Captain Charalambos Charalambous | A hero who embraced a grenade and honored his homeland
Defence Redefined
Published on 24/11/2021 at 16:55

In a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace, Captain Charalambos Charalambous was posthumously awarded the Medal of “Altruism and Self-Sacrifice” of the Republic of Cyprus. The President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis, addressed a greeting.

It was Thursday 2009 when the news spread like a bad joke. It wasn’t even 11 in the morning and the damage had already been done. Pampos was dead and the news of his death had spread from one end to the other. Charalambous was born in Menoiko, Nicosia District, and was married. He studied at the Hellenic Military Academy (2003). 

The passionate Captain had done what he considered to be his duty. He became a shield for his “own”. He stood against the threat and died a hero, leaving no trace.

The explosion at the outpost near the Roca Bastion was deafening. Charalambous had embraced the defective grenade, giving life within seconds to the soldiers who were with him at the scene.

All this took place in an Equipment count of the 3rd Battalion of the Unit. While counting ammunition in the basement of Outpost 309 in the Electra building in the presence of 1 Officer Cadet and 3 soldiers, the Lieutenant heard a strange noise inside the grenade, as if the detonator had been armed.

An investigation carried out after his death found that the then 29-year-old Lieutenant was killed by a defective grenade and not by human error.

Nonetheless, at that time, in his statements, the Minister of Defence, Costas Papakostas, attributed the causes of the tragic accident to “human error”. The investigation, therefore, showed that not only the specific deadly grenade but also thousands of others of the same type were damaged in the National Guard depot.

Also read: Monument Unveiling of the Fallen and Missing Special Forces in Evrychou – Photos

Sincere apologies of the State

“The Postmortem value is an indication of the supreme gratitude and recognition of the entire state and its people, it expresses and reflects due respect for Charalambos’ invaluable contribution to the homeland,” said President Anastasiadis during the awarding of the medal.

The President, among other things, expressed the sincere apologies of the State for all the suffering and the reasonable bitterness caused until the obvious was recognized: The greatness of the soul and the self-sacrifice of Charalambos to save the lives of four of his comrades.

Also read: 12 years since the sacrifice of Lieutenant Charalambos Charalambous




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