The Souda Bay Cemetery is about 5 km east of Chania on the west of the Island of Crete. It's in a beautiful, quiet location overlooking the sea and is the last resting place of the British Commonwealth war dead who lost their lives between May 20th and May 31st 1941, during the Battle for Crete.
There you'll find rows and rows of white headstones set in immaculate lawns and decorated with borders of flowers. Little pomegranate trees (the fruit of the underworld) are laid amongst the flowers and shrubs along each row.
At the seaward border of the Souda Bay Cemetery there are large bushes of rosemary (the herb of remembrance), all are significant symbols for the last resting place of so many who died in the Battle for Crete.
There are 1527 graves, mostly British, but with a large number of New Zealanders too (447), together with 197 Australians, and some other countries are also represented. Not all those buried here were identified and some headstones bear the legend Known only to God.
Visitors can sign a book with comments and feelings, and the entries are testament to the effect this moving place has on people who visit from all over the world. The visitor's book is housed in an enclosure near the entrance gate.
Please take some time to watch this moving video of images of Souda Bay War Cemetery and Crete, accompanied by haunting violin.
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