C-in-C and Damascinos visit the Dodecanese

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From Herbert Dobson's diary ...

"14th May 1945
Hectic day preparing for arrival of C-in-C. He came by plane at 1630. Crowds gathered early to greet the Regent of Greece, Damaskinos, but were disappointed when he failed to arrive by evening."

"15th May 1945
Regent arrived 0930 this morning and a long list of events took place. In order they were, Te Deum in the Cathedral, speech by the Regent to the people, lunch party at Metropolitan's house at TRIANDA; investiture of C-in-C with a decoration by the Regent, interviews to local dignitaries and finally a dinner given by the British Commander in the castello at 2000 hrs."

"The Regent was supposed to be coming with a retinue of 30 at the most. In fact he arrived with an entourage of perhaps 100, including staff, boy scouts, journalists and a personal bodyguard of 28 Evzones, very picturesque in their quaint skirts, white tights, and shoes with huge black pom-poms. The regent impressed everyone by his bearing, charm, shrewdness and knowledge. Not so his staff who, to put it mildly, were 'sloppy'."

"16th May 1945
DCCAO went on tour of villages with Regent this am. Later the great man himself came round the administration building. Example of his shrewdness:
Colonel: 'The car you are driving in, Sir, belonged formerly to General Wagner, who took it from the Italian Regent.'
Damaskinos, smiling: 'And who will take it from you?'"

"18th May 1945
Still eating in the Albergo but the food is getting monotonous and I shall be glad when some fresh rations start coming in. Weather steadily fine and fresh breezes seem to be around most of the day. Must start swimming regularly. I hear that the REs are going to clear the beach of any mines and get rid of all the unsightly barbed wire. Worked a 12 hr day again today."

"21st May 1945
Left with Colonel and other staff at 0700 in ML863. Good voyage and arrived at COS about 1330. Had to attend CAO's conference there and took a lot of notes. After this managed to take a walk."

"COS is the second largest island in our Archipelago and presents a verdant, pleasing scene to the visitor. The town, especially the water front, is Italian in building style but, in places, a Turkish minaret peeps over their rooftops just to remind one that the Turks held sway over the island for a long time. Oleanders flamed in every garden and the road from the quay to the Army HQ passed through thick plantations of stunted palms and other trees."





Copyright © John Hearfield 2012 - and my thanks to Scott Kimler of randsco.com for the clever PZ3 zoom code.