Walk for their Lives 1915
The Story of the Great Serbian Retreat of 1915
One hundred years ago this year, the First World War was in its second year….
In October 1915 the last survivors of Serbian Army, government, civilians, and some 30,000 boys were evacuated from their homes and country as they were chased by the German, Austrian, and Bulgarian army’s out of their homeland.
450,000 people, soldiers, refuges, families, and young boys set off to escape capture by walking over the high mountains of Montenegro and Albania to the relative safety of the tiny island of Corfu.
They did this to remain free, rather than surrender, as they one day hoped that they would be able to fight to free their country once again.
Over 240,000 people Died on this perilous retreat from severe cold, frostbite, lack of food, and disease.
One of those lucky to survive the “Great Serbian Retreat” was my grandfather in law, Dobrosav Petrovic after he survived the march over the mountains he reached Corfu where he caught Typhus and was left for dead.
He was about to be buried at sea along with others, but by chance a friend just recognized him and pulled him from his death bed. With the help of this friend he recovered and rejoined his battalion and was sent to (Marseille) to fight in France along the western front.
Later in 1917 he was sent to Salonika in Greece to fight alongside the Allies and Irish regiments, Amazingly one of those men who was a 2nd Lieutenant was my own great Grandfather Thomas Frederick Vaughan, who was with the London Irish Regiment and who also fought on the Salonika front. They both eventually helped to push the foreign troops out of Serbia in 1918.
Walk for their Lives 1915 – 2015
Today, 100 years later, to remember these Irish and Serbian men who died and survived and who took part in these long forgotten historic events, I will be retracing their steps to help today’s children suffering with cancer.
This walk will take me through 5 Balkan countries, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and Macedonian, a total of 2,000 km over some of the highest mountains in the region during the autumn and winter of 2015.
I will not be traveling on my own this time, my dog Pajo wants to come with me, he is a very hardy three year old Labrador, from Clare.
Please help me to raise the 20,000.00 euro needed for the vital equipment to help the lives of these little soldiers.
HOW TO DONATE
1. Click on donate button on www.whitewaterfoundation.org to donate any amount
2 Write a cheque to WHITEWATER FOUNDATION for any amount.
Address UNIT T32 Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
I am walking 2,000 kms and aim to raise over €20,000 – that’s €10 a kilometre. To see my progress and to let others know about my challenge to help all children with cancer.
SHARE and LIKE my page on FACEBOOK
3. Walk with Me and Pajo, along the way, anyone can join me, if they have the time!!!! I will need food and shelter along and lots of encouragement along the way, warm houses and hot food will be very welcome, Pajo will need lots of food!!!!
If you’ve any questions, or need further info on how to get involved please contact me through facebook at whitewater foundation.
Mark and Pajo