by Bill North
THE Anzac Day service at South Grafton will include the unveiling of a new Anzacs of Greece Commemorative marble plaque.
The plaque was given to the South Grafton RSL Sub-Branch by the Greek Consul General, Sydney.
Since the Boer War many Greek Australians have fought in every conflict in which Australia has been involved. The major campaign however was the Battle of Greece in the Second World War, in which 65,532 allied troops, mainly from Australian and New Zealand, were involved.
The allied forces were totally outnumbered and outgunned by Germans and were forced to withdraw. 10,000 troops were captured and 1000 remained behind enemy lines assisted by the Greek people.
Many of those withdrawn found themselves in the Battle of Crete where another 5174 were taken prisoner. 795 Australians and 1299 New Zealanders lie in Greek soil.
The service will start at 11.15am following trhe march from the new School of Arts and anyone with Greek heritage is invited to attend.
The plaque has been placed in the previous location of the cenotaph, which was recently refurbished and moved to a more prominent position of Lane Park.
"The original war memorial as it stands today was set up in Skinner St in 1924," South Grafton RSL Sub-Branch president Bob Hayes said.
"It remained there until 1953 when it was moved to opposite Walkers Hotel.
"When the flood wall was built in 1967 it had to removed again to the position where the Greek plaque is now located."
In 2013 the construction of public facilities meant the memorial no longer occupied pride of place. in 2014 it was discovered the base was slowly sinking and the steps did not comply with modern safety standards and the decision was made to move it to the new location.
"We've just had the rededication service here on March 26 in the new position where we believe it will remain in perpetuity."