Grigoris Pieris Afxentiou (Γρηγόρης Πιερής Αυξεντίου) (1928 – 1957) was a guerilla fighter who fought against the British rule of Cyprus. In the hierarchy of EOKA he was second in command to general Georgios Grivas. His nom-de-guerre was Zedhros.
Afxentiou was born in the village of Lysi in Mesaoria
, Famagusta District
on February 22
to Pieris and Antonia Afxentiou. He had a younger sister called Chrystala. He attended Lysi primary school and received his secondary education at the Hellenic Gymnasium in the nearest city, Famagusta
. Reports by those who knew him were that he was a keen sportsman and passionate about football. He supported Anorthosis
one of the strongest clubs in Famagusta.
He then left for Greece where he was unsuccessful in gaining a place at the Hellenic Military Academy in Athens. In December 1949 he joined the Hellenic Army as a volunteer. From March to October 1950, he attended a reserve officer’s academy on the island of Syros. He then served with the Hellenic Army on the Greek-Bulgarian frontier, as a second lieutenant, before returning to Cyprus and joining the EOKA struggle .
He was discharged from the ranks of the Greek Army
on November 15 1953
and returned to Cyprus where he helped his father with his business by working as a taxi driver. At that time he also got engaged to be married. He joined the National Organization for the Cypriot Struggle (E.O.K.A.) where he soon became Second in Command, adjutant to EOKA leader George Grivas
. He was also assigned the regional command of the district of Famagusta. In the spring of 1955, he conducted attacks against the British-controlled Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation
and the electricity company in Nicosia. Known by the code name Zidros
(Ζήδρος), since the day of his attacks, he was top of the British list of most wanted men. They had proclaimed a reward of £5,000 pounds sterling for him for blowing up British property .
When the reward was proclaimed, he went into hiding in the Pentadactylos mountain range where he trained EOKA fighters on weapon use and guerrilla warfare. He was very active in the Pendadaktylos range as well as on Mount Troodos, which he moved on to later. Whilst still in hiding, in June 1955 he married Vasiliki Panayi, in a secret ceremony.
In 1956, he fell ill with acute appendicitis and following an operation in secret, he disguised himself as a monk as a cover for his recovery period.
Afxentiou was killed in a fight with British troops on March 3 1957. He was buried in the yard of the Central Jail of Lefkosia.
- Grigoris Afxentiou, a Cypriot fighter
- Learn About Cyprus article (Greek language article about Grigoris Afxentiou)