By Pierre Kosmidis
Information and photos submitted by David Sanderson, Chairman of the Brotherhood of Greek Veterans and used by permission.
Thousands of Allied soldiers found themselves in the maelstrom of events following “Operation Marita”, the German invasion of Greece, which unfolded from April 6, 1941, until the end of May, when the Battle of Crete sealed the fate of the country.
Several thousand of these Allies either were killed in action, or taken prisoner by the Germans, while others managed to escape to fight another day.
These men gave everything for freedom, they stood against a formidable opponent, who had massive air superiority and have never forgotten their comrades.
The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans was formed over 30 years ago by Edwin Horlington MBE and fellow veterans of the Battle of Greece to remember and honour all veterans and fallen comrades who served in Greece during WW2.
Following a reunion in the UK, the idea of erecting a memorial at Kalamata was proposed and taken up.
With contributions from many veterans and the assistance of Sir Patrick (Paddy) Leigh Fermor, the Brotherhood, with the full and generous support of the town of Kalamata, established a memorial at the entrance to the Railway Museum Park at Kalamata.
In May 1994 a group of sixty veterans travelled to Kalamata and were joined by another twenty who made their own way.
A memorial service is held each May although last year and this year we have been unable to attend due to Covid restrictions.
The Brotherhood is not a “club” or “association” in any formal sense.
Its aim and objective apart from comradeship is to try and ensure that the Greek Campaign and the men who were left behind are not forgotten.
Edwin Horlington published a book called “Tell Them We Were Here” containing accounts by veterans of their experience in Greece. The book is still available.
A recent exciting development has been the creation of a new Facebook Group which I invite you to join.
It is a private group which started approximately two months ago and a lot of very interesting information is being shared between members.
Another exciting development has been the publishing of our archive on our website.
This is taking place as we speak.
If you check a particular Greek Veteran on our website and scroll down on his page, then if it says Story you may find lots of information previously not readily available.
For example take a look at Len Abbs at: