Suda Bay War Cemetery (Souda Bay) Greece

Cemetery Details

Location
Co‑ordinates N35.500232, E24.060457
Description

In May 1941, the Commonwealth force in Crete was organised in five widely separated defence areas along the north coast - around the three airfields at Iraklion, Rethymnon and Maleme, and at Suda Bay and the port of Chania. The Germans launched their attack on 20 May with airborne troops. The airfield at Maleme was quickly captured and used for landing German reinforcements. On 23 May, the remainder of the Maleme position had to be given up and its defenders fell back to Chania. On 26 May, the Allied line west of Chania was broken. Suda Bay became indefensible and the troops from these two positions, with the remainder of the Maleme garrison, withdrew across the island to Sfakion, where many of them were evacuated by sea on the nights of the 28 - 31 May. The airborne attacks on the Iraklion and Rethymnon positions on 20 May were repulsed. Iraklion was successfully defended until the night of 29/29 May when the garrison was evacuated by sea. Orders for the Rethymnon garrison to fight its way southward for evacuation did not arrive, and it was overwhelmed on 31 May. Of the total Commonwealth land force of 32,000 men, 18,000 were evacuated, 12,000 were taken prisoner and 2,000 were killed. The site of Suda Bay War Cemetery was chosen after the war and graves were moved there by 21st and 22nd Australian War Graves Units from the four burial grounds that had been established by the German occupying forces at Chania, Iraklion, Rethymnon and Galata, and from isolated sites and civilian cemeteries.

 

There are now 1,500 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 776 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties believed to be buried among them. The cemetery also contains 19 First World War burials brought in from Suda Bay Consular Cemetery, 1 being unidentified. There are also 7 burials of other nationalities and 37 non-war burials.

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Names

Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

BOWRON, Eric Edward

Service number WX2296
Private
2nd/11th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 10 May 1913

GIRDLESTONE, Alfred

Service number WX419
Private
2nd/11th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 16 Dec 1912

BROWNE, Alexander Robert

Service number NX7672
Private
2nd/1st Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 13 Jun 1912

ARCHER, Norman Ward Robertson

Service number WX798
Private
2nd/11th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 12 Apr 1905

HARRISON, Allan Leonard

Service number WX737
Lance Corporal
2nd/11th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 15 Jun 1918

GILLESPIE, Andrew Bannockburn

Service number VX12419
Private
2nd/8th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 27 Jun 1914

WEBB, Sydney Arthur

Service number NX7802
Sergeant
2nd/1st Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 16 Sep 1918

FAUCKNER, George Horwood

Service number WX1552
Lieutenant
2nd/3rd Field Regiment
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 12 Jun 1916

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