«OXI» October 28th 1940, nearly one hundred and twenty years after the first freedom uprising in Messinia, many young boys from the regions around Messinia and Chania in Crete, like Κyriakos Τomaras of Finikounda, were in the training camp of the 9th Infantry Regiment of Kalamata. Under the commanded of Colonel Venetsanos Ketseas, of Doloi in Mani, they were mobilised to the front, to defended their nation. They defended their nation for 215 days. The survivors returned to Kalamata on the 11th of May 1941.
Nikos Kopasis, of Chania, remembers one of his 9th Infantry Regiment friends, from Kalamata, telling him “Niko don’t leave. The Germans are sinking every ship that goes to Crete. My mother has two children, come to my home and she’ll have three. Then when things settle down go to your mother”.
Τότε ένας φίλος συνάδελφος στο 9ο Συν/γμα Πεζικού, Καλαματιανός, μου λέει; «Νίκο μη φύγεις. Οι Γερμανοί βουλιάζουν κάθε πλεούμενο που πάει στην Κρήτη. Η μάνα μου έχει δυο παιδιά. Έλα στο σπίτι να ’χει τρία. Κι όταν τα πράγματα ησυχάσουν πάεις στη μάνα σου»
Many young men, like Κyriakos Τomaras, would never see their mothers again.
From Australia Messinia