Schmitt, William Hurtle (Private)

Place Asia: Singapore, Changi
Accession Number PR03425
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Documents
Maker Francis, Dick
Haniford, William John
Place made Singapore: Changi
Date made 1942-1944
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the service of SX9929 Private (Pte) William Schmitt, 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion. The collection includes a document titled 'Execution of 4 POW by Japanese', originally written by Sergeant Dick Francis of 8 Division Intelligence after witnessing the execution of Australian soldiers: Privates Rodney Edward Breavington (1904-1942) and Victor Lawrence Gale (1919-1942), and two English soldiers, near Changi prison camp on 2 September 1942. Pte Schmitt made this pencil copy form the original document in early 1943. Also includes a original letter written by Private (Pte) SX9611 William John (Bill) Haniford to Pte Schmitt. The letter was reportedly smuggled from River Valley Road Camp, where Pte Haniford was held after working on the Burma Thai Railway, to Changi Prison where Pte Schmitt was a prisoner of war. The letter is dated 'Nov 13' and Bill Schmitt believed it to have been written in 1944. Pte Haniford returned to Australia after the war, and died in South Australia on 3 October 1946.