It was a few minutes after 5:00 a.m. on October 28, 1940.
The Italian military forces were ordered to launch their first attack against Greece, at the Greek-Albanian border, on the Pindos Mountains.
Vassilios Tsiavaliaris, a 28-year-old Greek soldier stands inside the 21st outpost in Golio height, next to the village of Pyrsogianni.
The Italians attack. Their first target is the outpost of Tsiavaliaris.
In the wake of Greece’s entrance to World War II, Private Tsiavaliaris becomes the first victim of the Axis’ unjustified aggression.
Tsiavaliaris was a father of three: Nikos, George, and Alexandra. According to George Papavassiliou, school counselor in the region of Trikala, where Tsiavaliaris came from, the soldier’s last words before he died were: ‘My children! My children will be lost…’
Christos Apostolou Gianniou was the second soldier in the 21st outpost. According to his words, Tsiavaliaris was hit by the Italian mortars. When he died, Gianniou took his body, brought it to the Unit’s priest and asked him to bless it
”I was the first one to cry for Tsiavaliaris” Gianniou said.
Tsiavaliaris was the fourth of five children of Giannis and Agoro. Born in 1912 in Pialia village next to the city of Trikala.
Raised to love his country, he was a role model for his village. Patient, hard-working and good-hearted.
In 2000, the University of Athens built a statue in his honor in the center of his village, to commemorate his contribution to Greece’s fight for freedom.