Candia British military cemetery, 1927

According to a report made by the Captain of H. M. S. Eagle to the C in C Mediterranean in 1927, the British military graveyard in Candia (Iraklion):

‘[S]o far as could be ascertained, […] first came into British possession during the occupation and shortly after the rising of 1896-7, presumably about 1900, as the earliest grave bore the date 1898 and this grave had been in another cemetery for a few years before being removed to its present position.
The cemetery is about 100 by 40 yards and is a fenced off portion of the Greek cemetery. The ground was purchased by the British Government for the sum of some £200 and the Greek Ecclesiastical Body guaranteed its upkeep.
The cemetery at the time of inspection was in good condition and appeared to have been well looked after. It is understood that this is in no small measure to the personal interest taken in it by the present Vice Consul, Mr C. Elliades, who has periodically donated sums of money for its upkeep.’

The report goes on to list the regiments and ships which have graves in the cemetery.

2/Royal Welsh Fusiliers
1/Seaforth Highlanders
1/Highland Light Infantry
2/Rifle Brigade
Kings Royal Rifles
2/Loyal North Lancs.
2/ Cameron Highlanders
2/K. O. Y. L. I.
2/Royal Sussex
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
H. M. S. Cambrian
H. M. S. Trafalgar
H. M. S. Empress of India
H. M. S. Minerva

The cemetery has changed a bit over time, is apparent from the photographs below, having been renovated in 1980.

Candia British military cemetery, 1927

Candia British military cemetery, 1927

Candia British military cemetery, 1927

Candia British military cemetery, 1927

Candia British military cemetery 1927

Candia British military cemetery 1927

Iraklion British Military Cemetery 2015

Candia/Iraklion British Military Cemetery 2015


However, there is some discrepancy in the  memorials. Assuming the 1927 list is accurate, there are a number of differences between the regiments and ships recorded in 1927 and those present in 2015.
Missing from the list of 1927 memorials but present in the cemetery in 2015, are memorials to:
2/Northumberland Fusiliers,
2/Border Regiment,
1 & 2/Lancashire Fusiliers,
as well as to members of the Army Ordinance Corps, Army Service Corps and Royal Engineers.

Also missing from the 1927 list but present in 2015, are memorials to men from H. M. S. Hood and H. M. S. Thetis; while mentioned in the 1927 list but absent from the cemetery in 2015, are memorials to men from H.M.S Cambrian and H. M. S. Trafalgar.

Given that the 1927 list was signed off by the Captain of H. M. S. Eagle, while some discrepancy in recording Army regiments might possibly be understood, it could be assumed to be accurate at least as far as H. M. ships are concerned. If the list is accurate, while the disappearance of memorials between 1927 and 1980, when the cemetery was apparently renovated and the new memorial wall installed, is possibly accounted for by a lack of a central register and the deterioration of the materials used in the original memorial, the addition of new memorials is less easy to explain. It would appear that even after 1927, 14 years after the last British involvement in the European Intervention in Crete, a number of additional memorials to men who had died in a relatively obscure and militarily insignificant operation, were still being raised by their former comrades: And this during a period when much greater losses, in much larger conflicts, were being in the midst of being memorialised.


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