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Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Minister for Defence Materiel

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Commemorating the battles of Greece and Crete, 75 years on

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Dan Tehan, today encouraged Australians to remember the bond between Australia and Greece at the 75th Anniversary of the campaigns in Greece and Crete.

“Greece and Crete were significant Second World War campaigns that resulted in a lasting bond between Australia and Greece,” Mr Tehan said.

“Many of the Allied soldiers who were unable to be evacuated from Greece or Crete evaded capture and survived only because of the assistance, courage and compassion of the Greek and Cretan people, who risked their lives to protect and shelter Australian, New Zealand and other Allied troops during the German occupation”.

More than 17,000 Australians served in Greece and Crete. Almost 600 lost their lives, some 750 were wounded and more than 5,100 were taken prisoner, but the heaviest price was paid by the Greek people of whom more than half a million are estimated to have lost their lives.

75 years on, we remember the courage and sacrifice of the Allied troops and of Greek civilians. Commemorative events to honour the enduring friendship between Australia and Greece will be held on the 14 April at the Hellenic Memorial on Anzac Parade, Canberra.

More information is available at the Anzac Centenary website.

Media enquiries:
Minister Tehan’s Office: 0477 395 356
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.