Life on the quarantine area of Vido Island, a refuge for Serbians after the Great Retreat
Vido Island, near Corfu, was a haven for those involved in Serbia’s Great Retreat, a mass escape of king and civilians. It functioned as a quarantine area. Because the rock composition of the island made it hard to dig graves, those who died on the journey were buried at sea. It’s assumed several thousands were buried this way. This photo, by Miloje Igrutinovic, depicts everyday life on Vido Island in 1916. The sea around it is called the Blue Tomb by Serbian people.
The retreat of the Serbian army and civilians through Montenegro and Albania represents part of the great tragedy of Serbia in World War One. Corfu was the place the army intended to recuperate and regroup before departing for the front at Salonika. During this retreat and after arriving on Corfu, many died of hunger and disease, as well as wounds received during the retreat through particularly inhospitable conditions.
- Article by:
- Peter Gatrell
Professor Peter Gatrell examines the upheaval and struggles faced by millions of European civilians who were made refugees – either by enemy occupation or by the state’s forcible deportation – during World War One.