PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8864

THE CRETAN ASSOCIATION OF SYDNEY AND NSW: BATTLE OF CRETE COMMEMORATION

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 20/05/1994

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 8864

PRIME MINISTER CANBERRA
THE CRETAN ASSOCIATION OF SYDNEY AND NSW: BATTLE OF CRETE
COMMEMORATION
Fifty-two years ago, Greek and Commonwealth forces,
including 6,500 Australians, fought to defend Crete from
German invasion. Today, we remember the sacrifices made
by Australians and Cretans in that bitterly fought
campaign. Without heavy equipment or air support, exhausted from
the campaign in Greece, the Allied troops in Crete
nevertheless inflicted heavy casualities on the German
forces. When resistance finally ceased, the people of
Crete risked savage retaliation to help Allied soldiers
evade capture. In the weeks following the battle, more
than 300 Australians, aided by Cretans, succeeded in
escaping. Hundreds of other Australians and New
Zealanders were hidden by Cretans.
Australians have not forgotten the courage of these
Cretans. The ties forged in war have endured and grown. After IL
World War Two, more than 250,000 Greeks, including many
Cretans, migrated to Australia. They brought with them
an ancient culture and a spirit of enterprise which has
enriched Australian society immensely.
Thus, when we remember today the sacrifices of 1941, we
reaffirm the enduring ties between Australia and Crete,
ties built on a common democratic heritage tested in war
and peace.
P J KEATING -7 P* no 130

Transcript 8864