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Crete veterans to be honoured at Parliament

Crete veterans to be honoured at Parliament

Veterans of the Battle of Crete will be honoured at a reception at Parliament on the 70th anniversary of the battle, Veterans' Affairs Minister Judith Collins announced today.

The Battle of Crete, which began on 20 May 1941, claimed the lives of hundreds of New Zealand troops and saw 2,000 captured as prisoners of war.

"While their numbers have dwindled, the veterans of the Battle of Crete bore witness to one of the deadliest and most difficult battles of the Second World War," Ms Collins said.

"These servicemen occupy a special place in our military history, and in the consciousness of all New Zealanders.

"On the 70th anniversary of the start of the battle, we will pay tribute to their service, courage and tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds, and honour those who lost their lives."

A lunchtime reception will be held for veterans and dignitaries at the Grand Hall at Parliament.

This will follow a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial in Wellington and a ceremony at the Hellenic Memorial.

All veterans of the Battle of Crete are eligible for a one-off grant to revisit Crete, and some have taken it up in recent years.

Veterans of the Battle of Crete who wish to attend the reception should contact Veterans Affairs New Zealand on 0800 483 8372.

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