Captured on Crete and Escaped Camp

This story was originally published in the Victorian RSL Newsletter and is now being published here posthumously.

Les Balsarini, or Gooza to family and friends, joined the Australian Army in March 1940 along with his brother, Skeeter. At the time he was a young man of 21.

During his time in the Army, he was posted to the Middle East. It was here that he was captured by the Germans and became a prisoner of war. After a total of five years and eight months as an Australian soldier and prisoner of war, he returned to Australia.

Prisoner of War

My brother Gooza (Leslie) and I joined the army in 1940. At first we camped in the horse stalls at Caulfield Racecourse, then were shifted to Mount Martha, where we camped in tents, and later we shifted to a new camp called Darley, outside of Bacchus Marsh. There were many other service men for our town, seven of whom didn't come home. Some women enrolled in the Ladies section too.