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June 23, 2011
AUSTRALIA's Federation Guard
(AFG) has returned home after partici-
pating in important commemorations
on the Greek mainland, in Crete and
In late May, the AFG participated
in a week of commemorations for
the 70th anniversary of the battles of
Greece and Crete.
The commemorations remembered
the service and sacrifice of Australian,
British, New Zealand and Greek ser-
vicemen who defended Greece and
Crete during the German invasions of
April and May, 1941.
More than 600 Australians
lost their lives, while another 5000
became prisoners of war.
Activities in Crete included cer-
emonies at the Hellenic-Australian
Memorial in Rethymno, the Allied
War Cemetery in Souda Bay and the
German War Cemetery in Maleme.
Six veterans of the conflict joined
the AFG at the Hellenic-Australian
CPL Jared Lamperd said it was an
honour and a privilege to spend time
with the veterans and see the places
where they fought.
"I was impressed to hear about the
kindness of the Greeks in supporting the
Australians during the war," he said.
The AFG met their Greek counter-
parts, the Greek Presidential Guard,
and were invited to their headquar-
ters in Athens after the commemora-
tions in Crete.
Guard CO LTCOL Peter
Miliopolous, who was born in Sydney,
said the relationship between the two
national guards was very important.
"It's an honour to have person-
nel from the ADF come to visit us,"
LTCOL Miliopolous said.
"The AFG reminds me of the rela-
tionship we have with the Australian
military -- we are blood brothers, we
have the same spirit -- we're brothers-
LAC Brad Hoffman said the
deployment was one of the most emo-
tional he had been on.
"I got to meet the veterans and
hear their stories," he said.
"I didn't know much about the bat-
tle of Crete and after my time here I
certainly know a lot more."
After the commemorations in
Greece, an AFG contingent marched
in the Republic Day military parade in
Rome on June 2 to celebrate the 65th
anniversary of the foundation of the
Republic of Italy.
Governor-General Quentin Bryce
joined other foreign delegates at the
The AFG contingent formed
a catafalque party at the Catania
Commonwealth war cemetery on June
3 when Her Excellency laid a wreath
to honour the 23 Australian aircrew
from WWII who are buried there.
On the way to Greece,
six WWII veterans
made a detour when
they visited the head-
quarters of Joint Task
Force 633 at Al Minhad
Air Base on May 16.
The veterans, who
are aged between
88 and 101, are
Arthur Leggett, Norm
Maddock, Basil Hayler,
Alf Carpenter, Dan
Bowden and Bill Tayler.
They met mem-
bers of the task force
and held a service to
who lost their lives in
WWII and more recent-
ly in Afghanistan.
ROME: Above, the Flag Party from Australia's Federation
Guard along with other participating nations pause in front
of the Colosseum during the Republic Day military parade
Photos: CPL Janine Fabre
(right) and LAC
at the Phaleron
War Cemetery in
is assisted by
they arrive at the
memorial in Crete.
Bryce is shown
airmen by Alan
Jarvis of the
AL MINHAD: Air Force CHAP Garry Hooper (second left) and Army CHAP Jim
Cosgrove conduct a memorial service before the wreath laying at Al Minhad Air
Base in the United Arab Emirates.
Photo: PO Damian Pawlenko
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