Chania Commonwealth War Cemetery

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Location: Souda

The British Commonwealth War Cemetery of Souda Bay in Crete: Just above the port of Souda, 5 km from Chania Town, there is the Commonwealth War Cemetery. This is an impressive spot on the edge on a bay with a great view of the Aegean Sea. The graves in this cemetery belong to soldiers of the British Commonwealth who died on Crete during the Second World War.

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In fact, there are 1,527 tombs there of soldiers who died during the Battle of Crete (May 1941) and during resistant operations against the Nazi troops all around the island till 1945, when the Second World War ended. Most soldiers buried are British (862), but there are also soldiers from Australia (197), New Zealand (446), Canada (5), South Africa (9) and India (1).

At the entrance of the cemetery, there is an inscription with the names of all soldiers buried there. In this cemetery, there is also the tomb of the brilliant archaeological John Pendlebury, curator of Knossos from 1930 to 1934, who continued in Crete the excavations started by Arthur Evans. When World War II started, Pendlebury joined the British Intelligence Service and returned to Crete to organize the Resistance, but was executed by the Germans in 1941.

The architect of this cemetery was Louis de Soissons and every year there are events in the memory of the victims of World War II. During all year, there is a large coming from people from around the world, mainly from Australia and New Zealand.

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