Tonkin, Rolstyn Nicholas (Sergeant, b.1913 - d.1988)

Accession Number PR03241
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter, Document
Maker Tonkin, Rolstyn Nicholas
Place made Australia, Germany
Date made 1942-1945; 1985-1986
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of VX37081 Sergeant Rolstyn Nicholas Tonkin, Germany, 1942-1945. Sergeant Tonkin became a prisoner of war following the capitulation of Allied Forces on Crete in May 1941 and was taken to Stalag XIIIC at Hammelburg in North Bavaria. He arrived there in August and worked in the Administration Office keeping records on the POWs and providing information to the Red Cross in Geneva. Tonkin was recruited by a British Army Chaplain, Captain John King, to become part of an intelligence cell formed within the camp and communicate relevant information in code, to the Military Intelligence War Office in London.

The collection consists of two letters written in 1985 and 1985 from Rolstyn Tonkin to his nephew Ian, regarding his attempts to clarify the recognition of his activities while in a prisoner of war at Stalag XIIIC. Along with the letters is a very detailed typed account of those activities; a transcription of a letter sent from UK Special Operations / Intelligence containing instructions for the Stalag XIIIC intelligence cell, including a explanation of the decryption process; a transcript of a letter written by Tonkin to the British High Commission in 1986, describing his activities in the camp and questioning his recognition for them; plus a response to that letter from the Ministry of Defence, providing the citation for the awarding of his MID [Mentioned in Despatches].

After Stalag XIIIC was liberated in April 1945, Tonkin found his way to England and returned to Australia in May. He was discharged from the Australian Army in July.