Athens born, Nicholas Rodakis arrived in Australia in 1902. He was working as an engine driver based in Warrnambool when he enlisted in February 1916. He served with distinction with the 4th Machine Gun Battalion on the Western Front.
Rodakis was awarded the Military Medal for his actions near Zonnebeke on 26 September, 1917.
… our parapet was being swept by enemy snipers and machine guns in addition to artillery barrage, he mounted his gun in a very exposed position in order to obtain the best field of fire and although his tripod was hit several times by snipers bullets and his tunic ripped, he fearlessly stood to his post and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. The work done by this N.C.O. was of considerable value in repulsing a determined counter attack by the enemy
Commonwealth Gazette No. 31, 7 March 1918..
Promoted Sergeant, in 1918 Rodakis was, with many of his battalion, attached to the 105th United States Infantry, 27th Division. He ‘exhibited great bravery and dash in leading them into effective combat, inspiring all by his courage and fearlessness’, including saving the life of a wounded US soldier under fire, and was awarded the United States Distinguished Service Cross (Army). Rodakis returned to Australia in 1919 and died in 1961 aged 83.
Reproduced courtesy of Australian War Memorial
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