Exhumation and burial of Athienou’s heroes

Athienou honored the brave local heroes who sacrificed their lives for their country and made their hometown proud with their struggles.

On the 27th of November 2011, the exhumation and burial of our eight Heroes to their new burial location in the cemetery took place. The exhumation of their remains and the burial took place with proper celebration and appreciation. Athienou had its own contribution in all the struggles of this long-suffering island.

The following heroes gave their lives for the freedom of Cyprus:

  • Artemos K. Frantzeskou. He died fighting against the English colonialism on August 10th 1956, at the age of 25.
  • Toumazos M. Toumazou. He died fighting against the English colonialism om August 24th 1956, at the age of 22.
  • Christakis N. Vyzakos. He was slaughtered by the Turks on July 11, 1958, at the age of 10.
  • Michalis B. Tappis: He was killed by the Turks on 22 July 1958 at the age of 38.
  • Andreas M. Louka. Policeman from Anarita Paphos, who fell heroically fighting at Saint Sozomenos by the Turks, the 6th of February 1964 at the age of 24.
  • Theodore N. Fottirou. He fell heroically fighting against the Turkish troops on the 23rd of July 1974, at the age of 20.
  • Panayotis I. Matsoukas. He fell heroically fighting against the Turkish troops on July 24th 1974, at the age of 29.
  • Kostas P. Toumbas. He fell heroically fighting against the Turkish troops in Athienou on the 18th of August 1974, at the age of 33.

Along with the fallen heroes, Athienou is also suffering the drama of her own missing locals who are: George Pitziis, Costas Papapavlou, Vassos Chimonas and Evangelos Lytras.

We all bow down in front of the greatness of their sacrifice with a sense of debt and historical responsibility towards Cyprus and against the unjustified sacrifice of our eight heroes.

They will always be remembered.

Heroes of the fight for freedom from the British Occupation - 1955-1959 - Busts in the Municipal Park of Athienou

The Municipality of Athienou is considering the building of a monument in honor of the heroes of Athienou in the center of the municipality.

EOKA (Greek-Cypriot nationalist organization that fought a campaign for the end of the British rule in Cyprus) heroes, Artemos K. Frantzeskos and Toumazos M. Toumazou.

Expressing gratitude and honor to our heroes is the least we can do today to keep the memory of their sacrifice alive and project their braveness, heroism and sacrifice to younger generations.

Artemos Frantzeskos was born in Athienou in 1931. After graduating from the community elementary school, he worked as a mechanic.

With the start of the liberation struggle he gave an oath to the organization of EOKA at the ‘‘Metochi of Kykkos’’ along with other locals and he was assigned in charge of the Athienou team with the pseudonym “Athos’’.

Along with other fighters, he participated in various operations and ambushes in the regions of Athienou – Pyroi and even used their own manufactured bombs.

With the help of another local who was a chemist, Andreas Frantzeskos, they set up an entire operation of manufacturing gunpowder made from twigs in his house.  The twigs were burned and the powder left was mixed with sulfur and nitro creating bombs that helped supply the surrounding villages.

The heroic actions of Artemos K. Frantzeskou, who was a leading figure of the liberation struggle in the Athienou region, was unfortunately not destined to last for long.

The night of the 11th of August 1956, while Artemos and other fighters were manufacturing gunpowder in his house, a spark that fell on the box with the flammable material, was the reason behind his early death.

In front of the risk of an explosion and the tragedy that could occur, Artemos at once grabbed the burning pot in his arms and ran out of the house. He completely burned himself and gave his life to save his fellow fighters from an imminent death.

This is how, a 25 year old young man, sacrificed his life for his homeland and moved on into the pantheon of immortality, as a unique model of self-sacrifice and heroism.

We also honor today with the creation of his bust, Toumazos Toumazou, the heroic young man, born and raised in Athienou, the mother of heroes, who was born in 1934 and was one of the first to join the liberation struggle. As part of his duties he was assigned the responsibility for all the youth groups in the region.

Led by his friend and hero, he tried to instill the pulse and spirit of struggle and heroism in the hearts of young people and organized groups in the villages Tymbou, Pyroi, Tremetousia, Arsos, Troulloi and Pyla.

To facilitate the recruitment of young men for the needs of the struggle Toumazos founded OCHEN Athienou, through which he chose who would join the team.

During 1955 and 1956 he took part in several ambushes against the british, while in collaboration with Artemos Frantzeskos, they gathered hunting guns, which were distributed to residents of nearby villages. He also took part in the groups that manufactured grenades and other ammunition.

He succeeded Artemos Frantzeskos (after his death on August 12, 1956) as the leader of the region groups but unfortunately, he died in a similar same way 12 days later, on August 24.

According to information gathered from a fellow fighter, the group received a new type of gunpowder and since they had never used it before they decided to try making a bomb outside the village. Despite all the security measures taken, the bomb exploded in their hands, causing the tragic death of Toumazos, while his friend was seriously injured.

The late Toumazos M. Toumazos was only 22 years old, full of dreams for life.

He died with the desire and vision of a free country, just like Artemos Frantzeskos and all the other heroes of our liberation struggle.

Soldier Charalambos Charalambous

The soldier Charalambos Charalambous, the hero from the village of Xylofagou, who served his military service in the outpost of ‘‘Oxou’’, was killed by the bullets of a turkish military soldier on the 28th of May 1988. Charalambos Charalambous was shot by a Turkish soldier, who illegally entered a house opposite the outpost of the cypriot national guard and was an imminent threat to the security of the whole Kyriacou Lysandrou family. The late Charalambos who ran to help the family was cowardly shot by a gust of bullets which fatally hit him and seriously injured his colleague Ioannis Kalleshis. The death of Charalambos, the severe injury of Ioannis and the unauthorized entry episode of the buffer zone in Athienou, shook not only the entire village but all Cyprus. Athienou bows respectfully to the memory of the young hero who so unjustly and prematurely left his last breath and passed into the realm of eternity.