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In The Footsteps Of Heroes


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#1 Tim

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:33 AM

Many of you will know of my interest in certain events that occurred in Crete in WW2. I have been researching this area of history for eighteen years now and have recieved a lot of help from all over the world including some leads through this website. In 2005 a group of us made a trip to Crete to follow part of the route taken by the original team who abducted Genereal Kreipe in 1944. Some details of the first trip can be found on explorecrete (http://www.explorecr...eipe-follow.htm) It was great adventure and our webmaster Yannis was a part of it.
Some will know that I had been involved with planning a second trip to Crete, with some of the people who did a similar trip in 2005. That team has just arrived in Crete. For various reasons neither Yannis nor I can undertake the present expedition. I hope to get regular updates on the progress of the team and I will list them on my (non-commercial) website www.illmetbymoonlight.info for those who may be interested.
As was the case for the 2005 trip, we have again had the assistance of Paddy Leigh Fermor, the sole surviving member of the original team. This time the team are starting from the beach near Tsoutsouros at which Billy Moss and his team landed. They seek to trek the same route to the abduction point area, a leg that was missing from our 2005 trip, and then continue with the journey to a beach near Rhodakino. There will be a few interesting differences on this trip which will be revealed in the course of the journey.
We have called the expedition "In the Footsteps of Heroes" to celebrate the bravery of men from several nations who took part and the Cretan people who assisted them. Our team is drawn from several nations to reflect this, more details later.
I hope some of you will find it of interest.

In the Footsteps of Heroes

#2 DaveW.

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 03:46 PM

....................'there will be a few interesting differences'. Oh no!!! They aren't going to kidnap the German Consul are they? <_< B) Look forward to following the journey on your non-commercial web-site. Sorry that you and Yannis aren't able to make it. Although not actually there I am sure that you will both be there in spirit every foot of the journey with the team.
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!

#3 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for the update - your interest has certainly fostered an extra dimension to our trips to Crete.

By the way, collecting tokens from the Daily Mail at the moment entitles you to send off for a selection of war films and two of them are Ill Met By Moonlight and In which we serve, about the battle of Crete.
Kritsa Yvonne

#4 Aurelia

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 12:30 PM

Bravo, Tim. Best wishes to all who are fortunate enough to participate in this noble and historical undertaking.

#5 Tim

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 11:24 AM

I think I can now reveal that a new team member will be arriving in Crete today to meet up with the main team. Artemis Cooper, biographer of Paddy Leigh Fermor, author of a number of books in her own right (Cairo in the War 1939-1945) and with her husband Antony Beevor (Paris after the Liberation), will spend a few days with the team from Yeni Gave to Anogia, up over Psiloritis and then towards Gerakari. Artemis has been commissioned to write a piece for the Daily Mail so those of you who read it might want to keep their eyes open. Artemis has been enormously helpful both with research and information and as our contact with Paddy. Artemis will also help write up the expedition diary-we are fortunate indeed because we cannot think of anyone better qualified.
The team are also expecting to meet a close relative of Micky Akoumianakis who is flying out from England. Relatives of another participant who also wanted to come but unfortunately could not be accommodated on the walk as part of the team, have been invited to meet them at Anogia if they are able to make the journey.
I can now reveal that the team have a new and highly valued member for this expedition, Nico Frankiodakis, a highly qualified serving NCO in the Greek Army who knows Crete well. As with the original operation, the involvement of local people makes all the difference. I was going to write that personally, I think that his involvement 'makes' the team, but I know that the others will also feel the same. Having a Cretan with us, one representing the Greek forces that were a crucial part of the original operation, gives the expedition added credibility. For this privilege we have to thank a number of people who will be mentioned in the 'players' bios that will be on the website soon.
I am very pleased to say we also have an Australian, Jonathan Huston, on board demonstrating I hope, and as far as possible, that the expedition honours all the nations who were involved in those trouble times.
I have to say though that it is a real downer having to sit here waiting to hear from them and not being part of it in Crete ;-(

#6 poppypiper

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 04:32 PM

I can not believe my luck. I have been promising myself a return to Suda Bay War Cemetery since 1986. In November 2007 I decided I would keep that promise and began researching. The the information I had was sketchy. In the past I had attended ceremonies all over the world dedicated to Commonwealth troops.
In my research I became very impressed with the 'forgotten army' of Crete - the civilians. I felt I now had to find the smaller, less visitied memorials dedicated to the Cretan civilians who died in The Battle FOR Crete. That battle lasted well after the actaual military conflict which has been so well documented.. The information in this forum promises to help me no end.

My pilgrimage will be made well after the usual May celebrations and will be simply that of a 73 year old piper playing his laments in a way of saying "Thank You" to those who died that he may have the freedom to travel as he does today. I know there are numerous memorials throughout Crete.

I am now researching the locations of the smaller memorials and would appreciate any help. I DO NOT ASK FOR OR ACCEPT ANY FINANCIAL SPONSORSHIP FOR MY WORLD WIDE WAR GRAVES PILGRIMAGES. I will be arriving in Hereklion on the 2nd. September 2008 and will stay a few days in a hotel whilst planning my final itinerary. I will then take each day as it comes. I know for sure I will be in Anno Viannos for the 14th and probably spend my last few days in Chora Sfakia but where I go in between is in God's hands.

I do not want any fuss or undue ceremony but should any bump into me on my travels thay are welcome to join me in my humble tributes.

Bill Jenkins
Liverpool

#7 Tim

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 10:45 PM

Hi Bill
Good to hear from you again.
I will try and draw up a list of some of the places that I know where there are memorials, there are certainly many around the north side of the Kedros mountains in villages such as Gerakari, Agia Pareskevi, Vrises. There is also a very large memorial at Amiras a little east of Ano Viannos.
When I get a spare moment I'll see what I can do- and I am sure others here will also help with those that they know of.
Tim

#8 poppypiper

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:05 PM

Hi Tim,

Just over two months to go to my setting off for Crete on September 9th 2008. Thanks to people like yourself I now have all the information ( I think) to enable me to plan my itinerary. The one addition to my plans is my wife. She will be coming with me and this will be the first time anyone has accompanied me whilst I have visited some 120 war cemeteries and memorials worldwide. There are still a few loose ends to tie up but they will add to the challenge.
Bill J.

#9 poppypiper

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:34 PM

Hi Tim,

Bill again. I think I'm losing it. No sooner do I think I am getting on than up crops another problem. AGIA PARESKEVI ????

Which one? The one in the mountains near Agios Ioanis (more likely) or the one on the coast ?
Bill J

#10 Wim

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:07 PM

The 2008 Souda Bay Commemoration

And this was how it all started
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#11 poppypiper

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:03 PM

Hi Wim

I am a bit thick when it comes to using my computer. I tried to 'log in' (is that the word ?) to The battle Of Crete highlighted in your last reply. Nothing happened. As for the Battle Of Crete there are volumes of stories about the battle of Crete and I have read most of them.
My interest is in the ordinary people who were going about their normal work when all hell let loose. I know how they felt. It happened to me. I was lucky and managed to survive to pick up the pieces of my families life. Many in Crete were not so lucky.
My plans for my pilgrimage through Crete are all but complete at the moment with information coming in daily. Not a day goes by without me having to add another village memorial to my list. So far I have accumalated 29 wreaths which my wife and I hope to place as we traverse the island.
Bill J
Liverpool

#12 Caroline

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:27 AM

My other half is really into the WWII history of Crete too. We have a few DVD's including the fabulous Ill Met By Moonlight. It's a great film and has a great feel good factor, despite the story line. I sat there watching it thinking 'Look at those mountains. Doesn't Crete look beautiful'. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out it was made in the South of France ^_^

#13 poppypiper

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:09 AM

Hi Caroline,

All that glitters is not gold. Medals do not always show the hero and films not all of the truth. I am sorry you were let down by the film set of the film but the sentiment was pretty accurate. I once read of a Scottish piper who was dragged unconscious and wounded back into the WW1 trenches. On coming round his mates told him of his wounded officer crying out in among the muck and bullets. "Jock' jumped over the top and twenty minute later returned pulling his wounded officer by his webbing. He got the highest medal decoration for his 'bravery'. I met his grandson years later who said that he never wore his medal and that the only reason he went back into hell was to retrieve HIS PIPES. ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.

Crete is full of heroes, most of them buried in it's soil. Few tell their stories but perhaps one day ..........

Bill Jenkins
Liverpool
UK

#14 Caroline

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:42 PM

Thanks Bill. In 2004 I met a British War Veteran who had fought in WW2 in the Battle of Crete. He was a great old guy. When he was there he visited many of the war memorials, battle fields and the war cemetries. He has sadly passed away himself now, but I bet he was glad he made the trip.

#15 norma17

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 08:53 PM

My Dad, Gunner Ronald Wollaston (his story can be found under his name on the Internet) was captured in the Battle for Crete.   He was only 19 years old.  He was a Prisoner of War from 1941 until 1944 when he made an escape.  Before he was captured he was guarding Max Schmelling,  the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.  He said he was a nice bloke.  I also had two Uncles who were in the Navy and died in the battle;  one was on HMS Orion and the other on HMS Calcutta.  I do have quite a lot of information if anyone is interested

 



#16 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 01:28 AM

Yes please.... can you summarise events ? I'm particularly interested in finding out about events in the east of Crete. X
Kritsa Yvonne

#17 santo

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 05:17 PM

Been off here for a while but loved reading this thread.


Santo

It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.

#18 Henry Hooray

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 04:23 PM

Been off here for a while but loved reading this thread.

Totally agreed (many thanks to the posters above) - and a big Hello to you from Bath, Santo!!!



#19 santo

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 05:06 PM

Hi HH,

Hope you are well my friend, may be in Bath during 31st July to 2nd Aug due to birthday celebrations so will be looking at eating at the Eastern Eye on Friday night and a few pints first of course (Linda sends her regards)  ;)


Santo

It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.