The U.K. Crete Veterans and Friends Society

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For the information of members and their families, I have been advised of a 'Journey of Remembrance' to Crete taking place between 25th September to October 2nd. The information comes from a Nichola Rowlands of the Royal British Legion Tel 0203 465 9189.

She writes:-


It has been a few years since The Legion ran a tour to Crete and it is unlikely to do so again for some time. Therefore it is our pleasure to confirm that the tour this year is going ahead with full support team of experienced guide, doctor, standard bearer and Legion Trustee. This lovely tour enables you to experience the ancient Minoan dynasty thanks to the excavations by Sir Arthur Evans. It also importantly allows you to understand the conduct of a battle that was described by Alan Clark as ' A Kind of Victory' - a battle that took place in May 1941. On 16th May the Divisional Commander on Crete General Freyberg signalled Wavell: ' Everywhere all ranks are fit and morale is high'. These same men would fight fiercely when the Germans landed and would gain the respect of their foe. The Germans were landed in Ju52 aircraft. The tour on the ground will include Galatas and Hill 170 famous for the New Zealanders dogged defence,

The Legion has a responsibility to perpetuate remembrance both at home and abroad and it is pleased to offer the opportunity for you to visit the beautiful single cemetery on Crete at Suda Bay; scene of fierce fighting when the German parachute forces landed at Maleme and elsewhere. The code had just been broken but in order not to compromise this important development ,the intelligence that the threat to Crete was not Luffwafe but airborne was deliberately withheld. As a consequence the defending force of British, New Zealand, Australian, Cretian, Greek and Cypriot was insufficiently equipped.

On one of the days on this tour you can to visit the evacuation point at Sfaxia where the Royal Navy played such a pivotal role. On route you can visit the War Museum and experience the hard going for the soldiers who attempted to withdraw. Although 18,000 men were evacuated by The Royal Navy 12,000 had to be left behind - the majority became POWs. Those who fell are buried in the single cemetery at Suda, which looks out across the Bay by the same name. This unique tour enables you not only to understand some of the conduct of the battle, the successes and set-backs, the heroism and the near misses, but also to enjoy the drives through the countryside; and for those who have an interest in culture to pay a visit to the Minoan excavations.

Although Crete fell in 10 days and it seemed as though the blitzkrieg had triumphed once more, the balance sheet that followed the fierce hand to hand fighting would suggest something more ambiguous. We are pleased to offer you this tour with its strong Remembrance thread and hope that we shall have the pleasure of your company.

Full cost: 995 which includes flight, accommodation in the 4* Hotel Kydon, breakfasts and 4 dinners in local restaurants; plus all the visits as per the itinerary. If you have a personal visit request at Suda Bay please let us know. Single Supplement: 170

This information is published for the information of members, the UK Crete Veterans has no knowledge of it beyond what is written above. If you are interested please deal directly with the promoter.

Note: This website will not normally advertise commercial events and takes no responsibility for any exceptions. This is only brought to your notice because of its British Legion connections.



















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