Even in the smallest group of the 18th brigade of DAG, the name of
Peco was well known. The fighters had lived close to each other during
the most difficult moments of battle. They were proud of him because
he was an excellent shooter and commander of the group, a leading commander,
a company commander. They always followed him even in the harshest battles
on Vich and Sinjachko and later they would go out with him, stronger
and more intent. And because of his fighting prowess, his heroism in
battle as a fighter and responsible officer of DAG, Peco became a battalion
commander. The fighters regarded him as a dedicated friend and fighting
comrade; he was their beloved commander with a brave and passionate
heart that knew how to respect others.
Every battle, every operation of the 18th brigade was tied to the strength
and military experience of Peco. His modesty was apparent and he was
embarrassed by praise heaped on him by his comrades.
Battle was not for him just a component of his mission as a commander,
which had to be led and completed; he lived with the whole power of
his soul. All of his activism was expressed in the fire of battle, all
of his revolutionary passion. He distinguished himself with his capability
during battle, which he followed to the smallest detail, ready to apply
himself decisively where he was needed; and that feature was one that
even the most senior officer would envy.
The exemplary battles of his battalion in Negush, in Sinjachko in 1948,
in Kula-Plati on Vich in 1949, manouvres of his battalion from Vich
to Gramos, these were the most dangerous missions, which he completed
He set off on a hard and difficlt path. The path of honesty and liberation,
because that is what he wanted for his life. A child in the harsh battle
for a crust to eat, he felt the burden from a young age of brutal exploitation
and the truncheon of the gendarmes, the persecution and put-downs of
our enslaved people. Working hard with his father in his village of
Gornichovo as a sherpherd and in the barren fields, where they could
not even make enough to feed the family for a year.
Taught in the best traditions of the renowned Ilinden and our Party,
living the whole tragedy of our people, he dreamt one day of a liberated
fatherland, of work and peaceful effort, a people's homeland where both
peoples, the Greek and the Macedonians, could be happy and sing.
* * *
Dawn, 25 August 1949. The machine guns had just cooled from the previous
day's battle; they were starting the loud shooting again. The slopes
of Gramos seemed to tighten the heart as they were drowned by fire and
A frightening pressure was being applied to Peco's battalion, which
was defending the left flanks of Arina, as though all the American military
material was being unloaded at that spot. Every enemy effort was drowned
During the evening hours when darkness forced the battle to wind down
Peco and his commissar Mihalakis Roidis did not return to our camp.
They died loyal to the people and the homeland.
The night was very dark. Our bitterness was very great.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters