Mother,

I received your letter dated August 23rd and one dated Sept 2nd but I have not yet got the cable you mention or the parcels. I got one with the birthday cake etc. in it. It was very nice and I fully enjoyed it.

I am going to write to the post office about the other parcels, I don't know whether I will get any satisfaction or not. You know a private soldier has not got any rights in the army and if they say there are not any parcels for me, well there aren't any as far as I am concerned.

Tell Harold I cannot get him any stamps of this country, I have tried often enough but I cannot make myself understood, not being able to speak Greek. I may be able to get him some Turkish ones.

We have been having a good spell here but I suppose we will be going back to the Peninsular soon. We had some sports here the other day and a concert afterwards, the performance was pretty poor.

It is getting pretty cold now, I believe it will be a lot worse later on, it must be pretty bleak over on the Peninsular. If you let me know how many parcels you sent I will know what to expect. I will have to close now.

With best love to all at home. I remain your loving son,

Trevor.

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