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National Contribution

The village of Agroswas always present to all national fights. The patriotism and strength of the people of Agros were recorded on the pages of the Greek and Cypriot history. Following there is a report on the contribution of the people of Agros to the national fights based on a relevant chapter of the book "Agros, I Eptalofi tis Pitsilias"*.

Greek Revolution 1821
After the tragic events of the 9th of July 1821, the Exarch of the Metropolis of Kiti sought shelter in Agros. In particular, he undertook the managing of the property of the Monastery of Agros. Later on, however, the exarch decides to seek shelter in the Monastery of Kykkos, but the Turks search for him at the Monastery of Agros. When the latter find the Monastery closed, they take it out on the tax collector of Agros, Constantinos Kemitzis, who chose not to testify of having known about the exarch. The Turks, according to Hadjipetris, "crumpled the tax collector in a large chair and threw him down a very deep and steep cliff where he was tragically killed". What was particularly sad is the fact that when the exarch returned to the village, not only did he behave like a tyrant, but he would also embezzle the Monastery's incomes. 

Greek-Turkish War
According to the research of Petros Papapolyviou which is cited in the book of Hadjipetris, three men from Agros were volunteers in the Greek-Turkish war.

Balkan Wars
Unfortunately, our evidence is insufficient regarding the participation of the people of Agros in the Balkan Wars. However, we do know that some people from Agros participated in the Balkan wars and then in World War I. Additionally, the people of Agros also contributed to the wars financially. In particular, according to the data of Papapolyviou's research, the contribution of Agros was 7 pounds and 13 cents.

World War I
As we have already mentioned, the people of Agros who participated in World War I were the same fourteen who had fought in the Balkan wars. However, it is believed that there had been more people from Agros who took part, possibly expatriates who lived in Nicosia, Lemesos or even abroad. Most of them served in the Health Services or as mule drivers.

The people of Agros who participated in the Balkan wars, as well as in World War II were:

  • Philippos Gregorides 
  • Petros Kitromilides
  • Augoustis Savvas Lefteris
  • Kyriakos Konstanti Kalimeras
  • Savvas Avloitos
  • Aristodemos Constantinou
  • Cleanthis Mappourides
  • Sophronis Grousos
  • Cleanthis Savva (Machos)
  • Sophocles Michaelides (Kenevezos)
  • Savvas Hadjisavvas
  • Loukaides Kyriacos (mechanic)
  • Sophocles Koufides (sanitary)
  • Neoclis Shipillis

Union Referendums of 1921 and 1930
On March 25, 1921, the priests, teachers, Land Committee and School Committee singed the Unification Referendum because, in the meantime, they had become public servants. The main demand of the referendums was the Unification of Cyprus with Greece.

Octovbriana (The uprising of October 1931) 
The imposition of custom duties by the British government, in combination with its denial to satisfy the motion for unification and the difficult financial conditions of that period on the island, constituted the basic causes for the Cypriots' uprising in October 1931 (Octobriana). During the uprising, protesters burned down the Government-house and the English responded with shootings. The first victim of the shootings was Onoufrios Clerides, aged 17, from Agios Theodoros of Agros. Clerides originated from our village, and especially from the family of Nearchos Clerides. 

World War II
The participation of Agros in World War II was massive. Among the people of Agros who participated were Glafkos Clerides, former president of the Republic of Cyprus, and Andreas N. Tzionis. The former served as a flight-sergeant in the British Air-force, whereas the latter in the U.S. Army. Moreover, as Hadjipetris remarks, "the father of the former President Mr Ioannis Clerides, his brother Xanthos, as well as the children of Nearchos Clerides, Lefkos and Phoebos Clerides also fought in World War II".

Additionally, the following men served in WWII:

  • K. Leonida
  • Varnavas Savvas
  • Stelios Kalli
  • Andreas Athanasi
  • Herodotos Tsaggarides
  • Iacovos Leonida
  • Pheidias Petrou
  • Panayiotis Theodotou
  • Andreas Athanasi
  • Christophoros Zevedaiou
  • Costis Clerides
  • Thrasyvoulos Lemoniatis
  • Andreas Stylianou (Pilot)
  • Stelios Spyrides
  • Christophoros Tillyros
  • Pelopidas Polykarpou
  • Philippos Lemoniatis
  • Georgios Athanasiou
  • Costis Makilas
  • Kitsios N. Tzionis
  • Thomas Theophanous
  • Costis Apeitos
  • Petros Hadjiyiannis
  • Pericles Hadjiyiannis
  • Panayiotis Kattos
  • Andreas Vakanas
  • Athanasis Pissari
  • Georgios Athanasi
  • Melis Stylianides
  • Petros Mathaiou
  • Kyriakos Sophocleous
  • Andreas Agathaggelou

 
K. Leonidas was killed in battle, and Varnavas Savva and Stelios Kalli were seriously wounded. The grave of K. Leonidas is located in Tobruk of Libya.

EOKA Fight

The action of Agros in the liberating fight of EOKA against the British colonisers was extremely important. Ever since the beginning of the fight, Agros was the command centre of the Pitsilia region. Gregoris Afxentiou guided the guerrilla fighters of the entire Troodos area from Agros. The people of Agros who participated in the EOKA fight were more than a hundred. In this text it is impossible to even mention them all. Cited in brief below are some reports from Hadjipetris about the contribution of the people of Agros in the fight. 

  • The first sector-head for Pitsilia, Renos Kyriakides, visits Agros in 1955 and in particular the home of the head of Agros, Diomedes Mavroyiannis. A few days later, they establish the Youth of EOKA called ANE, in Apeiteio Gymnasium. ANE developed significant activity to a degree that, as Renos Kyriakides remarks, "the English began to deal with the activity of ANE of Agros instead of hunting down guerrilla fighters".
  • The first student protest of the Apeiteio Gymnasium took place on April 30, 1955, after the arrest of their fellow student Costas Pissarides. For this daring action of them, the students were charged by the British for "having paraded in Agros without a written permit by the Commander of Lemesos".
  • In several residences of Agros there were many guerrilla hideouts. The first guerrilla hideout was in the home of Kyriacou Polykarpou. Stylianos Lenas would manufacture grenades there. When the hideout was compromised, Lenas continued to manufacture grenades in a hideout in another village. As we have already said, the headquarters of Agros was also in a hideout in Agros.

  • The first ever curfew in Cyprus was imposed in Agros on August 17, 1955. 

  • On June 14, 1956, the son of our community, Petros Eliades, is seriously wounded by an English soldier's fire gun the moment he was ready to throw a bomb. This brave man of Agros died on the following day. More: Heroes Monument 

  • Also important was the contribution of Andreas Vasileiou, who, before he became a guerrilla fighter, had caused a serious strike to the British Air-force. In particular, on November 26, 1957, he placed bombs and destroyed four Canberra bomber aircrafts and a Venom pursuit plane. This sabotage is considered to have been the biggest one of the liberating fight. 

  • There were many guerrilla fighters from Agros, some of which were sentenced to prison and others were kept as political prisoners without a trial. 

  • During the entire fight, the people of Agros had an enormous contribution to it. Hadjipetris writes: "The participation of the people in the passive resistance and the operation of an arbitration court, whose president in Agros was Papairacles Tsaggarides, had a remarkable success". 

  • The last curfew was imposed in Agros and Agridia on January 22, 1959, when the women of these two communities threw stones against English soldiers. The contribution of women to the Liberating Fight against the colonization is honoured with the construction of the Cypriot Woman Fighter's monument, which is a devout offer to the memory and honour to the woman fighter of the 1955 generation in the region of Pitsilia. 

  • The expatriate people of Agros also contributed to the fight from the cities where they lived in (from Nicosia, Lemesos or elsewhere).

Turkish mutiny of 1963
A group of men from Agros participated in the resistance against the Turkish mutiny of 1963. These where: Panayiotis Gerasiotis, Petros Sofroniou, Stavros Mathaiou, Leandros Tsolakis and Andreas Pissarides.

Turkish Invasion of 1974
In a speech of his, Renos Kyriakides writes according to Hadjipetris: "It was not possible for this village not to stand worthy of the circumstances of the time. Five young men of Agros sacrificed their lives in the fight against the Turkish invaders". These were: Christophoros Pissarides, Antonakis Tsolakis, Yiannakis A. Mavrou, Nicos Hadjipavlou, and Antonakis Adamou Agrotis.

Sources:
Ioannis P. Hadjipetris, "Agros, I Eptalofi tis Pitsilias", Nicosia 2005
Agros Community Council