Commemoration of 103 – Years anniversary from the commencement of Belgrade defense during the WWI

103-Years anniversary form the commencement of Belgrade defense during the WWI was commemorated at the New Cemetery in Belgrade on October 7, 2018. This significant date was commemorated by laying flowers and wreaths at the Serbian Ossuary of Belgrade Defenders (1914-1918) and final resting place of the Colonel Dragutin Gavrilović at the New Cemetery of Belgrade. The flowers and wreaths were laid by the Assistant Mayor of Belgrade Andreja Mladenović, in addition to members of the associations fostering the traditions of Serbian Liberation Wars from 1912-1920.

During the battle for Belgrade on October 6 and 7, 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Forces were attacking from the Danube side and subsequently landed on the section of the shore protected by the 2nd Battalion of the 10th Infantry Regiment, under the command of Major Dragutin Gavrilović. Disregarding the fact that the actions of the Austro-Hungarian artillery converted the Serbian positions into the pile of ruins, the defenders kept resisting. Distance between the Serbian and enemy lines was less than 30 meters at some locations. Around 2:30 PM, on October 7, 1915, Major Gavrilović gathered three platoons under his command, two platoons from the 3rd Battalion in addition to the Srem Squad and gave the famous speech that may be found in the history text books and encyclopedias:

“Soldiers, at three o’clock exactly, the enemy is to be crushed by your fierce charge, destroyed by your grenades and bayonets. The honor of Belgrade, our capital, must not be stained. Soldiers! Heroes! The Supreme Command has erased our regiment from its records. Our regiment has been sacrificed for the honor of Belgrade and the Fatherland. Therefore, you do not need to worry about your lives: they no longer exist. So, forward to the glory! For the King and the Fatherland! Long live the King, Long live Belgrade! ….”

Colonel Dragutin Garvilović died in poverty in his flat on Slavia Square in Belgrade on July 19, 1945. He was buried in an old uniform of the Yugoslav Royal Army Colonel and laid to rest in the crypt of his cousin at the New Cemetery at the burial plot no. 11.

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