Serbian Prime Minister marks anniversary of Serbian retreat to Greek islands during the First World War

Posted on on 26 September 2013
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The Serbian Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, has attended a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Serbian army landing on the Ionian islands of Corfu and Vido during the First World War.

The Prime Minister, who is visiting Greece, laid wreaths in front of the Mausoleum of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Heroes in Corfu and at the Blue Tomb on the 26th September 2013.

Serbian retreat

At the end of 1915, Serbian troops were forced into a costly retreat to the Adriatic coastline as the Central Powers invaded Serbia. Those who reached the coast were transported to the Ionian Islands for recuperation.

Many thousands of soldiers and civilians died as they retreated from Serbia, with many succumbing to disease and exhaustion on the Greek islands.

Prime Minister's address

A press release issued by the Serbian Government gave details of Prime Minister Dacic's address to those present at the wreath laying:

"The Prime Minister addressed those present by saying that the Albanian Golgotha and the stay of the Serbs in Corfu and Vido from 1916 until 1918 have been woven into the collective conscience of our people as a period of almost classical tragedy, selfless heroism and true humanity".

"He said that each arrival in Corfu and Vido for us in Serbia is a memorial service as there are more than 10,000 people lying there". 

"We ended the war and won with more than a million casualties and the loss of half of the male population, he said". 

"Unwilling to surrender, only every fifth soldier of 750,000 managed to come to Corfu, Dacic noted". 

"Let there be eternal memory of the famous Serbian victims and may the friendship of the Greek and Serbian peoples be eternal, said Dacic".

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture, Ivan Tasovac, the Mayor of Corfu, and representatives of the Greek army and police.

Source: Serbian Government press release

Date of press release publication: 26/09/2013

Images courtesy of the Serbian Government website

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News