STALAG 18A - WOLFSBERG AUSTRIA
ENJOYING THE FUHRER'S HOSPITALITY
1941 - A WORK CAMP AT LEISACH ABOVE THE DRAU
RIVER IN THE DOLOMITES, 100 MILES WEST OF WOLFSBERG.
The back row - far left - Laurie Stodart (2/2 Army
Fd Workshops). Alongside Laurie is Douglas Wilson Bulmer
(Pvt HQ 6th Div AASC). Next is Private William (Billy)
Ottaway of Brunswick - Two to Ottaway's left is Allan
Goyen (L/Cpl HQ 17 inf Bde). Two to his left is Henry Lacey, the oldest man in the camp. Third from the far right
is Stan Tyquin - nephew of Brigadier General Savige.
My grandfather Teddy Dorian is kneeling in the second row alongside
the bloke with the pipe. His Brunswick mate, Peggy Parlon is at his right shoulder.
RE STAN TYQUIN - PHOTO ABOVE:
An older friend was listening to you speak on 3AK about Stalag
18, heard you mentioned Stan Tyquin, and told me. Stan Tyquin
was my father, although he changed his name to Savige after
the war. I've just checked your website. It's interesting as
I know very little about that time of his life.
Dad rarely spoke about his time in the army or as a POW although
I believe it deeply affected him, deeper than he realised. He
may have spoken to his RSL buddies and friends who had similar
experiences. He went to the RSL in Flinders Lane so there may
be members there who were in Stalag 18A.
The few things I remember are: they were captured around Kalamata,
some Greeks were marvellous and sneaked them food - bread, olives
- as they were forced marched through parts of Greece, they
had to work in the fields during the day and also in munitions
factories and were bombed by the Allies. It effected his health
physically (he died of a heart attack aged 61 in 1980) and I
believe mentally but he was a stoic and just got on with work
and life and what was expected of him. He and my mother went
to Greece and to Austria/Germany and visited some of the places
in the 1970s ('74?). He was very reluctant to go in the beginning
but enjoyed his holiday and seeing some of the old places in
different circumstances and after all that time.
Stan Tyquin's parents were James and Hilda Tyquin. Lillian
was Brig. Stan Savige's wife. Dad was raised and educated by
Stan and Lillian as his mother died when he was 7 and he and
his brother and sisters were all raised by various family members
to help his father.........
In 1996 Billy Ottaway told me how Parlon and Dorian escaped several
times from the work camps. After the original escape he didn't see
them until the end of the war. Although Parlon and Dorian said little
about their POW days a story emerged that they had been buried up
to their neck in sand once recaptured. The stories from Ottaway
and from others who heard them after the war suggest that Parlon
was important - cutting their hair and maintaining morale - to the
well being of other POWs.
Yet Parlon, like Dorian, never recovered from his days as a POW.
The Brunswick tough man with a reputation for nastiness in a fight
was killed by a train near the Brunswick baths on 12 May 1957. His
mother Catherine had died on May 9. According to the local grapevine,
Parlon so loved his mother he'd stepped in front of the train rather
than attend her funeral at St Ambrose's church that morning.
At the Inquest - held on 22 July - it was found that Peggy Parlon
had died an accidental death. He was a mere 46 years of age. Dorian
died of asphyxiation, aged 49 years, in Heller Street, Brunswick
in 1964. Both men were devastated alcoholics. Whereas Dorian, at
the behest of his wife, submitted himeslf to the probing of unsympathetic
Doctors, Parlon never bothered.
Ottaway held out much better, and despite a stroke, is still with
us. In his words the Germans 'were good people who let us do anything
we wanted' and the camp at Leisach was 'pretty good. A Sunday stroll
up the mountain, fifty cigarettes a week, and home brew were just
some of the pleasures.
Dorian's letter home.
Michael 'Peggy' Parlon is on the left. To the best
of my knowledge, next is Arthur Ryan from a rice growing
family from Leeton NSW. Then comes Ern Stevenson? from Bendigo
and Allan Goyen. Ottaway is second from the right behind
Dorian. According to Ottaway, all the men in this photo were
Ottaway had been cared for by a Greek doctor while on the run.
Often he'd lie out in the Autumn sun as the Germans walked past.
Worried about what might happen to the Greek family, and tiring
of the masquerade, after two weeks he decided to put his unifom
back on and walk to the guard house. Given the Germans had dropped
leaflets saying they'd shoot all volunteers he had reason to be
L Stodart, D W Bulmer, Billy Ottaway, Pom, A Goyen and a Yorkshire
THE SHOOTING OF ERIC BLACK
On 15 April 1944, 24-year-old Private Eric Black (NX 2593) was
shot dead by a German guard at Stalag 18A.
In July 1944, Mr F. M. Forde, Minister for the Army, wrote to Mr
A. Richardson the MLA for Sydney, regarding a letter from Black's
father, Mr Irvin T. Black of 12 Queen Street, Ashfield, about his
In July, 1946, it was reported that a guard by the name of Leople
(sic) Bruckner, was responsible for the killing and was listed as
a prisoner of war in Croatia.
Padre Ledgerwood was said in correspondence,' to have full particulars
of the shooting'. As to whether Bruckner made it to trial, I'm not
|Laurie Stodart - 3rd from right - in Stalag 18A. Photo kindly
provided by his widow, Wilma. They were married in Edinburgh
in 1945 after Laurie's release from the camp.
|Place unknown, from Laurie's possessions. If you know the
location, please email me.
Please contact me if you know anything about STALAG