Charlie Christodoulou

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Charles 'Charlie' Christodoulou (born c.1951 – killed 14 February 1976) was a British soldier in the Parachute Regiment who later served as a foreign mercenary during the Angolan War of Independence of the 1970s. Known as 'Shotgun Charlie' as he was seldom without one in his hands in Angola, he was involved in the murder of 167 civilians during that conflict.

British people citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their descendants

The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.

Parachute Regiment (United Kingdom) formation of the British Army

The Parachute Regiment, colloquially known as the Paras, is an elite airborne infantry regiment of the British Army. The regiment is one of the most elite units in the world. The first battalion is permanently under the command of the Director Special Forces in the Special Forces Support Group. The other battalions are the parachute infantry component of the British Army's rapid response formation, 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Paras are the only line infantry regiment of the British Army that has not been amalgamated with another unit since the end of the Second World War.

Mercenary soldier who fights for hire

A mercenary is an individual who is hired to take part in a conflict but is not part of an army or other-governmental organisation. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was often the case among Italian condottieri.

Christodoulou was born in Birmingham in the United Kingdom of Greek Cypriot parents and was believed to be a cousin of Costas Georgiou, known later as 'Colonel Callan', the leader of the British mercenaries in Angola. The two served together in the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in the British Army and toured in Northern Ireland. Christodoulou was honourably discharged from the Army with the rank of Corporal, [1] [2] where he was referred to as "Charlie Caldwell" or "Charlie Kebab" and in Angola as "Shotgun Charlie", because he was never seen without a Spanish-made shotgun, which became his weapon of choice. [1] [3] [4] In 1976 Christodoulou was recruited in the Aldershot area by Nick Hall as a mercenary for the Angola War along with Georgiou and Michael Wainwright. [5]

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. With an estimated population of 1,137,100 as of 2017, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Costas Georgiou British mercenary

Costas Georgiou was an ethnic Greek Cypriot, British mercenary executed in Angola following the Luanda Trial for activities during the civil war phase of the Angolan War of Independence.

Described as a "withdrawn and easily led character", Christodoulou fought with the rank of Captain [2] [6] in Angola in 1976 for the FNLA. A ruthless and sadistic man disliked by all except Georgiou, his best friend, Christodoulou was one of the first four British mercenaries to arrive in Angola, along with his close friends Costas Georgiou, Nick Hall and Michael Wainwright. He was a cold-blooded killer and was involved in the murder of 167 pro FNLA civilians. [1] [3]

National Liberation Front of Angola political party

The National Front for the Liberation of Angola is a political party and former militant organisation that fought for Angolan independence from Portugal in the war of independence, under the leadership of Holden Roberto.

Christodoulou was killed with 5 other mercenaries in February 1976 in an ambush in Angola. [7] [8] His General Service Medal with bar for Northern Ireland is in a private collection.

General Service Medal (1962) campaign medal introduced in 1962

The General Service Medal, is a campaign medal of the United Kingdom introduced in 1962 to combine the General Service Medal (1918), as awarded to the Army and RAF, and the Naval General Service Medal (1915). The 1962 GSM was awarded until 2007, when it was replaced by the Operational Service Medal. In 2015 the General Service Medal (2008) was introduced.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

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