“THE SERBS ON CORFU 1916-1918”
In the late 1915 France decides that allay troops should temporarily occupy Corfu for security reasons and that a sector of escaping Serbian army should settle in Corfu. From the 18th of January 1916 to the 21st of February 1916 from the Albanian port of Avlona 151.828 soldiers and citizens were transferred, with allay ships, to Corfu. Their first destination was the port of Gouvia, which is 6 kilometers from the town of Corfu. The leader of the Serbian army was the King of Serbia Peter Karageorgevic, with the error of the throne Prince Alexander, followed by the Prime Minister Pasic together with the members of the Serbian Government and the members of the Parliament, which all together stayed at the hotel “Bella Venezia”.
During the first period of the Serbian settling in the “Salvation Island”, as the Serbs named Corfu, the soldiers were really weak because of the bad conditions they were in before and due to the lack of proper care and structure they were dieing massively. Due to the medical needs, soon a hospital was created on the nearby island of Vidos, where today stands the memorial mausoleum, which was operative in 1936 where at its marble walls are enwalled cases with the bones remained from the soldiers. Next to the mausoleum there is also the first monument for the fallen fighters, placed by the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and it is a stone made cross. King Alexander Karageorgevic himself in 1922 did the unveiling of the monument