December 5, 1923: Macedonian war hero Ioannis Ramnalis is murdered

Kapetan Ioannis Ramnalis

From Kilkis and born as Ioannis Villioglou (1885 – December 5, 1923), Ioannis Ramnalis, was a Macedonian Fighter during the Macedonian Struggle (1904-08) and in the Balkan Wars (1912-13).

Tragedy would strike early, as at 17 his parents were murdered by Bulgarian komitatzi terrorists.

In 1904 while out of town, he returned to discover that his family’s house had also been “rented” to Bulgarians and turned into a classroom for the teaching of the Bulgarian language.

Villioglou killed the culprit and fled to Thessaloniki, where he found refuge at the consulate and demanded he be admitted to join the fighting in Macedonia.

In 1905 under the pseudonym Kapetan Ioannis Ramnalis, he was posted to his home area of Kilkis and participated in various operations, first under instruction of superiors and later as a leader of his own band.

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He became a wanted man and was the subject of assassination attempts by Bulgarians and Turks.

After the outbreak of the Young Turk revolution of 1908 and the general amnesty, Villioglou went to Athens to complete his studies and enrolled in the Military Academy in 1912.

But shortly after enrolling, fighting broke out once more in Macedonia and he returned to fight.

After the liberation of Macedonia in 1913, the Greek state gave Captain Ramnalis a plot of land and he started a family.

He made a success of the land he was given and became wealthy as a result.

On December 5, 1923, he was confronted by bandits on his land and was killed.

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