Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club

No Lives Lost at Bondi Beach

Day: May 30, 2021

The Waverley Council has added

The Waverley Council has added a plaque today to remember the volunteers from Waverley who fought in this campaign against German paratroopers, 80 years ago this month.

At the Waverly Cenotaph, we remember the club members who fought in the Battle for Greece and the 12 day defence of Crete.

Surf club member Sam Cremer, who was in the 2/7th Field Ambulance, was captured on Crete. Later he was repatriated from a German Stalug in November 1943.

E.J. ‘Ned’ O’Rourke survived his battalion’s deployment in the Middle East, Greece and Crete, and returned to Australia in mid-1942 before being quickly sent to Papua where the 670 men of the 2/2nd Battalion were sent up the Kokoda Track. Private O’Rourke fought over the mountains and to the Japanese beachheads between Gona and Buna. On the Sanananda Track in late November 1942 he was wounded in action and later died of his wounds.

The club also unfortunately had a fatality, this was the Club’s first Army enlistee, Bill Butler. A private in the 2/1st Infantry Battalion, Butler had served in the Middle East and Greece before being killed in action during the Allies unsuccessful defence of Crete. He was one of the first Australians to die when the Germans launched their airborne invasion on the island on 20 May 1941, and is buried at Retimo where his battalion helped to successfully defend the airfield for 10 days.

We remember them all, their fight to keep Greece free, and all our members who have served our country in time of war.

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