One of Australia's oldest World War II veterans, the ANZAC legend that was Al Carpenter, was laid to rest today, after he peacefully passed away at the blessed age of 105 on September 7 this year.
Tributes have flooded in from the Greek and Australian communities, with the Cretan Association paying its respects today via its President Emmanuel Vitetzakis.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest we forget." posted NSW RSL on its social media.
Last year, like every year, Alf Carpenter was present in Martin Place, Sydney participating with the Greek community and the Cretan association the Battle of Crete and honouring the memory of his fallen comrades, Greek, Australian and New Zealanders.
The Battle of Crete was one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War. Over 12 days in May 194, a mixed force of New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops desperately tried to fight off a huge German airborne assault. Despite suffering appalling casualties, the parachutists and glider-borne troops who led the invasion managed to secure a foothold on the island and eventually gained the upper hand. The battle ended with the evacuation to Egypt of the bulk of the Allied force.
"The Greek people were delighted to see us there. They gave us every assistance and gave us food like eggs. I got on really well with the Greek people.” Carpenter once said of his time in Crete during World War II.
The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, His Eminence Makarios, met with Carpenter during last year's event of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia. The Archbishop Cretan by origin, had one more reason to be moved by the presence of the war veteran.
Farewell Alf! Thank you for your service!