January marks 122 years from the birth of Catalina Teodoroiu, a Romanian woman who has fought and died in World War I and is viewed as a heroine of Romania.
Ecaterina Teodoroiu was born on 16th of January 1894, in Vadeni village which is now a neighbourhood of Targu-Jiu. She was part of a poor family of eight children.
She first participated in the military life in 1913 when she signed herself in the Romanian scouts team “Pastorul Bucur” in Bucharest. After Romania entered the war she volunteered in the Targu Jiu hospital where she was taking care of patients, including her older brother Nicolae. After he brother died, Ecaterina decided to fight in the war and even though she was rejected many times, she finally managed to become a front line soldier.
On October 14 she participated in the fight against the Bavarian soldiers at the bridge over the Jiu River. The Royal Family was impressed with her and she was invited to Bucharest in October 23.
She was later captured during fighting in Rasina-Pesteana Tunsi heights in November 1916 but managed to escape by killing a German soldier.
On September 1917 while the Romanian lines were attacked by Germans, Teodoroiu was hit by a machine gun fire and died. It is said that her last words before dying were “Forward men, don’t give up, I’m still with you”
For her bravery she was awarded the Military Virtue Medal, the Scout Virtue Medal and was made an honorary Second Lieutenant by King Ferdinand.