Tuesday, 23rd April. At the Holy Monastery of Iperagathou, Koiliomeno.
The Municipality of Zakynthos, in cooperation with the Embassy of Great Britain in Greece, the consul of Zakynthos Matthew Delap and the Holy Metropolis of Zakynthos Dionysios, will carry out an anniversary celebration.
In particular the UK Ambassador, Kate Smith, will mark the 75th anniversary of ‘Operation Dastard’.
A reminder to those who have forgotten, but also for others to learn, on 23rd April 1944, a group of British SOE commandos (Special Operations Executive) landed on the island of Zakynthos to launch operations against the German occupying troops on the Ionian Islands. The mission, codenamed Operation Dastard, was led by Zakynthian Themis Marinos. This operation lasted until the end of the occupation of the Ionian islands in November 1944. This year, 2019, it is the 75th anniversary of this historic enterprise, and for this reason the memorial service and the laying of wreaths will be celebrated in the monastery.
Programme – Holy Tuesday 23/4/2019
Greetings-speeches within the Holy Monastery
11.00 – 11.10, greeting (speech) by the Metropolitan of Zakynthos, Dionysios
11.10 – 11.20, greeting (address) by the Mayor of Zakynthos, Mr. Pavlos Kolokotsas
11.20 – 11.30, greeting (speech) by the Ambassador Kate Smith
11.40 – 11.45, greeting of a member of Themis Marinos family.
A memorial service, in front of the marble inscription
11.45 – 12.00
Laying of wreaths at the monument. Accompaniment of the Philharmonic of the Municipality of Zakynthos
12.00 – 12.15,
Laying of wreaths by:
Ambassador of Great Britain
Mayor of Zakynthos
Military Attache of the Embassy of Great Britain and
Master Tim Fans on behalf of the armed forces of the United Kingdom.
A minute of silence for the heroes of the 1940s
Prayer / Playing of National Anthems from the Artemisia Philharmonic of the Municipality of Zakynthos
END OF CEREMONY
12.15 – 13.00, treats at the hospice of the Holy Monastery of Iperagathou.
The partisan Themis Marinos will be honoured at this event.
The mission, code-named “Operation Dastard”, was led by Themis Marino, the famous hero who participated in blowing up the bridge of Gorgopotamos. Born in Zakynthos and in 1940-41 fought at the Hellenic Albanian Front and in the Battle of Crete as a reserve officer.
He was arrested by the German army and after his escape he collaborated with the resistance in the prefecture of Rethymnon, escaping later to Egypt in a submarine and was ranked in the 1st Greek Brigade. He was re-located by Prince Petros to the British Specialized Training Centre in Palestine where he was trained.
In September 1942, as a member of the British Paratroopers team, he landed along with other British officers in Greece and blew up the Gorgopotamos railway bridge with the help of the two major resistance groups EDES and ELAS, interrupting the supply of the Germans to North Africa. He remained in Greece as a liaison of the Middle East Headquarters.
He was awarded the rank of British captain and then Major. He received many wartime distinctions, Greek and foreign decorations.
Themis Marinos passed away at the end of 2018, aged 101.