Evagoras Pallikaridis

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Evagoras Pallikaridis

Evagoras Pallikaridis was an EOKA fighter during the 1955 - 1959 struggle against the British in Cyprus.

Pallikaridis was born in Tsada, Paphos province on February 27, 1938, one of five children of Miltiades and Aphrodite Pallikaridis. He studied at the Greek High School of Paphos where, at age 15, he took part in his school's boycott of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.

When the EOKA struggle for Enosis broke out, Pallikaridis took part in several anti-British demonstrations. In one of these, in November 1955, in an effort to free a friend who had been arrested, he struck a British soldier and was arrested himself. He was ordered to appear for trial but instead joined one of the many EOKA guerrila groups that operated throughout Cyprus. For this, the colonial authorities put a £5,000 price on his head.

In the next year, Pallikaridis took part in several operations with his team. He was captured on December 18, 1956 with a gun in his possession - a capital offense under measures enacted by the British to combat EOKA.

At his trial Pallikaridis did not deny possession of the weapon. He said he did what he had to do as a Greek seeking his freedom. Despite his youth - he was only 18 at the time - he was sentenced to die for gun possession. His parents' pleas for mercy went unheeded and Pallikaridis was hanged on March 14, 1957 - 15 days after his 19th birthday.

He was buried at the Imprisoned Tombs of the Central Jail of Nicosia.

I'll take the uphill Road

Θα πάρω μιαν ανηφοριά,
Θα πάρω μονοπάτια,
να βρω τα σκαλοπάτια,
που παν στη Λευτεριά.

Θ' αφήσω αδέλφια συγγενείς,
την μάνα, τον πατέρα,
μεσ' τα λαγκάδια πέρα,
και στις βουνοπλαγιές.

Ψάχνοντας για τη λευτεριά,
θα 'χω παρέα μόνη,
κατάλευκο το χιόνι,
βουνά και ρεματιές,

Τώρα κι αν είναι χειμωνιά,
θα 'ρθει το καλοκαίρι,
τη λευτεριά να φέρει,
σε πόλεις και χωριά,

Θα πάρω μιαν ανηφοριά,
θα πάρω μονοπάτια,
να βρω τα σκαλοπάτια,
που παν' στη Λευτεριά,

Τα σκαλοπάτια θ' ανεβώ,
θα μπω σ' ένα παλάτι,
το ξέρω θα 'ν' απάτη,
δεν θά 'ναι αληθινό,

Μες το παλάτι θα γυρνώ,
ώσπου να βρω το θρόνο,
βασίλισσα μια μόνο,
να κάθεται σ' αυτόν,

Κόρη πανώρια θα της πω ,
άνοιξε τα φτερά σου,
και πάρε με κοντά σου,
μονάχα αυτό ζητώ,

Γεια σας παλιοί συμμαθηταί!
Τα τελευταία λόγια τα γράφω σήμερα για σας.
Κι όποιος θελήσει για να βρει έναν χαμένο αδελφό,
έναν παλιό του φίλο,

Ας πάρη μιαν ανηφοριά,
ας πάρη μονοπάτια,
να βρή τα σκαλοπάτια,
που παν στη Λευτεριά.

5 December 1955 - Evagoras Pallikaridis