21 May 2011

Moving service held in Crete

2:23 pm on 21 May 2011

New Zealand Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete has been particularly memorable as it is likely to be the last time that New Zealand veterans will travel to the island to commemorate it.

Hundreds of New Zealanders gathered in a Crete village on Friday to remember the battle in World War II.

More than 600 soldiers died in May, 1941, as New Zealand troops tried to repel an attack by German soldiers arriving in gliders and by parachutes.

Dr Mapp, who is in Crete with the delegation, says it represents the courage and fortitude of New Zealanders.

He says the wreath-laying service in Galatas was very moving.