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Cyprus

UK memorial for servicemen killed by EOKA

The memorial rock at the UK’s National Memorial Arboretum

A service was held at the UK’s National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Sunday dedicated to the 371 British soldiers who died during the EOKA years in Cyprus, 1955-1959, with a four-tonne rock brought in from the island as a permanent monument to them.

The arboretum said the rock contains a time capsule containing the names of the 392 who died – 371 soldiers and 21 civilian police officers – and are buried in a military cemetery in Cyprus.

According to the online newspaper Lichfield Mercury the rock was unveiled by retired Royal Air Force chief of the Aar staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, GCB CBE. The ceremony was attended by dozens of ex servicemen.

It said that David Littlemore, who served in Cyprus from 1956 to 1958 in the Royal Military Police, had been the one who campaigned for the building the memorial since 2009, following a visit to the island and the Wayne’s Keep cemetery inside the buffer zone near Nicosia.

Littlemore, according to the Mercury felt the ‘Cypriot Rock’ memorial at the arboretum would give friends and family in the UK a focus for remembrance much closer to home.

“Following the dedication of the military memorial in 2009 in Kyrenia, I visited the military cemetery still trapped in the Green Line, and saw families of the fallen visiting their graves, some for the first time in over 50 years.

“I was moved to launch a campaign to bring a piece of Cyprus rock to the UK on which to mount an engraved plaque in the shape of the island and I am delighted that this memorial project has now come to fruition,” he said.

 

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