Bob Egby is a author, novelist, editor, award winning broadcaster and news photographer.
In his early career he worked as a freelance news photographer and journalist covering major stories in the Middle East from Cyprus, where he was based. London, Fleet Street photo agency -- Central Press Photos Ltd, Gough Square, London, EC4, handled distribution of his photographs. In the 1970s the Agency was sold, and Bob Egby's negatives, totalling several thousand disappeared. Some of his famous pictures appear below.
The scene is terrorism in the British Colony Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. The year 1956. Drosoulla Demetriadou sits beside the body of her fiance, Bonici Mompalda. He had been gunned down by an EOKA gunman. The picture ran on the front page of every Fleet Street newspaper except The Times. Egby received an Honourable Mention in The British Press Pictures of the Year 1956. Now, he's looking for the negative. See the next photo...
The award-winning photograph above of Drosoulla and Bonici had another story behind it. The 28-year old man found guilty of the murder, and indeed, after the independence of Cyprus, confessed to the execution in his own newspaper, was journalist and later, short-term President of Cyprus Nicos Sampson, seen here (second from the right) in another of Egby’s photograph, which was published several times in British dailies. Charles Allen in his book “The Savage Wars of Peace” attributes Egby’s award-winning photograph to Sampson. Allen wrote: “The infamous terrorist Nicos Sampson was a photographer whose shot of a girl kneeling by the side of her dead fiance went round the world as one of the most brilliant Press pictures of all time.” Nice line, but to the wrong person.
Three British policemen serving in Cyprus in 1956. They were patrolling Ledra Street, when an EOKA gunman, shot them down. One man is dead, another dying, and Sergeant Webb, with bullets in his neck, stands helplessly watching the fleeing gunman. It happened outside the Cyprus Mail building. Veteran Editor, Victor Bodker is walking towards the camera at right.
EOKA's second-in-command, Gregoris Afxentiou was killed during a ten-hour gun battle with British Security Forces in the rain-swept Troodos Mountains in early March 1957. One of Afxentiou's group who survived the battle, and remained with the EOKA leader until the end, was Efstathiou seen surrending here. Efstathiou suffered burns to his face and back.
MURDER BID ON BANK HOLIDAY. That was the front page headline in London's Daily Mirror in May 1956. The caption read: "In one of the most dramatic pictures received from Cyprus, a British soldier supports a comrade who has been wounded by a bomb. The bomb was thrown from a Nicosia rooftop." At rear, a Greek Cypriot shopkeeper - also a victim of the bombing - sits in the doorway holding his injured leg while his wife screams for help.
Egby spent 13 years freelancing in the Middle East, working for United Press International, Central Press Photos of London, the Daily Mail, the Financial Times (UK) and the Cyprus Mail. He was an accredited British War Correspondent at the Suez Invasion.
Egby has a set of many of his photographs, as issued by Central Press Photos Ltd., but he would like to get new copies and / or repossession of the negatives. If anyone can provide leads on this, he would be very grateful. He can be contacted at the address, phones and email address below. Thanks.
SPECIAL NOTE: Robert's autobiography "Kings, Killers and Kinks in the Cosmos" which has a large section devoted to Cyprus and the Middle East is available at "Kings, Killers and Kinks.." either as a book or on Kindle.
-- Robert D. Egby --26941 Three Mile Point Road
Chaumont, NY 13622
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