ANZAC Crete memorial a step closer

first_imgPlans to erect a memorial plaque on the site of the famous ‘charge at 42nd Street’ by ANZAC troops during the Battle of Crete, have moved forward, with the Municipality of Chania identifying a plot of public land for the memorial. The municipality has confirmed its official support to the project, which commemorates, a significant but not widely known action, in which Australian and Kiwi troops pushed back the German advance on May 27 1941, buying precious time for allied troops to be evacuated from Crete. The action took place near the village of Tsikarion, near Souda Bay. The site has never had any kind of signage to show the momentous events that occurred there. Last year a charitable trust was set up in Australia – ‘The Friends of 42nd Street’ – to coordinate fundraising for the project by Ms Glenda Humes, eldest daughter of Aboriginal Anzac, Captain Reg Saunders MBE, who took part in the charge, and who was protected by Cretan villagers for a year after the allied surrender. Ms Humes told Neos Kosmos that she was delighted to receive the news from Chania. “It’s crucial to find an appropriate site on public land, and we’re very grateful for the efforts of the municipality. “We can now go forward with confidence on fundraising here and in New Zealand, to realise the project.” Melbourne-based plaque maker, Dr Ross Bastiaan AM, who has been approached by project organisers to create the bronze, told Neos Kosmos: “This is excellent news. It’s always very important to have the local authorities involved from the outset. This validates the project hugely.” Dr Bastiaan, a periodontist, has made and installed more than 160 Australian military history plaques in more than 20 countries. His works include memorials at the Menin Gate in Belgium, the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, and at Sandakan in Borneo. He has created a number of memorials previously in Greece, including at Sfakia, Chania, Rethymno and the Greek National War Memorial at Heraklion. The ‘Friends of 42nd Street Trust’ is keen to discuss sponsor arrangements with organisations and individuals wishing to support this initiative in any way. For further details contact Glenda Humes on 0439 790797. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more