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#1 sentimental

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:06 PM

Hello everyone I have just joined this forum and I am looking forward to learning from your expertise.
I live in a rural area of Victoria, Australia. I have always had a longing to know more about Crete because my Dad was one of the Aussies who tried to defend the Rethymnon airfield from the Germans during WWII. Our farm was named Retimo as a result of that experience. Like most of those at Rethymnon he was taken as a POW. Anyway - I am finally in a position to come to Crete to see it for myself! With any luck - and if all goes to plan - I am bringing my Dad to Crete in May next year. I was recommended to join this forum as a way of learning about Crete but also as a way to connect with the May 21 activities information so that I understand it before our visit. I hope that sits well with those of you who read and answer myriads of questions! :wacko: Will post a photo sometime soon.

#2 Tim

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:56 PM

Hi 'Sentimental',
I note you have chosen to visit in May next year because it is the time of the anniversary of the Battle of Crete, the 67th! You should find yourself in good company. There will hopefully be a few Brits from the Crete Veterans and Friends Society, (they will be mainly based in Chania area), and I am sure there will be some Kiwis (no doubt Marilyn and some friends as well as an official party) and of course I expect there will be a good few Aussies. It is always a good time to be in Crete and amongst such wonderful company to my mind.
Your father was not alone in naming his part of Australia after somewhere he experienced in Crete. The late Geoff Edwards, an Aussie who escaped with his mate Bill McCarry on a British submarine HMS Thrasher (see all the links from http://www.explorecr...e-of-crete.html ) named his part of Oz Prevelly (sic)- it is now a well known watersports area I gather. Geoff wrote his story in a book called The Road to Prevelly, It is quite difficult to get hold of in Europe but may be easier to obtain in Australia.
Geoff was the inspiration behind the memorial that now stands on the road to Preveli monastery in Crete, together with a number of other means of remembering those Cretans who helped him and other POWs.
There is a veterans association in Australia, the Returning something or other if I remember correctly- I can find out the name if you like. I am sure I still have some current contacts if you would like details. Just go to www.kastri.co.uk and you will see my email address. (sorry other folk- I still haven't got around to putting it back on line properly)
Tim

#3 Tim

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 09:07 PM

The organisation I was thinking of is The Returned Services League and they have a web address at http://www.rsl.org.au/

#4 sentimental

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 06:11 AM

Thanks so much Wim and Tim. The DVD sounds like a terrific idea Wim - thanks - I'll get onto that straight away. This trip is one of those things that I wish I had been able to do for Dad years ago when he was younger and fitter but I guess better late than never. Just hope his health holds out well now that we're organising the trip! He's not on any medications etc at all - just getting vulnerable and doddery. I'm sure the physical trials of his POW time are the main reason - body just can't keep up any more! He still has shrapnel around his shoulders from when he was wounded on Crete! Tim - I've been to Prevelly Park in WA. I grew up in WA and my parents still live over there. We will be driving over to collect them to start the trip. Geoff Edwards organised the construction of a chapel at Prevelly Park to commemorate the incredible kindness of the monks of Preveli Monastery & the Cretan people. I have a couple of pics of it but it's on www so will just put that link here for you. This is info from ANZAC Day eve this year on the website of our national broadcaster - the ABC. http://www.abc.net.a...es/s1905815.htm
Geoff was the driving force behind the construction of the monument to the Allied soldiers and the Preveli monks at the entrance to Preveli Monastery. Sadly he died before it was completed.
Dad belongs to the RSL but I might contact them and see if they know the specifics of anything being organised from the Australian end. Thanks for that idea. I'm hoping that somewhere along the way I might be able to be in contact with people at the Crete end of the celebrations and therefore make sure Dad doesn't miss out on being where he needs to be! thanks again for your responses.

#5 Tim

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 10:21 AM

Sentimental,
I am a member of the UK Crete Veterans and Friends and I am sure our secretary will know the contact for the Oz equivalent if you have any trouble locating him/her.
Re the Preveli project, you can get to it via the earlier link but here is a direct one http://www.preveli.o...ial/enindex.htm
The place has changed quite a bit since I took the first site photo ( I was very attached to the white Corsa hire car in it, I used it to give the late George Psychoundakis a lift once!) There is a lot more that is interesting about the story, and the help from another Australian who befriended Geoff, but this isn't the place for it.

#6 Viking Tom

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:42 PM

Hi Sentimental,
Have you read the book Flowers of Rethymnon (escape from Crete) by Lew Lind. He was an Aussie soldier. 19 at the time. Really good book. I bought my copy in Crete. Let me know if you want a copy and can't find one. I'll check on amazon.

Tom