“The fight to recover and honour the Australian dead at Fromelles” presentation by Lambis Englezos
This is the story of how, against the odds, Lambis and his team uncovered the largest non-genocide mass burial in Western Europe since WW1 - right where the team of “amateurs” had said it would be.
In 2000, Lambis developed a theory that Australian diggers, killed at the Battle of Fromelles, were still lying in unmarked mass burial pits, after being buried there by the victorious Germans in July 1916. Lambis set out to prove his theory with a view to seeing the diggers recovered and honoured properly. He was met by a wall of discouragement, disbelief, and official contempt, but he persisted…and gradually an alliance of supporters, media, and amateur historians, gathered around him.
Lambis Englezos is a Greek-born, retired Art Teacher from Melbourne, with a love of lawn bowls and a “magnificent obsession” to find, recover, and honour Australia’s missing diggers from the Battle of Fromelles.
A remarkable and colourful figure, he has become widely known as one of Australia’s foremost experts on Australia’s Great War experience. After meeting many returned diggers as a child growing up in Melbourne, Lambis became fascinated with learning about the diggers of the First World War.
Lambis is the co-founder and driving force behind the internationally renowned “Friends of the 15th Brigade”.
He is acknowledged in many books including Les Carlyon’s ‘The Great War’ and Robin Corfield’s ‘Don’t Forget me Cobber’. Lambis was also instrumental in the publishing of his friend, Roy Kyle’s, memoirs. Roy’s ‘An ANZAC’s Story’ was edited by Bryce Courtenay and reached the best seller list in 2004.
Lambis is a central figure in Patrick Lindsay’s book ‘Fromelles’ and is acknowledged in the Robin Corfield book ‘Fromelles – Don’t Forget Me Cobber’, for his contribution to the remembrance of this significant event in Australian history. He also featured in television stories on ‘60 Minutes’, and the ABC ‘7:30 Report’ on the fate of the missing diggers. Additionally, Lambis has written and been featured widely on this subject in print media.
Lambis received the Order of Australia in 2008 for his Fromelles work. He also won the inaugural Shrine Medallion in 2010 and was honoured by the RSL of Victoria with their ANZAC Award in the same year.
In 2010 Lambis again visited Fromelles to attend the Opening of the new Pheasant Wood Cemetery and the burial service of the final soldier of the 250 soldiers recovered from the mass grave. He was specifically named and thanked by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce, in her speech at the Opening.
He is proud to be part of the long journey to see dignity and honour brought to the diggers who disappeared on one horrible night in July 1916, a night now described as the worst in Australia’s history.
Doors open at 6.30PM
The ‘Pompey Elliott Memorial Hall’ is located at the Camberwell RSL Sub-Branch at 403 Camberwell Road, named in honour of Major General Harold Edward ‘Pompey’ Elliott CB, CMG, DSO, DCM, VD. Elliott was a senior officer in the Australian Army during the First World War and served as a Senator in the Australian parliament. He was also the second President of the Camberwell RSL Sub-Branch in 1919.
Seminar Speaker Program Logistics. The MHHV seminar speaker series will run between 7.00 – 8.00 pm on Wednesday 15 March, Wednesday 16 August, Wednesday 15 November following drinks and snacks from 6.30 pm.
Entry & Catering. The seminar speaker series will attract an entry fee $5 for MHHV members, veterans, concession card holders and students while all other guests will be $10 to cover the costs of providing food, tea & coffee or beverage and hall use. Drinks at RSL prices.