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.)
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.
The 2/2nd Field Regiment Association has received an invitation to the 2019 ANZAC, Greece and Crete Reunion. There will be a special presentation from Ms. Megan Spenser on the AWM podcast ‘From a Whisper to a Bang’ which features the Battle of Crete.The reunion will be held at the Education Centre at the Shrine of Remembrance on Sunday 6th October 2019 at 2:00 pm. Entry is free and light refreshments will be served. RSVP is by Wednesday 25th September 2019 so please let our Secretary Mel Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) know ASAP if you would like to attend.
The Commemorative Service started with a colourful parade up the forecourt of the Shrine followed by a Service and laying of wreathes at the base of the ‘Eternal Flame’ Memorial. A wreath was laid on behalf on the 2/2nd Field Artillery Regiment Association by Secretary Mel Johnson and myself.
This was followed by a further Service at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Birdwood Avenue.
Vice President Derek Trewarne laid a wreath for the Regiment
The activities commenced with an official parade along the forecourt of the Shrine culminating in the laying of wreaths in front of the eternal flame. The parade involved various dignitaries, flag bearers, school groups, a band made up of school children, young men and women in Cretan National costumes and some banners of Australian Battalions. This was followed by a brief ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Birdwood Avenue.
I have attached some photos that were from my fathers collection of his time whilst serving in P.N.G. (his military records show that he was stationed at Basilisk Battery in Port Moresby and also with A.N.G.U.A. which I believe to be during his time in Lae).
Whilst he was alive, he never spoke of the war, other than to affirm that he fired guns similar to the ones commonly placed outside R.S.L. buildings (25 pounders I understand).
Several of the photos depict him with some mates, but I have no idea of the context of the photos – any help would be greatly appreciated.