In WWII on Crete Ned Nathan Fell in Love

Eighty years ago, soldiers from New Zealand and Australia were in Greece fighting the Nazis during the Battle of Crete. It would lead to New Zealander Evan Nathan’s parents meeting and starting a relationship that would span multiple decades and continents.

It’s a love story as touching as it is unlikely, Australia’s SBS reports.

In May 1941, Ned Nathan, was a part of the 28th Māori Battalion that fought a fierce battle against the Nazis with other New Zealand, Australian and British forces on the Greek island of Crete.

Seven thousand New Zealand soldiers were stationed on Crete when Nazi soldiers invaded that year.

Forced to go into hiding to escape the Nazis after being injured in the hip and face by machine-gun fire, a weary Ned found his way to the small village of Sklaropoula where he found refuge with the family of a local priest, Alexandros Torakis, and fell in love with his daughter, Katina, who, after a period in a German POW camp, he married four years later.

The both moved to New Zealand where they had three sons and remained together until Ned’s death in 1987. He was 68.

Original article by Peggy Giakoumelos and Evan Young, SBS, May 20, 2021.

Tags: 28th Māori Battalion  Crete  Ned Nathan  SBS  

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