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This is a certificate of Giannis Mavroudis, son of Stylianos and Panagiota. It was issued by the military command of the Army Corps of the National Defence Corps, on March 23 of 1918, at Thessaloniki. It certifies that Mavroudis Grigorios, of Stylianos and Panagiota, an Orthodox by religion and a labour worker by profession, originating from the village of Phokes in Asia Minor, residing as a refugee, who was born in the year 1872 and who has proved that he is currently not subjected to military service on the grounds of belonging to the class of 1898 not completed in years. With certificate number 24184. This was my grandfather, my father’s father.

Anna and Spyros explain that their grandfather arrived in Greece between 1914 – 1915, as a refugee, during the first persecution.

About 150,000 people arrived in Thessaloniki and many of them enrolled in the National Defence. The National Defence was a military body that was organised by and in support of Eleftherios Venizelos, who, in 1917, had a falling out with king Konstantinos I, because Venizelos wanted Greece to join the Entente, that is, the side of France, Russia and the United Kingdom, while Konstantinos wanted to remain neutral, in favour of Germany, as he was married to the Kaiser’s sister. Thus, a schism occurred, Venizelos went to Thessaloniki, created the National Defence and the state of Thessaloniki, as well as a military branch.

They continue by saying that their grandfather arrived at Thessaloniki with his wife, their grandmother, who was pregnant at the time and had a miscarriage right after the journey.

They returned from Asia Minor, only to forcibly leave again in 1922, during the persecution. They lived at Papafio orphanage. During the second persecution, they went to Mytilini, and then to Volos. Then, they, along with the remaining villagers, reached some kind of agreement with some committee and chose New Phokaia at Chalkidiki, as it resembled their homeland’s Phokaia. Our father was born in Asia Minor, his two siblings were born in New Phokaia.

They explain that the document reached them from hand to hand and that when their grandfather died, they found it among his papers. They laminated it so that it’s preserved.


Creator of object:
National Defence Military Body
Place / Country of creation:
Greece (Thessaloniki)
Year / Era of creation:
Anna Migadi – Mavroudi & Spyros Mavroudis
Type / Description of object:
Military service document
Object route:
Thessaloniki – Mikra Asia (Phokaia) – Mytilini – Volos – Chalkidiki (New Phokaia) – Athens (Tavros)
Year / Era of movement:
1910s – 1920s
Reason of movement:
Minor Asia Catastrophe
License of digital image:


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