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Veterans Depart for Cassino Commemoration


Group photo of the Veterans on the contingent prior to boarding the RNZAF Boeing 757.

Media Release

13 May 2014

Veterans Depart for Cassino Commemoration

Thirty eight war veterans left New Zealand this morning (13 May) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battles of Cassino in Italy. The veterans are all in their nineties and are accompanied by a medical support team from the New Zealand Defence Force and Veterans Affairs New Zealand.

In Cassino they will attend a Service of Remembrance at the Cassino Railway Station, and the New Zealand National Commemorative Service at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Cassino. They will also attend a private service at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, and take part in a guided battlefield tour.

The commemorations will be attended by The Governor General, Lieutenant General The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Minister of Defence Dr Jonathan Coleman and the Chief of Army, Major General Davenport Gawn. His Royal Highness Prince Harry is expected to join the veterans at the New Zealand National Commemorative Service on 18 May.

Veteran Mr Colin Murray, of Te Awamutu, said he was delighted to be part of the delegation and was looking forward to meeting the other men who served at Cassino. A member of 24th Battalion NZEF, he says he felt lucky to survive the war in Italy,and he lost several mates. "Thevisit will bring back memories both good and bad."

ENDS

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