The ashes of Major General Christodoulos Tzigantes, a Greek hero of World War Two, have been buried in Athens.
MV: Mourners standing outside church PAN to soldiers carrying casket containing ashes
GV: Soldiers' band playing and marching along in procession and troops carrying upturned rifles follow at slow march (TWO SHOTS)
MV: Troops carrying casket in procession (TWO SHOTS)
MV: Greek Defence Minister
MV: Open grave PAN to soldiers guard of honour
GV: Greek army officer lower casket into grave
GV: Band playing
MV: Mrs Tzignates places wreath at grave
MV: Mavros places wreath at grave
MV: Guard of honour PAN to wreaths on grave
GV PAN: From trees down to crowd of mourners preparing to leave
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Background: The ashes of Major General Christodoulos Tzigantes, a Greek hero of World War Two, have been buried in Athens. Major-General Tzigantes died in Britain in 1970 after he fled the 1967 military coup in Greece. But he had wished not to be buried in his homeland until democracy was restored. He was finally laid to rest after a funeral service of the Saint Lazar Cemetery Church on Thursday (15 September).
SYNOPSIS: For mourners it was a deeply moving occasion. Sad in that the burial was for a military hero of the second World War but in that sadness there was also a joy...Major-General Christodoulos had came home at last.
During the German occupation of Greece, Major-General Christodoulos formed a unit called the Sacred Battalion which served in the Allied campaigns against German and Italian troops in the Mediterranean.
The funeral was honoured by the presence of Defence Minister Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza.
Ironically, it was the army that forced the General for flee from greece after the military coup in 1967. Three years later he died in Britain but it was his wish before death that his ashes remain outside Greece until democracy had been restored.
His widow, Mrs Tzigantes.
His death was also honoured by Opposition leader, Mr. George Mavros.
Major-General Tzigantes now lies next to his brother, Ioannis, who was killed during the German occupation in 1942. In death as in life he will be remembered by many as a patriot of Greece, prepared to die in its defence.