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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 February 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2019 15 HISTORY World’s oldest olive tree A sapling from an Ancient Olive Tree from Vouves, located in Crete is proposed to be planted near the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney The Ancient Olive Tree is estimated to be at least over 3,000 years old. Nick Andriotakis, the Secretary of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign told Neos Kosmos the tree holds great significance for Greeks and Australians. "The olive tree is important Four Greek soils, honoured at the NSW Anzac Memorial. NSW Anzac Memorial and enter the new Hall of Service you come across an Oculus where beneath lies soil collected from 100 battle sites. Four of those soils are How the Anzac Memorial honours Greeks W hen you walk through the renovated Alf Carpenter was a Sergeant Major in 2/4th Battalion and he was part of the first landing of the Anzac second core. "We had the Greek from Vevi Pass, Tempe Gorge, Cape Spada and Retimo and were key battles that Anzac soldiers fought during the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign during World War Two. VEVI PASS Vevi is situated 16 kilometres south of what was then the Yugoslav border in northern Greece. On April 9, 1941 it saw the first engagement between Anzac and German troops in the Greek campaign. Battalion on our right flank and the 2nd/8th Battalion got taken," he told Neos Kosmos. "Instead of fighting the enemy on one flank, we're fighting them on the rear flank too. So, we fought the enemy out and then we made a fighting withdrawal and we formed down there on the Aliakmon River. We had to hold the Germans up for eight days while they put this bridge across for us and when we got out on to our transport, we went down to Brallos Pass." TEMPE GORGE Located on the eastern coast the German forces back for an orderly retreat." Anzac memorial sacrifice. of Greece, Tempe Gorge is formed where the Pinios River cuts through the coastal mountain range, on its way to the sea and to the southeast of Mount Olympus. It is the site of a rear-guard action fought by Anzac troops against German soldiers on 18 April 1941. "Tempe is the most famous, most mythical and beautiful valley of Greece," said Nick Andriotakis of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign. "The Anzac Commonwealth Anzac memorial sacrifice forces, including English, Indian and Cypriots are engaging with German forces. Unfortunately, they lost everything as they are badly supplied but what they achieved was holding CAPE SPADA "Off the shore of Cape Spada in north western Crete the HMAS Sydney is engaged in a dog fight battle with the Italian ship Bartolomeo Collenoi and the Australians sink it as well as other Italian ships," said Andriotakis. "Because of that sea battle and others, the allies managed to take supremacy over the Mediterranean. Later when the Battle of Greece and Crete was lost the allies were able to get the remaining forces off to safety because they controlled the sea lanes." RETIMO Retimo is a town east of Hania in Crete. Beginning on May 20, 1941 Greeks and about half of the 6th Division were deployed in defence of three airfields at Malame, Retimo and Heraklion. "We took our positions at the aerodrome at Heraklion and it was our job to stop the Germans from landing at the aerodrome," Australian WW2 soldier Alf Carpenter said. "We were there when the paratroopers landed on 20 May 1941. To see people coming at us from the sky was another thing all together. When we got picked up at Heraklion on the Imperial, a British Navy ship, she got a near miss just getting out of Crete. Then we had to get to another destroyer to come alongside us and we jumped from one ship to the other. We just got a way before the Germans fired a torpedo into the Imperial." because that is where the Anzacs fought and died - in the olive groves of Greece," he said. "The olive tree is also a symbolic tree of peace, longevity and wisdom. "For us it's the longevity of the Anzac and Greek legacy. I met the Mayor of Platanias in western Crete and they have agreed to send us original root stock so when we plant it will be 100 per cent DNA from this tree." The Olive Tree continues the Ancient Greek symbolism at the Anzac Memorial. Also on display is a 2,500-yearold Corinthian Grecian Urn which contains soil from the grave of an unknown Australian soldier killed in Greece during WW2 and is located at the exhibition galleries. Located at the heart of the Anzac Memorial is also a bronze sculpture of the fallen warrior 'Sacrifice' which is based on the story of the Spartans from ancient Greece. Before they left for the battlefield, the Spartans warriors were told to either come home with their shield, or on it - a call to arms to be victorious or die. Ancient urn creates soil from the CWGC Cemetary at Phaleron. Hellenic Defence Forces at the annual tree planting ceremony at Lamia, 2016.
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