Welcome to No Country For Old Boots
I will be adding to the site when possible so please return soon.
Latest Update 2/08/21
“TYMBAKION SHORTS PROJECT”
Tony and Deb Buirchell have been inundated by interested people whose relations were in the Australian Infantry Forces who fought on Crete. Over 25 replies were received as a reaction to three advertisements in the local Western Australian newspaper in a section called ‘Can we Help You”.
The main questions the Project is hoping to answer are:
1. Who made the canvas shorts and where were they made?
2. Where were the canvas shorts signed?
3. What was Tymbakion?
4. What do we know about the men who signed the canvas shorts?
A comprehensive diary by Charles (Vic) Petersen, WX571 came to light thanks to Sue and Grant Petersen. It covers every day of Vic’s incarceration from June 6th, 1941 to his release from a POW camp in 1945
Another diary kept by Ian Alexander Hardie WX2371 is being followed up thanks to Ian’s two daughters Helen and Janet.
From the Vic Petersen diary it has been found that what may be the final group of allied POWs left in Crete were rounded up on 11th September, 1941 and embarked on the ship Norburg in Souda Bay. The men were taken to Iraklion before being sent in trucks over the mountains to the southern side of Crete. Here they were imprisoned at a place near the town of Tympaki.
A study of the Army Records and Red Cross Cards for all the Australian signatories on the shorts showed that Tymbakion was mentioned 18 times leading to a possible place where all the men on the shorts may have been together.
Vic talks to being forced to pull out ancient olive trees to make an aerodrome runway. After four months the men were taken by truck to Souda Bay. From here they sailed to Salonika and then put on trains to a range of Stalags in Germany and Poland.
The answers to the original questions are somewhere in these movements. The search goes on, can you help?
Unfortunately I won’t be attending the 80th Anniversary this year as with many other people.
Perhaps we can make up for it next year.
My trip to Crete this year (2020) has been moved to 2021 in order to participate in the 80th anniversary.
After a period of absence i am back on the project ,I will continue to gather information and add it to this site.
I am currently working on histories of POW’S who were captured on Crete.
Arrived Hora Sfakion 5.30pm ,very sheltered from the very strong wind I came across at the end of Imbros gorge and Komitades.
The wind was that strong I had trouble holding onto my slouch hat that ran risk of blowing off the road along way down to the former dispersal area.
Apart from rolling an ankle half way through the gorge the walk went very well. The weather was fine most of the way and on the third and final day the walk from Askifou to Hora Sfakion was nicely shaded from a bit of cloud cover.
First day : Suda Bay Cemetery to Stilos
Second day Stilos to Askifou
Third day Askifou to Hora Sfakion
Arrived Kato Stalos weather very fine with 28 degrees, bags and equipment readied for departure from Suda bay allied cemetery tomorrow morning, visit to Galatas this afternoon with Stelios Tripliatakis.
Visited Australian and German positions in the Rethymnon area with some small finds of the battle, mostly shrapnel ,heavy rain and thunder storms that lasted hours.heading back to Chania 14th sept to Kato Stalos.a lot quieter here compared to the busyness of Chania.
Arrived in Crete
Weather very nice, temperature around 27-28 degrees, quite a few tourists about, lots of traffic.
All going good, everything is going along as planned.
Suitable footwear and other clothing has been obtained, some camera gear and media cards next on the list.
The starting point for the walk has been chosen, I will make my way from the Suda Bay Allied Cemetery near Chania.
I feel its a fitting location to embark from such an important place.
All going well, most gear needed has been obtained.
I would like to thank Kathmandhu for assisting the project in the form of sponsorship.
Their contribution will make a positive difference.
Due to unforeseen circumstance the journey to Crete will now take place this september instead of the original planned months of May and June.
Despite not being there for the Anniversary the extra time will allow for more preparation and further funding.
DRONE CHOSEN FOR FILMING
After extensive research and the help of some good people,i will be choosing the DJI Mavic Pro for the aerial sequences to be shot on Crete.
The size and portability along with the image quality of this drone will make it possible for me to bring my own film crew along for the journey.