Cypriot Emigration, 1820s to 1930s: Economic Motivations within Local and Global Migration Patterns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


On 13 December 1951, the Corsica left Limassol with 761 Cypriot migrants
for Australia, including my father, Varnavas Michael Varnava.1 Arriving at
Fremantle and Melbourne in early 1952, the trip was described by a woman
passenger as a ‘hell trip on a floating slum’, because of the horrendous
conditions on- board.2 This was the first and only ship to leave Cyprus with
so many migrants, at least in the modern era, and contributed to the 2,509
Cypriots who left for Australia in 1951.3 The first mass Cypriot emigration
started after the Second World War. A detailed study of this period and of the
Corsica goes beyond the scope of this chapter, yet that period cannot be understood
without first understanding the preceding emigratory periods. This is the aim of this chapter. Between 1820 and 1911, Cypriot emigration was limited; it became significant from 1912, despite restrictions. The context with the post- Second World War might be different, but there were similarities with the conditions propelling the emigration, namely socioeconomic. To understand the significant emigration and interest to emigrate after 1912, it is important to understand the earlier period, first under the Ottomans (from 1820s to 1878) and particularly under the British (1878– 1911), when the conditions for the significant emigration that followed were laid. This chapter is the first attempt to explore Cypriot emigration before mass Cypriot emigration began after the Second World War, peaking with the departure of the Corsica.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging Boundaries in British Migration History
Subtitle of host publicationIn Memoriam Eric Richards
EditorsMarie Ruiz
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAnthem Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781785275197
ISBN (Print) 9781785275173, 1785275178
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Publication series

NameAnthem Studies in British History


  • Cypriot Emigration
  • 1820s-1930s
  • Migration Patterns


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