Cheryl Pearce - A multi-national contribution

Running time
2 min 4 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We had three key contingents, which were from South America. We had Argentinian, Chilean, Brazilian, and Paraguay was a contingent. They had a coalition of nations for that. And the UK, and then Slovakia was my other key contributing nation. So very diverse in their thinking, culture, and background. And then on top of that, we had quite a strong Eastern European presence. I had Russians, Hungarians, Serbians, Ukraine. I had a number of nations. Then we had a couple from Africa. And so that was a military…And then the policing contingent, CIVPOL also had... They then, on top of that, had China, Poland. So it was a very much multinational contribution.

For a small force, I had just over 800, but the whole mission was only just over 1,000. And that was from the earlier... When the mission first commenced in 1964 there was over 6,000 troops alone, right across the island. And by the time I took up my position from 1974, we were contained into a buffer zone, which was 180 kilometres from west to east.

Ranging from four metres in some parts in downtown Nicosia, out to seven kilometres near the airport, which was heavily militarized both north and south by Turkish forces, and the Cypriot National Guard, all conscripts. Thousands along the northern and southern cease fire line, which we then went from 6,000 down to just over 800, patrolling inside the buffer zone. So a big change, but with the same mandate, to prevent a recurrence of fighting for my part.

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