The story behind a breathtaking photo from the Limassol mountains in the 1950s!

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Political History
Social Life

In December of 1957, the click of a camera, in the village of Agros in the mountainous region of Limassol, captures a scene seemingly taken from an ancient tragedy. The tall man with the mustache and his hands tied is Diomides Mavoryiannis, who later abandoned the village and eventually settled in Limassol where he opened a cook shop that is still operated by his children and grandchildren today.

In February of 1957, however, he found himself a captive at the British camp in Pyla, along with many other of his fellow compatriots, members and fighters of the EOKA organization. In December of 1957, he received the painful news of the death of his second son, Anthoulis, just a week before his fifth birthday. The family, as well as the entire village, were in mourning, though the tragic father suffered his loss far away from everyone, as the British would not allow what they called a ‘subversive’ to leave his cell for whatever reason.

swipe gallery

The day of the funeral, however, the young British Governor of Cyprus, Hugh Foot, who had succeeded the bloodthirsty John Harding, visited the area in an effort to appease the revolting people. People of the village, with the initiative of Christos Mavroyiannis, Dimiodes’ brother, approached the Governor and requested that the distraught father be allowed to bid farewell to his deceased son in person. And so, the Governor gave the relevant order, and Diomides Mavroyiannis was transferred in cuffs to his home in Agros.

This unexpected visit from the father, who was forced to watch the funeral procession and the burial at a distance from his 4 children and his wife Eugenia, made the moment even more tragic, as can be seen vividly in the photograph. The tilted head, his feet dragging on the ground, the guards that look down to avoid the looks of the crowd, they are all elements that make this photo speak for itslef.


Diomides was unable to embrace his family to give them strength, and could not even throw a handful of dirt onto his son’s grave. From the funeral to the burial, he remained with his hands tied, in between the British policemen. The emotionally charged moment was captured in the photograph, where the personal tragedy of a family in the mountainous area of the island, seems to symbolize the tragedy of an entire, struggling population.

Photos and information: Pavlos Mavroyiannis

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.