Theodore Bogdanovitch GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 01/04/1900 Stumitzo, Yugoslavia. d. 20/04/1956 Xeros, Cyprus.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 11/03/1939 Zemal, Jordan.

Theodore “Bog” Bogdanovitch (1900-1956) was born on 1st April 1900 in Strumitzo, Serbia. Little is known of his parentage and upbringing, but when Serbia was invaded at the outbreak of WWI, he enlisted in the Army at the age of 14. He was twice wounded in battle and was decorated for his gallantry by Serbia. “Bog” as he was nicknamed, was soon transferred to the British Forces as he had a good knowledge of English. He was placed in charge of the Serbian Guard outside the British HQ in Constantinople.

Theodore Bogdanovitch GC

Due to the fact his father had been killed in the war, and his mother had disappeared, there was little to keep him in Serbia, when the Serbian Guard was disbanded and he moved East. In 1924, he joined the Palestine Gendarmerie and as Trooper Bogdanovitch became part of the British Occupation of Palestine under Mandate. He was now fluent in four languages (Greek, Turkish, French and Arabic) as well as English. He joined the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force when the Palestine Gendarmerie was split and was commissioned as a Mulazim (Lieutenant).

On 11th March 1939, in Zemal, Jordan, he was in charge of mechanised troop dispatched to locate a reported band of armed raiders. He succeeded in finding them and pinned them down in a wadi until reinforcements arrived. He then, though under heavy fire, displayed outstanding leadership in advancing to the attack under cover of light machine gun fire. When his superior officer, Lieutenant Macadam, was killed, he took charge of the situation, and gallantly led his men into the wadi, inflicting heavy casualties on them and driving the remainder on to the reinforcing men.

Bog was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division on 30th June 1939, though only held the medal for just over a year, as it was exchanged for the newly-created George Cross. Bog went on to serve in the Second World War, and was made a naturalised British subject in 1944 and visited England just once, to watch the Coronation in 1953. He had retired from the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force in 1947 with the rank of Major and moved to Cyprus.

On 20th April 1956, Bog was assassinated at his home by terrorists of EOKA (National Organisation of Freedom Fighters), who were fighting for the cause of Archbishop Makarios and the Greek Prime Minister, Field Marshal Papagos, against the British involvement in Cyprus. EOKA began a campaign of sabotage and Bog’s murder was part of it. Bog was buried in the English Cemetery in Nicosia. His GC, Trans-Jordan Frontier Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, 1939-45 Star, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, General Service Medal with clasp “Palestine” and QEII Coronation Medal 1953 were presented to the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen by the executors of his will as he had no living relatives to bequeath them to. The Gordon Highlanders were the regiment he was working with closely at the time of his death.