|Pylos and its harbour, where the damaged Nino Bixio was towed in 1942 and where the new memorial will be installed on 6th May. Photo Jim Claven 2016|
This event will begin at 1pm, 6th May, at the Hellenic War Memorial at Pylos harbour. This will be followed by a similar event at the Hellenic War Memorial at Methone.
While every effort has been taken to confirm event details, they may change and those wishing to attend should confirm details with the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor.
These two new bronze plaques commemorate the Nino Bixio tragedy of 1942 and that of the Sebastiano Veniero-Jason off Cape Methone of 1941. They commemorate those who died, those who survived and the local people who tried to help them.
|WW2 Australian veteran Bill Rudd in WW2.|
In waters south west of Greece, 12 nautical miles south west of Pylos, at 4.33pm on the 17th August 1942, the Nino Bixio was torpedoed by an Allied submarine. Only days before this same submarine had been taking on and dropping off Allied SOE agents and Greek resistance fighters on Crete and the mainland. Bill remembers “a sudden tremendous thud and the "whoompf" of the torpedo bursting into the hold.” As he made his way to the decks with the rest of the survivors, Bill witnessed more destruction and the bodies of the dead.
|Italian POW ship the Nino Bixio.|
|Sergeant Robert Patterson's grave at Phaleron in Athens. Photo Jim Claven 2016.|
|The Sebastiano Veniero-Jason crashes into Methone, 1941.|
Until this time there has been no memorial dedicated to commemorating these tragedies.
The Nino Bixio and Sebastiano Veniero-Jason Memorials will be installed by the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor, with the support of the Pammessian Brotherhood ‘Papaflessas’ (Melbourne and Victoria), the Panpyliaki Brotherhood ‘Navarino’ (Melbourne and Victoria), Veteran Bill Rudd. It has been my own personal honor to have drafted the memorials themselves.
The memorials were made in Australia and transported to the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor, who will install the memorial plaques on 6th May 2018
I would like to acknowledge the work of George Iliopoulos, Paul Sougleris, George Saratsiotis, RitaLambros, Ioannis Mitsakos and Betty Kosmas in bringing the dream of our veteran Bill Rudd to a reality.
Greece's New Anzac Trail
These memorials are another step in the formation of Greece's Anzac trail - stretching from Lemnos in 1915, through Thessaloniki and northern Macedonia in 1915-1918, and down through the Greek mainland and across the Greek Islands in WW2. This will identify and commemorate the key locations connected to the Anzac's and their service in Greece, celebrating this important bond of friendship between Greece and Australia.
Member WW2 Pylos and Methone Memorials Organising Committee
Secretary, Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Member, Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council