Red Cross

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.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Weather satellites circling high above Earth,
Gave meteorologists an early warning alert,
An enormous amount of swirling cloud,
Covered the ocean like a grand final crowd.

A super storm, cyclone or whatever it's called
Showed symptoms of ferocity that left us appalled
By the thoughts of destruction that soon would arrive,
And left many wondering if they'd be dead or alive.

He may have been stranger from the other side of the world, but when Joseph Jenkins died alone and in agony in the Spring of 1917, the Deputy Mayor of a small town in northern France rallied local residents to his graveside.

Private Jenkins died of an untreated illness as a prisoner of war in a German military hospital in Maubeuge on June 18, 1917. The town had been under German occupation since its capture in September 1914.

Life, War, Travel

The Perris Family came from Oakleigh to the Mallee. After a short time at Nullawil and Culgoa, they moved to Ultima in 1925, and settled on a farm east of Ultima, off the Swan Hill and Lake Boga Roads. In 1932 Perc Perris and his Dad opened a Butchery Business in Ultima, which this family had for 24 years. The eldest son, Frank, did not come to the Mallee, as he was employed in the E. S. & A Bank (now A.N.Z.) in Melbourne.