George TreloarPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The sculpture commemorates George Treloar.  Seated next to Treloar in the sculpture is a young girl nicknamed Lemona, holding a jug.  She represents the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Pontus region in Asia Minor who were displaced after World War One and the catastrophic events that followed, and found themselves in northern Greece in desperate conditions.

George Devine Treloar was born on 23 April 1884 at Ballarat, and was educated at Ballarat's St Patrick's College.  He was a bank clerk at Ballarat for five years, then a jackeroo in western Victoria before he farmed in Western Australia. While travelling by ship to Adelaide, he was recruited by actor-manager Julius Knight and toured Australia with his troup, playing in romantic dramas. Oscar Asche took Treloar to South Africa and England where he was acting when war broke out in 1914.

Having previously served at Ballarat as a lieutenant in the 3rd Victorian Rifles, Treloar immediately volunteered. Although rejected because of defective eyesight, he somehow managed to join the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Rifle Volunteers in 1915 as a private and secured a transfer to the Coldstream Guards. He served in France, was commissioned and ultimately promoted to major, second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion. Buried twice by shellbursts on the Somme and almost bullet-riddled at Ypres, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross. In 1918 he commanded the Brigade of Guards Officers' School of Instruction and, following the Armistice, served with his battalion in the Rhineland Occupation Force.

After World War One, Treloar joined the British Mission to the White Russian armies as assistant military secretary to Major-General Holman. At Constantinople after the withdrawal of the mission, Treloar served with the Tsarist army as a colonel under Baron Wrangel. When the White Russians were defeated , Treloar commanded a British camp for Russian refugees at Tousla on the Sea of Marmora. He then became a representative of the League of Nations High Commissariat for Refugees in northern Greece.

Between 1922 and 1926. He was engaged in the resettlement of Greek refugees from Asia Minor; at first he worked at Gumuldjina (Komotini) in Thrace and later in Salonika.  By 1923 his mission was handling over 108,000 refugees. His efforts to organize food, shelter, medical care and resettlement precipitated disputes with indifferent league officials in Geneva and with a senior Greek official. Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and a refugee village (Thrilorion) near Komotini was named after him.

When the league's resettlement operation ended, Treloar suffered severe financial loss in a fraudulent mining investment and in 1927 returned to Australia to seek work. Eight years later his family rejoined him. He sold insurance and sought business opportunities in Queensland before unsuccessfully contesting the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Ashfield for the United Australia Party in 1930. In that year Colonel Eric Campbell appointed him second-in-command of the New Guard. In 1931, however, Treloar denounced Campbell as a Fascist and militarist, and founded his own short-lived movement, the Civic Legion.

In 1935 the Treloar family moved to Western Australia where George prospected and managed several mining enterprises. As 'The Archer', he became known for his trenchant radio commentaries on foreign affairs and for his programme, 'Perth Speaks'. A handsome man of commanding presence, forthright speech and strongly-held conservative views, 'the Major' stood unsuccessfully for the Legislative Council seat of West Province in 1950 and worked for the Liberal and Country League until 1956.  He died in 1980.


Address:Sturt & Errard Streets, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.560892
Long: 143.848651
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event End Date:08-September-2019
Artist:Lis Johnson (Melbourne, VIC)


Front Inscription

Major George Devine Treloar
(Born Ballarat 1884 - Died Dalkieth 1980)

Artist : Lis Johnson

Commissioned by the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee.

An initiative of Merimna Pontion Kyrion of Oceania, Cental Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria `Pontiaki Esita` and the City of Ballarat.

Unveiled by Mayor Councillor Samantha McIntosh on 8 September 2019

His glory lies not in the earthm but in the hearts of men
(After Thucydides, 460 - 395 BCE)

Left Side Inscription

Supporting Organisations
Panthracian Association of Melbourne
Pancretan Association of Melbourne
Central Union of Elassona and Districts `O Nikotsaras`
The Greek Orthodox community of Moreland

Individual Sponsors
Rev. Fr. Antonios Amanatidis and Presvitera Despina
Sakis and Litsa Athanasiadis
Family of Elizabeth Treloar ( M Jones )
Sotirios and Anastasia Kaladopoulos
Emmenuel and Marina Pattakos
David and Helen Treloar
Kosta and Vicky Tseprailidis
Tsalikidis family

Back Inscription

Ballarat`s George Devine Treloar - Soldier and humanitarian

Born in 1884, George Devine Treloar was the son of Jane and Thomas Treloar.  He grew up in Ballarat and attended St. Patrick`s College.

Treloar began his military career when he joined the British Army during WWI.  He later transferred to the elite Coldstream Guards where his bravery earned him the Distinguished Service Medal and Military Cross.

In 1922, Treloar was appointed League of Nations Commissioner for Refugees in Greece, where he worked tirelessly - with his wife and family - to provide food, aid and comfort to what would eventually total more than 100,000 refugees from the collapsing Ottoman Empire.  He was praised by those he helped, including the many refugees he created housing for in the towns of Komotini and Thessalonika.  A third town he helped build was named in his honour - Thrylorion.  In 1923, he was awarded the Order of the Redeemer for his humanitarian efforts.

The memorial before you was requested by the descendants of the refugees who were assisted by Treloar.  Without his help their ancestors would not have survived the journey to Australia from the Ottoman Empire, Pontus and Asia Minor.

Created by the people of Ballarat and the descendents of the refugees he saved, this memorial is dedicated to his memory.

Right Side Inscription

The George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee acknowledges the vital support of : 

Ms Litsa Athanasiadis, Ms Penny Tsombanopoulus, Mr Nicholas Krikelis, Ms Cjristina Despoteris, Mr John Salpingtidis and Mr Jim Claven for the dedication and work in meaking this memorial a reality

Foundations Sponsorships
City of Ballarat|
Cental Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria Pontiaki Esita

Business Supporters
GVP Fabricators
Lithostone Quartz Surfaces
Marble Centre Exclusive

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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