Greek-New Zealand memorial in Wellington

Greek-New Zealand memorial in Wellington

Front view of the memorial Side view of the memorial Inscription on the memorial Plaque to Dudley Perkins Plaque to Alfred Hulme Stone from Olympia Stone from Thermopylae Stone from Mount Erebus in Antarctica Plaque to Keith Elliott Plaque to 28th (Maori) Battalion Plaque to Jack Hinton Plaque to Bernard Freyberg Plaque on the memorial

Greek–New Zealand memorial in central Wellington. This memorial was inspired by Arthur Helm, a New Zealand veteran of the battles for Greece in 1941. It was built with the help of the Greek–New Zealand Memorial Association, a group made up of representatives from the Greek and New Zealand governments, the New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, Wellington City Council and the Greek community.

Frank Kitts Park on the Wellington waterfront was originally chosen as the site for the memorial. The Greek Minister of Defence unveiled a foundation stone for the memorial at the park in May 1991 as part of 50th anniversary commemorations of the Battle for Crete. The city council later found the site to be unsuitable and the present site between Cambridge and Kent Terraces was chosen for the memorial. Dedicated in 1995, the memorial commemorates the bond of friendship between the two countries. This relationship was established during the Second World War when Greek civilians risked their lives to assist New Zealand soldiers during the retreat from Greece in 1941 and during and after the disastrous Crete campaign.

Stones set into the memorial’s wall commemorate places and people (including Victoria Cross winners Alfred Hulme, Jack Hinton, Keith Elliott and Bernard Freyberg) associated with the campaigns in Greece and Crete.

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Stef Railey

Posted: 13 Nov 2018

My father Joe Wilson was on Crete during this period and spend time surviving on the oats in horse manure. He was taken in by the Maliraki familty of Ambelouzos.. and lived with them disguised as Johanes.. .
The lady of the house had lost her husband to the war... so as I understand it... my dad lived with them pretending to be her husband. They sheltered him and he worked with the Cretian resistance fighting the Germans. He was discovered when the Germans came with a mainland Greek policeman who realised he was an 'Englander'. Dad was arrested and the family was taken away for harbouring him. He asked the Germans what was to become of them and was told they would be shot for hiding him.
For years he felt guilty about this.. but when he was 90... he was able to go back to Crete... something he had wanted to do for years... but was never in a position to be able to. He went with my brother..... I was able to find the small town on the newly established Google Earth... and they found the village... and a small group of men sitting outside the towns cafe... no-one spoke English... but one person knew the name of the family and when they realised why he was there... like a miracle... a flurry of excitement and the son of the Maiaraki family turned up... and he knew exactly who dad was. His name is Manolis Maliraki. My dad was treated like a hero...
I am so pleased he made it back there... but very sad to find that Manolis mum died just 6 years earlier.
It would have been so special had there been some way my dad could have been able to get back there sooner... and meet her again.
It is my dream to go there to meet Manolis... i feel he is my brother.