Cypriots invited to take part in 2023 ANZAC Day march in Sydney

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During World War II, more than 30,000 Cypriots volunteered and served on the front line with distinction in the Battle of France, Battle of Crete, Battle of Greece, North Africa, Egypt, Italy and the Middle East.

Even before Italy’s invasion of Greece, many Greeks in Cyprus sensed that the fall of France would mean the fall of Greece. Without any fanfare, many went to fight in France, others made their way to Greece, ready for the inevitable.

Most Greeks, let alone Australians, know little about the Cypriots who volunteered to fight in France or the Cypriots who landed in northern Greece, central Greece, Crete, North Africa, and later Italy.

In France alone, 476 Cypriots volunteered to go to the front line in the defence of France. Once over run and sent to Dunkirk to be rescued, many stayed in France to continue the fight.

It took the British nearly 12 months to realise locals were volunteering. Not to miss this sentiment, the British formed the Cyprus Regiment, a volunteer unit of the British Army, which saw action side-by-side with Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, French, UK, and Greek forces during World War II.

During World War II, more than 30,000 Cypriots volunteered and served on the front line.

Cyprus sent the highest number of volunteers in proportion to the island’s population in the British Empire, indeed in the whole of western Europe.

On a visit to Cyprus in 1943, Winston Churchill praised the “soldiers of the Cyprus Regiment who have served honourably on many fields from Libya to Dunkirk.” He also promised that the UK would leave Cyprus after World War II. Winston had a poor record when it came to keeping promises.

The enthusiasm to defend Greece was not ignored by the British propaganda machine, who regularly published articles even on the radio about this “unique” phenomena of a little island’s desire to “join in the fight,” remarkable considering Cyprus itself was occupied, and governed by foreigners at the time.

In 2023, the ANZAC Day organisers have recognised the sacrifices and heroism of Cypriot volunteers.

Cypriots invited to take part in 2023 Anzac Day march in Sydney.

Under the auspices of the Cyprus Community of NSW, the ANZAC Day Committee have invited the veterans, their children, grandchildren and relatives to take part in the ANZAC Day march, under the “CYPRUS REGIMENT – CYPRIOTS FOR ANZACS.”

If you are a Cypriot veteran or have a family ‘connection’ with a Cypriot veteran, either directly or indirectly, then we ask you consider marching on Anzac Day (25th April 2023).

To march, register online, go to: www.cyprus.org.au or register at the Cyprus Community Club counter in Stanmore open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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