Cyprus Mail
CyprusFeatured

Oldest Cypriot veteran in Australia to lead Anzac Day march

anzac
Anzac Day march through Sydney

Evripidis Mouxouris, the oldest Cypriot veteran in Australia at 103 years old, will lead the march on Anzac Day this Thursday.

Originally from Morphou village, Mouxouris moved to Sydney after the 1974 invasion.

During the Second World War, he volunteered to serve in the Cyprus Regiment, which was involved in operations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East alongside Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac), Greek, Canadian, British and French forces, and later USA forces.

Anzac Day is the National Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. Last year was the first time Cypriots were invited to take part in the national commemoration.

“Cypriots fought shoulder to shoulder with this unit,” the Cyprus Community of NSW in Sydney said.

Michael Peters Kyriacou, who heads the community club, said that although Cyprus was “not a nation and still occupied and governed by the UK, the Cypriots were the first to land in Greece in the defence of Greece.

“They also were amongst the first to land in France, all volunteers.”

Kyriacou said Cypriots were the staunchest supporters of the Allied cause in World War II.

“Once the Cyprus Regiment was formed by the locals with support of the UK administration, 6,000 turned up.”

evripidis mouxouris
Evripidis Mouxouris

By the time the war concluded more than 30,000 had served in the Cyprus Regiment, he added, with Greek, French and other forces, many fighting shoulder to shoulder with Anzacs in Greece, Crete, North Africa and beyond.

Unlike soldiers in countries like the UK and France, all Cypriots were volunteers, leaving a “legendary” reputation for the patriotism of the Cypriots, Kyriacou said.

“The patriotism of the Cypriots became legendary, their feats to conduct high risk operations surprised even the Germans, who wrote in their reports back to Berlin their surprise that an occupied people would cooperate with their occupiers to fight the Germans.”

The Cypriots then used their training to turn their efforts against the British, during the Eoka uprising in the 1950s, he said.

The Cyprus Community of NSW was established in 1929, many of its members were Cypriots who fought in the “Imperial” forces, and with the Anzacs and Greek Forces.

In 2023 the Cyprus Community Club Board formed the Cypriots for Anzac Subcommittee and due to the Club’s and Subcommittee efforts Cypriots were invited to take part in the 2023 Sydney Anzac Day march.

This year the Community will take part in more Aanzac events throughout NSW.

“The story of our veterans is the story of universal liberation, it has no owners, it belongs to all of us,” Kyriacou said.

Mouxouris was born in Morphou on July 5, 1921, to a farming family. He became involved with the anti-British protests of the time.

In his 20s, he joined Akel and volunteered to fight in WWI. He went to the Italian front at his own request. He saw fighting in Africa, as well as in Europe.

After the war, Mouxouris worked as a tailor while taking up the fight to end British colonial rule. His second child was born in Morphou in 1974, on the day the town was occupied by the Turkish army.

His family fled to Sydney where they were hosted by a Turkish Cypriot family who helped them settle in Australia.

 

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Fire in Liopetri burns one hectare of unharvested crops

Staff Reporter

Legal Service questions timing behind anti-corruption spat

Andria Kades

Auditor-general files opposition proceedings

Andria Kades

Diplomats urge LGBT rights progress in Cyprus

Staff Reporter

Cyprus tourism on track to meet targets, minister says, after second-best April

Kyriacos Nicolaou

Nurses union warns of strikes over understaffing

Jonathan Shkurko