Thursday, April 10, 2014
Other men left on Crete 31 May to 6 June 1941
One group still left on Crete were the men with Major Sandover and Captain Honner of the 2/11th Battalion who had left from Retimo on 30 May 1941 to avoid capture. They had also headed south and were ten miles from Ayia Galini. By the next day, they joined some 600 soldiers who were already there, perhaps mostly British. Another 200 Australians arrived. The senior officers were majors, including Ian Campbell's second-in-command, Major Hooper. He had been with the Greek troops. There were two landing craft beached there. Enterprising Australians got one in water after two days of work. Three men took a sailboat to Timbakion to collect provisions. They were caught by German motorcycles and the officer was wounded. They were able to get back to the landing craft with the provisions. The landing craft set off for Africa, but was intercepted by an Italian submarine, which took off nine of the eleven officers and took them as prisoners to Italy. The landing craft arrived at Mersa Matruh on 5 June. Germans arrived at Ayia Galini on 6 June and wanted the men to surrender. Most did, but Major Sandover and a few others did not. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.