Australians all over the world will commemorate Anzac Day in their own way to honour all those that served the country in the Great War from 1914-1918.
As a young nation of five million people, Australia sent 332,000 soldiers to support England, the country’s mother nation, and Allies. Of these 80 Greek Australians also enlisted to serve their new country. Around 47 of these were born in Greece, and specifically came from Athens, Piraeus, Kythera, Sparta, Cyprus, lamia, Patra, Crete, Corinth, Samos, Kastellorizo, Nafplion, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Macedonia and Thessaloniki. Their occupations varied from working in the railways, labourers, salesmen, cooks, waiters, shop assistants, farmers, barmen, miners, musicians, firemen, bakers, carpenters, fruiterers, a telegraphist, a bank clerk, a seaman, an engine driver and a hairdresser. The oldest to enlist was Alexandros Demas, aged 44, born in New South Wales in 1872.
From the 12 Greek Australians that served in Gallipoli, Peter Rados was born in Athens and was aged 24. He was the only Greek Australian recorded to have died in Gallipoli on 19 May 1915. The other nine Greek Australians that died in the Australian Forces were killed in France and Belgium from 1916-1917. A total of 27 Greek Australians were wounded in action in World War One.
List of Greek Australians in the Australian Forces, that died in World War One.
Chifithis Alexander – born in Sparti 1892 died in France 1916, aged 24.
Elias Charles – born in Ithaca 1886 died in Basra 1917, aged 31.
Florence John – born in Piraeus 1887 died in Belgium 1917, aged 30.
Halkas Arthur – born in Athens 1886 died in France 1916, aged 30.
Kellas George – born in Victoria 1896 died in Belgium 1917, aged 31.
Macryannis Basil – born NSW 1894 died in Belgium 1917, aged 23.
Manousos Leonidas – born NSW 1894 died in France 1916, aged 20.
Paxin (Paxinos) George – born Victoria 1878 died in France 1917, aged 39.
Rados Peter – born Athens 1891 died at Gallipoli 1915, aged 24.
Zula (Zulanos) Reuben (Jewish Mother) – born Victoria 1891 died in Belgium 1917, aged 26.
These heroic Greeks were among the many Australians that volunteered to serve Australia. The correct age to enlist in the Australian Forces in 1914, was 18, but many young men as young as 16 to 17 years of age signed up to fight for Australia.
James Martin born 1901 in New South Wales was only 14 years of age when he enlisted in 1915, lying about his age in order to be accepted. Upon landing at Gallipoli in September 1915, young James died from typhoid. The young boy was one of twenty Australians that died in the war under the age of 18 from a total of 62,000 killed and 156,000 wounded.
On 25 April, the Hellenic RSL Melbourne will proudly join the march and pay respect to all Australians that gave so much in the First World War.
Lest we forget!