David Arthur Searle

Arthur Searle Born: 27 April 1919
Married: Enid Alma Hall, 5 January 1946
Children: John David Searle, 19 September 1948
                Dawn Elizabeth Searle, 1 February 1950
Died: 9 January 2014, Sydney, Australia

World War II (Story taken from a letter written by Bill and Sheila Hall in 1996)
During the Second World War, Arthur was captured in Tobruk in North Africa, and then shipped to Italy. He managed to escape, and spent some time roaming around the Apennine mountains before being recaptured, sent to Lucca near Florence, and then bound for captivity deep in Germany. While he and other prisoners of war were being transported from Italy to Germany in a cattle truck, Arthur escaped again. He climbed out of the roof of the cattle truck and jumped out of the moving train near Trento, injuring his feet and arms. After climbing many fences and obstacles, he ended up in the garden of a professor of music who had been woken by his dog barking. Arthur was sheltered by the family and eventually transported secretly to a seminary in Trento where the nuns obtained medical help for him and nursed him back to health. The priests arranged for the professor's daughter, Alma, to buy Arthur a ticket to take a small tram high up into the mountains in an attempt to get him to Switzerland. In the village of Male, he was to locate two brothers who would provide a map and guidance for him to climb over the Alps into Switzerland. After some delay (he had to hide in the mountains while one brother recovered from an appendix operation), he was taken and shown a track, which he took, and with great perseverance and courage, he managed to climb over the mountains to freedom.

Copyright © 2008-2014, Rodney Jones, rtjones@global.co.za, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 10 January 2014)