70th Anniversary of Campaign at Meleme

This is a short account by John Bell of the 70th anniversary of the campaign at Meleme held on the 21 May 2011. The service was conducted and led by the current OC 30 Sqn, Wg Cdr Peter Cochrane, and was accomapied by several members of the Squadron as well as members of the 30 Sqn Association.

"Jan and I managed to get over to Crete for the 70th anniversary of the campaign and I laid a wreath at Melame on behalf of the Association. Wreaths were also laid by several others, including Michael Vellacott, the son of Johnnie Vellacott who passed away last year. Our two Meleme veterans, Jack Baker and Ron Croxton were there, and Jan and I met up with Peter and Mary Gregory. So the Association was well represented as was the Squadron. Peter [Cochrane, OC 30 Sqn] had managed to get a good team together and he conducted the ceremony, which was fitting and well attended by members of the Crete Veterans Association."

As you can see from the photographs the memorial is in first class condition and a special thanks must go to Allan Clayton for all his efforts.

John goes on to write:

"As well as our own tribute at Meleme, there was a major service at Souda Bay with representatives from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK - represented by HRH Duke of Gloucester. HMS Sutherland was in the bay and fired a 21-gun salute and Sqn members were invited onboard for an evening social. A highlight of the ceremony was the first 2011 season display by the Red Arrows over the harbour at Chania"