Lummen, Johann Theodor (also known as Luemmen, John) (Lieutenant, b.1919 - d.2014)

Accession Number AWM2016.763.4
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Document
Maker Lummen, Johann Theodor
Place made Australia, Germany
Date made 1939-1979
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 19/37/1/5 Lieutenant Johann Theodor Lummen (also known as John Leummen), Luftwaffe Artillery, 1939-1945.

Collection consists of five medal certificates including the Derwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz (wounded medal in black), the Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Eastern Winter Campaign 1941-42), the Sturmabzeichen (General Assault Badge), and Eisern Kreuz 1 Klasse and 2 Klasse (Iron Cross class 1 and 2); one identity card issued by the Authority of the Allied Military Governor dated 16 August 1945; one certificate of discharge dated 20 July 1945; one wehrpass with details of Lt Luemmen's promotions, movements and particulars; and one investiture booklet from Government House, Perth, dated 19 September 1979 for the ceremony awarding Luemmen a British Empire Medal.

Johann Theodor Lummen was called up for German military service in 1940. He was part of Germany's ill-fated advance into Russia and found himself involved in the Siege of Leningrad. In 1944 he was sent to Italy and at the conclusion of the war escaped capture by the advancing Russian army by crossing the Ems river to surrender to the US army. During his internment he became sacristan and driver to the German army chaplain attending four American prisoner of war camps, and as an aspiring cleric he was among the first to be released.

Lummen was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on 9 July 1950 at Limburg. On 10 March 1951 he left for Australia to commence work as a German missionary. Known as John Luemmen in Australia, he worked at Tardun in Western Australia, caring for Aboriginal boys as the boarding school and farm. In December 1955 he took charge of the new Pallottine training centre at Rossmoyne which accommodated Aboriginal boys as they attended secondary schools and learned trades as apprentices and trainees. He was passionate about Aboriginal education. On 16 June 1979, Father Luemmen was awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) from Queen Elizabeth II for 'service to Aboriginal and migrant welfare'. He died in 2014.