The unknown aspects of the Battle of Crete’s aftermath, especially for the Australians and the New Zealanders, will be presented by Ian Frazer at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, on March 28.
Ian Frazer is a historian, former Lecturer at Otago Univesity and co-author with Sean Damer of ‘On the run-Anzac escape and evasion in enemy-occupied Crete.’
His father, Len Frazer, was among the soldiers that did not manage to leave Sfakia for the Middle East. He took shelter in the Cretan mountains, where he stayed for a long time, until he managed to escape on his way to Africa. When on the run, he was protected by Cretan villagers. The information that Ian Frazer uses in his book, is taken from a diary his father kept.
In the Battle of Crete in May 1941, the 2/7th Australian Infantry Battalion, fought with much honor, including a last-ditch stand at ‘42nd Street’ in the final days of the battle.
Fighting in the rear-guard, they were denied evacuation at the last minute and forced to capitulate. Large numbers went on the run as evaders and escapees. Some managed to escape Crete on their own; many more were rescued by the British secret services.
Frazer’s talk is part of a special program of talks and lectures presented by the Shrine of Remembrance, the purpose of which is that the general public gets to know the history written by Australian soldiers during the First and the Second World Wars, participating as members of the Allied forces.
“For many Australians and New Zealanders, the Cretans’ hospitality during the Nazi Occupation has stayed on their minds forever”, Ian Frazer maintains.
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