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New Zealand Governor-General to Crete for 75th anniversary of Battle of Crete

Some 7700 New Zealanders fought in the battle of Crete which began on May 20, 1941.

Of those, 671 died, 967 were wounded, 2180 were taken prisoner and two, Captain Charles Upham and Sergeant Alfred Hulme, won Victoria Crosses.

Lieutenant General The Right Honorable Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM QSO KStJ, a former chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, will attend a number of commemoration events, including an Australian commemorative service and the unveiling of a memorial plaque at 42nd Street – the scene of a pivotal attack by New Zealand and Australian troops.

He will go on a battlefield tour, attend a New Zealand reception and a ceremony at the New Zealand monument at Galatas.
There will be a service of remembrance at Souda Bay War Cemetery and ceremonies at the German Military Cemetery and the Maleme Airport memorial.

Education Minister Hekia Parata, whose uncle and grandfather, as well as members of her extended family, fought in the battle as members of the 28th Maori Battalion, is also attending the commemorations.
“The battle may not be as well known as some other World War II conflicts but it left an indelible stamp on many families. I grew up knowing people named for places in Crete,” she said before departing for Greece.