An escape from Crete, with blankets for sails

Accession Number ART92802
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 50 x 35 cm; image: 48.5 x 32.8 cm
Object type Print
Physical description linocut on paper; edition: 1/25
Maker Winters, Michael
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
Date made 2004
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


After the surrender, more than 600 soldiers were left behind on the island. Many of these men made their way back to Egypt in landing barges, fishing boats, or submarines.

An Australian soldier who found himself separated from the retreating British troops found an old, barely seaworthy boat on the coast. The boat had neither motor nor oars so he decided to make a sail out of blankets sewn together with bootlaces. During the long journey he had to bind his eyes, as they had become inflamed by exposure to the sun and the sea. Exhausted and parched with thirst, he finally washed up on the north coast of Africa.