The evacuation Port of Kalamata on the Peloponnese Peninsula was the site of the last battle fought by Australian and New Zealand Troops on mainland Greece. On the night of the 28th April 1941, two companies of the German 5th Panzer Division, with artillery launched a fierce attack on the town and stormed into Kalamata, getting as far as the quay on Navarino Street. The New Zealand and Australian troops counter attacked with fixed bayonets, even though they had not received orders before pitching in. Some 40 Germans were killed and 100 captured. It was during this action that the bravery of Sergeant Jack Hinton of the 20th New Zealand Battalion earned him the Victoria Cross whilst Captain Albert Grey of the Australian 2/6th Battalion was awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Both Hinton and Gray would eventually be captured. On April 29 with the Navy being unable to return and the enemy’s superior strength, the Allied Commander decided to surrender his remaining Troops to avoid further massive bloodshed. (This summary is a part extract of a pamphlet prepared by the ‘Society of Kalamata 23 March’).
One of the better represented Associations at the 2023 March was the 2/2 Field Regiment Association. It was also a time for reflection for the Association as it was their first march without their last known Veteran Bill Rowe. Sadly Bill passed away suddenly late in 2022 at the grand age of 97. Bill was a regular and popular media target at the end of each march. The 2/2 FRA had 39 descendants marching commemorating fathers, grandfathers and even great grandfathers. President of the Association, Mr. Malcolm Fallon said it was pleasing to see families remained committed to ANZAC Day and the 2/2 Field Regiment Association. It ensures our families will never be forgotten and old traditions still mean something to the younger generation. The Association is also grateful to Oakleigh Grammar School who supply our banner bearers, this year Arkie Stathopoulos, Natasha Kaniadakis, Dean Voutsas, George Zikas, Jessica Peraic and Georgia Christofi. We have a great connection with the Greek Community which goes both ways and fosters a mutual respect as our soldiers fought valiantly in defence of Greece in WWII. Brallos Pass in Lamia, Greece was one of the renowned battles the 2/2nd participated in. Following the march, members gathered as their fathers did in the past for a “reunion”. Nearly 30 attended the lunch at the Rising Sun Hotel in South Melbourne and following the success this year, will now hopefully become a regular addition to the calendar after the march. Mr. Fallon said he was hopeful the Association
could reconnect with more 2/2nd Veterans descendants in the near future. We also welcomed descendants from NSW marching for the first time and
looking to learn more, I think they enjoyed the experience! The Association holds an Annual Meeting and Luncheon in late October each year and has a large display of memorabilia. Over 30 members attended in 2022 with 19 apologies noted. It is a wonderful opportunity for our community to get together and renew acquaintances. Like many organizations COVID has had an effect on numbers recently but following the success yesterday we look forward with a great deal of optimism. We also have available lanyards, pens, CD’s of the Regiments Official history book ACTION FRONT for sale. It is expected to soon have available more coffee mugs, puffer vests (ordered to size), and plaques with the Associations’ badge Mr Fallon reported. We are also putting a lot of effort into establishing a new website with well over
100 hours already put into the project. It is hoped we can launch it in the near future. We would really like to hear from anyone with a connection to the 2/2nd and warmly welcome new members. If anyone would like more information we can be contacted either through the current website or directly with the President Malcolm Fallon on 0417 326 970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or our Secretary Mrs Mel Johnson at email email@example.com
You can check out more photo’s from Anzac Day 2023 on our website, kindly uploaded by committee member Derek Trewarne.
To download the original version of this article. please click on the link below.
The 2/2 Field Regiment Association has booked a table for 20 persons for lunch at 1300hrs (1pm) following the ANZAC Day march next Tuesday 25 April 2023. The venue is a short 5 minute walk from The Shrine with details below;
Rising Sun Hotel
2 Raglan Street,
We will warmly welcome you to join us for what will become an annual meeting place (if supported!) each year following the March.
2/2 Field Regiment Association
Mob: 0417 326 970
2/2 Field Regiment Association
2021-22 Annual Report from the President
Welcome Life Members, Members and Friends to the 83rd Annual General meeting of the 2/2 Field Regiment Association.
I have pleasure in presenting to you my first report as President of the Association.
It has been a humbling and heart-warming experience to be invited to wreath laying and remembrance celebrations of Kindred Associations and hear the esteem and reverence our forebears, the 2/2 Regiment is held in and of their heroic actions of 80 years past still being fondly recalled.
It has also been a wonderful learning experience personally and I thank the Committee, Members and Organisations for their warm support, advice and encouragement.
The Association has been represented at several functions with wreaths laid on behalf of the Association at the following;
25 March 2022 Hellenic Independence Day Hellenic Memorial Wreath laying
25 April 2022 ANZAC Day Shrine March
22 May 2022 Battle of Crete Memorial Day Shrine Wreath laying
ANZAC Day was memorable for being able to march again and even more so to have Veteran / Life Member Bill Rowe participating in the march. A good turnout of descendants ensured the Association was noted with Bill receiving the accolades he deserved.
Covid continued to present challenges for all of us both personally and professionally. With the easing of restrictions we have some semblance of normal returning but I believe it is the “new normal” as the old normal has passed by everyone. As disastrous as it has been we have adapted to new and in some ways better practices and shown true spirit and what innovation can lead us to achieve.
The Committee has met quarterly in March, June and October at ANZAC House and by electronic meetings each attaining a quorum to allow business to proceed.
My thanks to the Committee in Derek, Mel, Kim T, David, Terry, Kim S and John for their willingness to set direction for the future, provide guidance and their learned past knowledge of the Association.
Major features of the year are the development of the 5 year Plan for the Association (2022-2027), and the work undertaken to have the Association become an Incorporated Body, both listed for General Business. It would be remiss though to not acknowledge David Jaboor for his expertise, energy, commitment and time to have the Association registered. The 5 year plan in part revolves around being an Incorporated Body.
A couple of items are now available in the form of lanyards, pens, coffee mugs and puffer vests all with the 2/2 patch on them at rounded up cost price per item All proceeds to go into the Association.
Lanyards & Pens $5 each
Coffee mugs $12 each (limited amount but can order more if demand warrants)
Puffer vest $60 each (orders taken due to sizing requirements)
Key rings N/A at present (looking for cheaper price)
I have ensured suppliers are Australian companies and printing is done in Australia.
A pro-forma has been developed to create some stories of Diggers for content in ACTION FRONT and on our website. Please take a form with you today, fill it in and return so it may be published. ACTION FRONT needs your support for content. Our twice yearly publication has been continuous since 1939, it is our responsibility to ensures it continues. This form will also be available to download on the web site shortly.
We are about to start the process of scanning every ACTION FRONT thus making them available to read on the web site when done. This will ensure they are kept for prosperity. My thanks to Terry Cole for kindly making them available to be scanned.
Finally, I wish to again acknowledge and thank Secretary Mel Johnson for her dedication, commitment and guidance as Secretary of the 2/2 Field Regiment Association to not only me but all past Presidents since 2013. A job well done.
Again, thank you all for your support. Keep well and look after and support each other.
Mobile: 0417 32 6970
Cancellation of the 2020 AGM/Annual Dinner in October. Unfortunately, due to the current and ongoing situation with the Pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel the Regimental Association AGM/Annual Dinner this year. My fellow office-bearers and committee members have agreed to continue on in their same positions and I wish to thank them for their support and the good work they have done and continue to do for the Association. In particular I wish to thank Secretary – Mel Johnson; Treasurer – Kim Taunt; Editor – David Jaboor and Web Master – Kim Sparkes.
Anzac tour to Greece and Crete in 2021. The Association has received an invitation from the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand to join a tour for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Crete. You will find details on a separate posting. Along with other Association members, I attended a 70th anniversary tour in 2011 which was a most memorable and moving experience.
75th Anniversary of the end of WW2 – Victory in the Pacific. We especially remember all veterans for their service and sacrifice around this time. Please continue to stay in contact with veterans and/or descendants known to you at this difficult period.
Finally, the year ahead. Assuming things will be back to normal next year, I look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Anzac Day March and next years AGM/Annual Dinner. I am very pleased that long serving committee member Terry Cole has agreed to be our speaker. His topic will be “The Brallos Pass Action – a minor epic for the 2/2nd Field Regiment”
Stay safe and well,
Derek Trewarne, President 2/2nd Field Regiment Association
The Municipality of Chania and the local Council of Mournies in conjunction with the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council today hosted the unveiling of the Mournies Memorial Plaque in the central square.
The B.O.C.G.C.C. would like to thank the Mayor of Chania Mr. Anastasios Vamvoukas, the President of Mournies Council Mr. Fotis Hatzigiannelis for finding the time and the funds to finally place a plaque in the Village of Mournies depicting the memory of gunner James Zampelis, who was the only ANZAC Veteran of Greek descent that died on Cretan soil and has not been located. Thank you to Paul Soug, Eva Gotsis and Jim Claven for the work they did trying to locate the exact location, which is roughly 150 metres South West from the central platia.
The Mournies Memorial Plaque now forms part of the many memorials, sites and plaques that have been placed all over the island highliting important battles, advances, landings and resistance areas making the Battle of Crete one of the most important events in the 2nd World War. The plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Chania Mr. Anastasios Vamvoukas, the President of the Mournies Council Mr. Hatzigiannelis and the Chairman of the Battle of Crete & Greece Commemorative Council Mr. Tony Tsourdalakis.
A very big thank you to Reverand Father Ioannis Paxivanakis for conducting the service, and other dignitaries for attending including Mr. Nikos Papadakis, President of the Venizelos Foundation, Mr. James Jordan, Chairman of the Battle of Crete Committee in Sydney, Mr. John Nikolakakis, President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Mrs. Eva Gotsis, Vice President of the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne and many others.
(This article was copied from – Battle of Crete Commemoriative Council website. Please go to their website for more information and articles.)
All the gunners killed in this Action at Mournies, including Gunner Zampelis, served with the 2/2nd Field Regiment.
Greek ‘OHI Day’ or (‘No Day’) is a significant day in modern Greek History. On October 28, 1940, in response to a demand from the Italian Ambassador in Athens to unconditional surrender, Greek Prime Minister Metaxas said ‘Oxi’, which means no in Greek! Italy then invaded and so began the Greek Campaign which officially culminated with the Battle of Crete in May 1941. A well trained and resourceful Greek Army drove the much larger Italian Force out of Greece and it wasn’t till Germany invaded in April 1941 that Greece finally succumbed.
The following pictures were taken at this year’s Commemorative Service at the Shrine.
Report and pictures by Derek Trewarne