The U.K. Crete Veterans and Friends Society

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2 November 2013

Dear veterans, members and friends

Christmas Luncheon Meeting – 10.30 am Tuesday 19 November 2013 at Mount Maunganui


You are warmly invited to attend our Christmas luncheon to be held at the Mount Maunganui RSA,

544 Maunganui Road. The meeting will commence at 10.30 am and we will start the gathering with

tea/coffee and Christmas mince pies, courtesy of two members of our committee! We want

everybody to be present and comfortably seated by 11 am when our Patron Air Marshal Sir Bruce

Ferguson will be our keynote speaker. It is an absolute pleasure and privilege for us all that Sir

Bruce and Lady Rosemary are able to attend. About 11.45 am we are expecting four singers and a

pianist to lead us in a sing-song of old wartime favourites. Song sheets will be provided. Thanks to

Jeannie for arranging this. After this, about mid-day, we will adjourn for our luncheon and in the

afternoon we will have our informal relaxing discussion.

We are going to have an interesting and fun day.

Previous Meeting

We summarise our last meeting held on 20 August mainly for the benefit of those people who were

unable to attend.

Brian Taaffe from Melbourne was our main speaker. His illustrated talk gave us new insights on the

Petrol Company's courageous contribution, especially when they were thrown into the 'deep end'

around the area of Galatas in Western Crete. Brian mentioned the injuries that one of his uncles

sustained on Crete and our regular veteran attendee, Eric Wilson, piped up that he remembered this

chap in hospital! Further copies of Brian's book, 'Gatekeepers of Galatas', published in 2006 will be

available at our Christmas Luncheon meeting. All copies have been signed by the author and can be

purchased at the excellent price of $30 each.

After lunch I (Colin) gave a brief summary of the Tripiti week spent on Crete in May. We are

hoping John Irwin and Dr Ian and Lala Frazer will be able to give us a presentation at a 2014


Bill Egerton played us a moving recording of an interview conducted by Kristal Waine with her

grandfather and Bill's uncle, the late Percy Green, of Wanganui. Percy spoke clearly of his


A special treat was when Peter Moss introduced us to Mrs Ida Hamilton who is 105 years old. Ida

visits the Mount RSA regularly with her family. Copies of a photo taken by Paul London

showing Ida with some of our veterans will be available at our Christmas Luncheon. Ida has

now given us the recipe for the shortbread that she sent to soldiers during the war. This recipe will

also be available. If anybody who cannot attend would like this photo and/or the recipe, you are

welcome to contact me.


Peter Wildey 20445 NZE 2nd Ech. (Dunedin) on reaching a fantastic milestone - 100 years old on

13 October 2013. Well done Peter!

Contact with Veterans

Deirdre spent some time over Labour Weekend contacting our precious veterans and having lovely

conversations with them and she reports as follows:

Best Wishes:

All of us in our Association send our very best wishes to the following veterans who are currently

experiencing health issues and some with upcoming medical interventions:

Jim Lydiate, 23rd Bn., Dunedin / Anthony Madden, 4th RMT., Havelock North / Arthur

Midwood, 28th Maori Bn., Taupo / Jim Arthurs, 22nd Bn., Foxton / Allan Robinson, 6th

Field Ambulance, Katikati / Harry Spencer, Dip.Cav., Hastings. Harry has has a Pace-Maker

fitted and he is back home and doing well.

Fit as Young Buck Rats are:

94 and 95 year olds from Auckland - Eric Wilson and Bill Bristow, Malcolm Coughlan

(Morrinsville), Merv Sims (Christchurch) Major Mac Swinburn (Waipukurau) and Brant Robinson

(Taradale). They are all doing well and enjoying being out in the garden. Roye Hammond

(Auckland) is travelling back south again for his annual pilgrimage to the Milford track. This time

they are celebrating the tracks 125 years of operation. Roy Tucker (Rotorua) is 98 years old and

reported that he is 'out and about' and is somewhat of a local celebrity at the moment with a recent

newspaper article. Roy, as we know, writes beautiful poetry and is a regular attendee at his local

Writers Club. Our two youngsters who are still in their 80's are Owen Richards, ex Navy

(Wanganui), and Don Campbell, J Force, (Thames). They are both extra well and Deirdre wanted to

say that ''they could be dangerous" but we won't let her say that!

Heinze Puschmann (Auckland) says that he "really enjoys receiving our newsletters" and apologises

for not being able to be at our meetings as the travelling now is too much for him.

Last Post

Frank May, 5265, 19th Bn. on 17 July 2013 aged 96, peacefully back in his home town of New

Plymouth with his son Graeme and family.

South Island Branch Christmas Lunch Invitation

Lynne and Doug McMillan represent our Association in the South Island and organise great

activities. A Christmas Buffet Lunch will be held at the Papanui RSA, Christchurch, on Sunday

24th November at 11.30 am. The buffet costs $30. It would be great if some North Island members

could attend as well. RSVP by 14 November to Lynne and Doug at email: or

leave a message on (03) 981 9082. John Irwin and Ian Frazer are intending to present snippets of

their trip to Crete last May for the 70th anniversary of the final evacuation from Tripiti.

Congratulations to Deirdre

Our President, Deirdre Hauschild, has completed her Bachelor of Social Science degree, majoring

in psychology. She recently attended the graduation ceremony at the University of Waikato. We all

admire Deirdre for her commitment to her study and the great outcome. Congratulations.

Deirdre has a new email address and this is shown at the end of this newsletter.

WW1 Centenary

From 2014 through to 2019 there will be events occurring throughout the country and ways to

recognise the centenary of World War 1. Peter Moss and Deirdre Hauschild are on our Tauranga

based organising committee.You can find out more by visiting the NZRSA website

One area where you may be able to assist is by sending in wartime stories and photos from your

family sources. If you can help in this way please contact Deirdre.

May 2016 75th Anniversary Tour to Crete

There is little to report as yet, but a discussion meeting is to be held shortly in Wellington where the

commemoration organising committee will be selected and based. The organising committee will be

members of the NZBOC Assn. and individuals from government departments closely associated to

the organisation of previous official commemoration tours. Details will be carefully worked out to

include the official Crete commemoration program and visits to key areas. As in previous tours the

total numbers within in the tour group will probably be limited to facilitate the itinerary. You might

like to keep this tour in mind and we will report details in future newsletters.

Speakers at our Luncheons in 2014

We are canvassing for possible speakers for next year and Deirdre has been in contact with some

people we hope can visit us. They are Cretan born Dr Mike Vasilomaniolakis (USA), Nick

Andriotakis (Public Relations Officer - Joint Committee of BOC & Greek Campaign) and Dr

Michael Bendon (historian and author). Nick and Michael live in Australia. Also, we have contacted

John Irwin from Nelson (Wild Sweet Productions) and Dr Ian Frazer (Dunedin) author and

organiser of the May 2013 Memorial Tour to Tripiti in Crete. You are welcome to contact the

committee if you have some suggestions and of course we love the unexpected contributions from

members present at our meetings.

Annual General Meeting and 2014 Meeting Dates

Our first luncheon meeting for 2014 will also be the Annual General Meeting of the Association. A

newsletter including the AGM Notice will be circulated in the New Year. In the past, the AGM meeting has

been held in February. I (Colin) have been discussing the date with Deirdre as I will be away in February on

an Antarctic cruise. I am hopeful that the AGM can be held on Tuesday 18 March next year so that I can

attend and prepare the usual secretarial data. We can consider this at our Christmas Luncheon or you can

contact me with your views.

Meeting dates for the balance of the year will be finalised at the AGM.

A Good New Book: "Men of Valour" New Zealand and the Battle of Crete by Ron Palenski.

Publisher: Hodder Moa $39.95

Recently, our member, Bruce Kitchingman, read and recommended this book. Several of us have

now read it and it is excellent. It is an easily read but thorough account of the Battle of Crete. I

asked Bruce to write a Book Review:

"Ron Palenski may be better known as a writer of the great feats of All Black rugby. Perhaps it

was the sense of the 2nd NZEF of being like a team going off, almost as on a tour, and some of

the heroic deeds performed that attracted him to the subject. Whatever the similarities, I think

Mr. Palenski has found a winning formula with this book.

"Although not a long book at just over 200 pages, there is plenty of useful background

information on how the fledgling New Zealand nation slid inexorably into war, and how many

young men of our country, be they farmers, clerks, teachers, were quick to sign up.

"I think the book led really well into the Battle for Crete, with the situation in Greece clearly

explained. The scene was set, so that the reader almost felt like he was getting a commentary

on a Chess match, who had what pieces left on the board, and where the strategic strengths of

those pieces lay, the advantages and disadvantages of both sides. Palenski makes it very clear

that our blokes were very short when it came to stacking up the pieces, when you saw what

the enemy had on the other side.

"The narrative of the day to day fighting and troop movements was kept sensibly reasonably

brief, but covered the key battles and turning points well enough for the reader to appreciate

the ebb and flow of the events. What I enjoyed were the many wonderful short stories of

perhaps an hour, a day, a week or a few moments in the lives of some of the many men, women

and children, who in those 10 most eventful days, experienced the most desperate events of

their lives. This includes local Cretans, who joined the charge at Galatas, the Officers and

fighting men of Australia, Britain and New Zealand, and of course dwelt a great deal on the

decisions, fateful or not, faced by General Freyberg and his aides Hargest, Puttick, Andrew and

Kippenberger. There is a fair summing up of the debates that raged after it was all over, as to

was there blame to be attached to anyone. The reader is almost relieved to hear that, in the

author’s opinion, it was inevitable that the island would be lost, whether or not Andrew

withdrew his men of the 22nd from Hill 107. I thought the background on the Ultra messages

that Freyberg received, and his response to them, or lack of, was most revealing.

There are wonderful chapters on VC heroes, Hulme and Upham and their deeds, as well as Ted

d’Auvergne and the story of his bottle still awaiting his return to the North Otago pub where he

hurriedly left it. The part played by a 17 year old Cretan youth is especially touching.

"This is a book that should have broad appeal to anyone interested in the contribution made

by the young Kiwi men of the 1940’s."

Dudley Perkins Film

A film is about to be made about the Dudley Perkins story. It will be entitled "The Straggler" and is

based on Murray Elliott's book and with a script written by Jonathon Oglivie. It is a collaboration

between Australia and New Zealand with a $6 million budget. It will be filmed mostly in Alexandra.

If you google neo kosmos film the straggler you will find the announcement.

Mail and Email List

Please contact the secretary if you need any alterations or deletions to the email or mailing list.

Donations and Badges

The Association income is reliant on small regular voluntary donations, from those who are able,

because we have no subscription requirement. These contributions recognise your interest and are

vital to help fund such things as the veterans lunches, wreaths, commemoration costs and

stationery. These donations can be made either at a meeting or by mail to the secretary. Badges cost

$10 each but we need to have an extra donation please to support the membership.


We are including all committee contacts below because they can all be contacted if you wish:

Deirdre Hauschild : President 07-5764362 new email:

Paul London: Vice President 06-3782388 email:

Colin Henderson: Secretary/Treasurer 07-5430205 email:

Lynne & Doug McMillan (Christchurch): 03-9819082 email:

Robyn Molloy (Tauranga): 07-5413097 email:

Jeannie Overall (Tauranga): 07-5759548 email:

Stewart Gradon (Tauranga): 07-5440664 email:

Robin Lloyd (Wellington): 04-2378285 email:


Peter Moss: CEO, Mt.Maunganui RSA 07-5754477 (Peter is not on the committee but is a good

contact to have).

Mail Address:

NZ Battle of Crete Association c/- Mt. Maunganui RSA, PO Box 4011, Mt.Maunganui South 3116




1 February 2013

Dear veterans, members and friends

On behalf of the committee we do sincerely hope you have a successful 2013.

AGM AND LUNCHEON MEETING: Wednesday 20th February 2013 at 10.30am

You are all warmly invited to attend our AGM and luncheon meeting to be held from

10.30am on Wednesday 20th February. The venue is the Mount Maunganui RSA, 544

Maunganui Road. (Please note that the committee has discussed the view that it would

be good if meetings could start later but we think by the time attendees assemble we

usually start the formal program a little later anyway and it is good to get the key

program complete before the luncheon so we can have a more informal meeting after

lunch for those who are able to remain in attendance.)

The proposed program for the AGM:

Welcome; A minutes silence; Present (List to be circulated to record those

present); Apologies; Minutes of AGM held 22 February 2012; Correspondence;

President's Report; Financial Report.

Election: President; Vice President (We will definitely have a vacancy to fill

there as Jim's work commitments now reluctantly prevent him from offering

himself for re-election); Secretary/Treasurer; Accountant; Committee.

General Business including some notices of motion as detailed below.

Notices of Motion:

1. That the New Zealand Battle of Crete Association creates a new Office of

Patron, and modifies the Constitution accordingly.

2. Should the Motion above be adopted then there is a further Motion to be put

as follows: That the New Zealand Battle of Crete Association approaches Air

Marshall (retired) Sir Bruce Ferguson KNZM, OBE, AFC, asking for his

patronage of the Association. ( Paul London will move the motion and detail a

summary of Sir Bruce's biography.)

3. That the New Zealand Battle of Crete Association allows the creation of a new

sub-section to represent the interests of our South Island membership.

After the AGM, and probably after we have had lunch, we will gather for informal

discussion from the floor. If possible, the newly appointed committee will meet

briefly at the end of the program.



Please note the following dates for the other three meetings to be held this year:

May Memorial Service: Sunday 19th May at 10.30 am. After the Service, there

will be refreshments and light finger food.

August Luncheon: Wednesday 21st August at 10.30am.

November Christmas Luncheon: Wednesday 20th November at 10.30am.


At our well attended luncheon on 21 November we had excellent contributions and

discussions. First, there was great feed back from ‘our boys’ who went away on the El

Alamein Pilgrimage with the NZ Defence Force. These Intrepid Travellers were Bill

Bristow and Roye Hammond (both 18th Bn), and Eric Wilson (24th) and Allan Robinson

(6th Field Amb). Allan spoke particularly well summarising the experience and their

collective gratitude for being extremely well looked after on the trip.

We are grateful to our keynote speaker at this meeting, Robyn Molloy, who had just

returned from Northern Italy, where she had been invited to walk in the region

where her father had made a significant contribution to helping allies . Robyn's dad

was Jim Craig who was second lieutenant of C Company, 22nd Battalion, in Crete. We

had a small summary section about Jim included in our November 2012 Newsletter.

Roy Tucker attended from Rotorua and spoke to us about his experiences as

Kippenberger's assistant in Divisional Signals etc. We also had a surprise visitor,

Sarah Kippenberger, granddaughter of ‘Kip’. Sarah was visiting from Taupo and gave

us interesting information. We expect she will be able to visit again. She has a walking

stick that we would love to see!

Garry and Beverley Cousins attended. (Bev had arrived off a Brisbane flight to

Auckland at 3 am that morning!) Garry will be talking more fully at a luncheon meeting

during the year about his role as Veterans Affairs Claims Panellist.

Peter Cooper spoke about his trip to Crete last May - the areas he visited and the

services attended.


Deirdre has been in telephone contact with some of our veterans. Jim Lydiate from

Dunedin said, "I am fine and still breathing", which is good to know. Harry Spencer is

back home after a short stay in hospital. His eyesight has deteriorated so he has

daily help in the house. Arthur Midwood now lives with his son Eric in Taupo. He

sounded 'chirpy' and likes the fact that he doesn't have to cook his own meals. Well

done Arthur - some of us may envy you!

Two Crete Veterans have been added to our mailing list, and both live in Alexandra.

We welcome Hector Clare 8242 20th Bn. and Peter Wildey 20445 NZE.


Deirdre Hauschild, Robyn Molloy and Pat and Colin Henderson attended the all day

Sydney Symposium held on 6 December 2012. Some details of this event were

recorded in the November 2012 Newsletter. The Symposium was brilliant with a

great range of speakers who were mostly referring to books that they had written.

If we get an opportunity, we could speak a little about the Symposium during the

informal part of our February luncheon.

The opportunity was taken to donate $120 from our Association to the 42 Street

Memorial Trust which is doing well in raising funds with a goal to erect a fitting

memorial at 42nd Street. This will help significantly in the remembrance of the

famous Anzac charge on 25 May 1941. The Chania Municipality is cooperating with

this project. If any one wishes to make a donation, please email our secretary, Colin

Henderson ( Similarly, if you are interested in seeing the

Symposium program which listed the speakers and their books etc, please contact the



We will welcome Doug and Lynn McMillan to our AGM luncheon. They will be travelling

up from Christchurch. Doug's father served in the 23rd Bn. Some of you will have

met Doug and Lynn on previous Crete pilgrimages. As noted in the AGM section above,

there is an interest in establishing a South Island branch of our Association. There is

a growing membership from families and friends in the currently named Canterbury

Veterans Association and Christchurch veteran Merv Sim said they had a very

successful Christmas luncheon.


Some members of our Association will be joining Dr Ian Frazer on theTripiti tour to

be held this May.

Other members have expressed interest in future tours to Crete with our

Association. As in the past, Wellington based members are already planning to

organise a trip in May 2016 to mark the 75th Commemoration of the Battle of Crete.

These members include historians, authors and our Greek and Cretan friends who are

also members of the Greek and Cretan Associations. The proposed tour will have a

program which takes into account all relevant memorial services and will include

visiting little villages that were involved in helping the Anzacs. The program will be

designed to respect the requirements of any of veterans attending and all the

families and members of our Association. It is likely that the total numbers will be

capped and this decision will be advised at a later date. The travel agent's input will

be confined to making flight and accommodation bookings only.


Two books have recently been kindly donated anonymously to the Association. These

books are both written by veteran Bill (Errol) Allison,(1863) 20th Bn. Bill travelled

back shortly after the war to all the countries where he had fought during the war.

The titles of these books are "Kiwi at Large" and "Kiwi Vagabond". If you would like

to borrow a copy please contact Deirdre. Bill now lives in a New Plymouth nursing



Richard Carstens of Townsquare Productions reports that filming is finished on the

Crete section of "Our War - Our People" and he is working on the last few interviews

for some other sections. Our Association applied for a grant from Veterans Affairs

to support this huge valuable project. In November a $1,600 grant was received. We

used this to send the funds on to Townsquare Productions.


Our Association does not charge subscriptions. We are reliant on donations to

support your membership. This income is mainly required to pay for veterans lunches

at our meetings, wreaths, stationery and Commemoration Service costs. Donations can

be placed in the box provided at our meeting or by mail to the secretary. Badges cost

$10 each and may be purchased from the secretary by adding that amount to a



Please contact the secretary if you need any alterations to the email or mailing list.


Deirdre Hauschild: President 07-5764362 email:

Jim Siely: Vice President 07-883584

Colin Henderson: Secretary/Treasurer 07-5430205 email:

Peter Moss: CEO, Mt Maunganui RSA, PO Box 4011, Mt Maunganui South 3116


















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