Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New Zealand’s last Battle of Crete survivor dies, aged 104

Minister for Veterans, Meka Whaitiri has paid tribute to New Zealand’s last Battle for Crete veteran, Cyril Henry Robinson, who passed away on Sunday.

Mr Robinson, known as Brant Robinson, is believed to be the last surviving New Zealand veteran of the Battle for Crete, regarded as one of the most brutal campaigns New Zealand forces have ever undertaken.

“Our veterans display extraordinary aspects of service and with the passing of Brant Robinson it’s our duty to ensure that service is remembered,” Minister Whaitiri said

Just before dawn on 20 May, 1941, New Zealand soldiers and the Cretan people banded together and fiercely fought enemy paratroopers.

Brant Robinson passed away on Sunday (Photo: Lesley Staniland)

Mr Robinson was one of many Kiwi soldiers who put up a spirited and courageous resistance and proved once again what a formidable force New Zealanders are of those who seek to crush freedom, the Minister said.

He counted himself lucky to have survived the Battle for Crete, having experienced the loss of close friends and comrades. 

“Today I express my deepest condolences to his family, and acknowledge the service and personal sacrifice he made in serving our country,” Ms Whaitiri said

Mr Robinson passed away at his Whangamata Moana House retirement home.

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