Andreas Souroucles Heroes’ Monument
Located in the centre of the village, in the forecourt of the chapel of Agia Marina, is a marble bust dedicated to Andreas Souroucles.
The Monument’s unveiling ceremony was held on July 29th 1962 by the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III.
The Monument’s blueprints were created by the Architectural Office of Stavros Economou and were dated back to August 31st 1960. The expenditure was entirely covered by Zena Canther.
So, let’s learn more about the hero of the Community Andreas Souroucles through a text written by Argyris Economou titled “Andreas Souroucles, the Hero of Troulloi”, as well as from a text written by Panayiota Souroucles titled “The death of Andreas Souroucles”.
Andreas Souroucles, the Hero of Troulloi
Andreas Souroucles was born in the village of Troulloi of the Larnaka District on October 26th 1932. When he finished Primary School he helped his father with his agricultural occupations. He married Georgia Charalampous and together they gave birth to a girl named Christina. Their second daughter was born after the death of her father.
Andreas seemed like a quiet and peaceful young man who only cared for his home and minded his own business. However, in reality, Andreas was a very passionate person.
Andreas was one of the first men to join EOKA and he would undertake various missions. His involvement basically begins in February 1957, when he was asked to assist a guerrilla team construct a hideout in the area of his village. The hideout was indeed built at the location “Xeropigi”, on land owned by Andreas. This hideout accommodated EOKA guerrilla fighters from time to time, including their sector leader, hero Michalakis Parides.
Andreas operated as a supplier for the guerrilla teams of his area and he used his own car to help EOKA.
In the summer of 1958 he took part in at least two more ambushes against the British.
When Michalakis Parides became sector leader of Larnaka in January 1958, the two guerrillas, meaning Michalakis and Andreas, assisted by Chrysanthos Kyriakou, built a hideout in Andreas’ house which was used by Parides as his headquarters.
After Parides departed for Oreini of Larnaka, Andreas was assigned with the task of transporting and storing the armature of EOKA.
On the night of Andreas’ death, the hideout was empty. His wife and his brother Michalis camouflaged it by placing wheat at the entrance right after the battle so that no one could understand the existence of the hideout. The British searched the house for days but did not manage to trace it.
Some months later EOKA gave the order for the hideout located in Andreas’ house to be demolished and this task was undertaken by his father and brothers.
This was the 26-year-old youngster from Troulloi who sacrificed his life for the freedom of his country 44 years ago, on August 1st 1958.
The death of Andreas Souroucles
It was the 31st July 1958. The night was strangely quiet. It was a full moon, turning the night into day. My mother was extremely restless. I could hear her whispering, praying to God asking for something. She couldn’t stay in her bed. She walked up and down the yard, as though she had been waiting for something to happen.
Late at night, at around midnight, one of my brothers, Michalis, returned home. He gave my mother some of his clothes and he told her to do her best to hide them and so she did. Michalis went to bed but my mother’s anxiety would not go away. A bad feeling was torturing her.
After a while, gunshots and explosions were heard. The frightened dogs started barking. Something bad was going to happen to our village during the night.
At dawn, before the shepherds managed to take their flocks out to graze, the British imposed a curfew which was announced through megaphones.
“Whoever exits their house will be shot. All adults, men and women should assemble at the school. Only housewives and young children are to stay in their homes”.
We all looked at each other meaningfully. The house was soon empty. My father, my sister Theodosia, Mamas and Michalis headed for the school.
My mother and I stayed at home. Those moments were so intense that I feel as though I am reliving them now, now that I am narrating them in the same intense tone as back then.
The British soldiers, using the spears of their guns and large needles, started searching my brother’s house thoroughly. The same was happening in our house, but not as intensively.
I remember those moments so vividly. I remember the tragic figure of my mother. She looked pale but she was trying to pretend and act indifferently while chewing her gum because Andreas had advised her to do so. Next door was my brother’s wife. She was 6-7 months pregnant at the time. You could see the anxiety on her face, she wouldn’t move from the storage room door.
Another, unforgettable figure of that day was my brother’s nine-month-old daughter, Christina. She was an innocent little angel who never had the chance to feel the affection, the love and the protection of her father.
She frivolously watched the British moving around her. Some of them even lighted their lighters so that she could blow the fire out. Who knows? Maybe some of them had children of their own somewhere. The day was progressing.
August 1st 1958. It was getting hotter. The sheep in our yard started to bleat as they were both thirsty and scared hearing the sound of the helicopters flying above our houses. Up to that time we had no news whatsoever.
Later that day, in the afternoon, my father came back looking pale and asked my sister-in-law for some clothes for Andreas who was supposedly wounded in hospital. At that time we all knew he was dead. He fell fighting for his country, a country which he loved so much. After a while, we went to the square of the village where we saw him lying dead in his coffin.
Very few of us were allowed by the British to escort him to the cemetery. Our older sister Penelope had to “say goodbye” to Andreas from her balcony.
About a month later, on August 27th, my friend, who used to hide in my brother’s hideout, was also killed in battle by the British.
I shall always remember them with love and admiration.
This text has been written by Panayiota Souroucles – Economou
Sister of hero Andreas Souroucles,
who was nine years old when he brother died.