New Zealand machine gunners on Crete

Members of 27th (Machine Gun) Battalion pictured soon after their arrival on Crete, April 1941.

Community contributions

4 comments have been posted about New Zealand machine gunners on Crete

What do you know?

KAREEN MUDFORD (SQUIRES)

Posted: 16 Oct 2011

Since my initial inquiry regarding my late Father's World War II queries, I have discovered many facts, that have been helpful in the search to know my Dad, the decisions that he made, the influences on him (market gardening behind the wire) and the depths of the many challenges that he faced pre and post World War II. I still have yet to discover the reasons why the war babies of that era, scattered to live lives of their own away from all of that. I am wondering if there are other War Veteran's adult children, filled with the same qaunderies as I? I seemed to have taken on the many challenges that my late parents tried to sort and sift, or to carry those burdens, and as the years go by, the meaning of what motivates one person to kill another becomes more convoluted. Do others of the great wars feel the same?

Appleton

Posted: 18 Mar 2010

I know my Grandfather, Archie Appleton, was in Greece and got back to Egypt. A few years ago, when out in the bush, I was listening to a National Radio programme broadcast on a Sunday night, and may have heard his name mentioned? Can you shed any light? Thanks Allan

Jamie M

Posted: 05 May 2008

Kareen For more information about the Battle of Crete see Dan Davin's official history: http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2Cret.html For more about the lasting impact of war on soldiers see Alison Parr, 'Silent casualties: New Zealand's unspoken legacy of the Second World War' - this is on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/6eunzl I asked our resident railways historian about the enlistment of railways staff - here is his reply: All of the NZ soldiers who enlisted between the outbreak of war in Sept 1939 and June 1940 were volunteers. Military conscription for the NZ general male population (between ages 19 and 40) was introduced between June and August 1940. From that time voluntary enlistment ceased for the army (but continued for navy and air force) - ie, all army soldiers from late 1940 were conscripts. As in the First World War there were different classes based on marriage and children – married men with children would have been last in line to be called up for active service. Before 1942 there were no blanket rules for railway workers. Huge numbers of them volunteered in 1939-40. Railway workers who were conscripted between June 1940 and July 1942 could have, if they chose to, appealed (as individuals) on the grounds of 'essential service' - if they held key jobs as engine drivers/skilled tradesmen etc they would have probably be allowed to stay working, but unskilled workers like general labourers etc would probably not have been considered 'essential' at that time. In July 1942 the government declared all railways jobs 'essential', because so many men had left that it was becoming very difficult to keep the railways running efficiently. This meant railways employees were exempt from conscription from that time - and were not allowed to volunteer. Hope this helps.

KaREEN SQUIRES (Mudford)

Posted: 05 May 2008

I am trying to map together the history of my late father who fought in World War II in Crete. His name was John Hector Augustine Mudford, and he is buried in Wharangei Cemetery in Hawkes Bay. I wanted to know something about what Dad went through as I was the youngest of his nine children, and was only 17 when he died of what, can only be described as the consequential actions to sooth a troubled mind it seemed to me, summed up as post-traumatic stress disorder. How hard was it for the New Zealanders of 1941 to enlist in the armed forces? And did all men whom had children and worked on the railways in Ohakune be persuaded by the war strategies? I would be grateful for any insights that probably can help me to achieve closure on a past that has troubled me for the last 35 years. Sincerely Ms Kareen Squires (nee Mudford) 5/157 Stock Road BICTON WA 6157 Australia