Leacy, John Kavanagh (Private, b.1912 - d.1991)

Accession Number AWM2017.536.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Document
Maker Leacy, John Kavanagh
Place made Germany
Date made 1941-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition, Copying permitted subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of NX7764 Private John Kavanagh Leacy, 2/1 Australian Infantry Battalion, Germany, 1941-1945.

Collection consists of 4 documents.
- 1 x Certified translation of a ‘Decree of Accusation’ relating to the ‘Court-Martial of the 413th Division – Section Würzburg’ dated 31 August 1944. The document describes five Australian soldiers (including Leacy) who were interned at Stalag XIIIc in Hammelburg, escaping on a regular basis to meet German women throughout the period of December 1943 and Whitsun 1944 (29 May). This document names the five accused Australian soldiers, their five German love interests (all refugees from the Rhineland and wives of German soldiers), and the activities they were accused of undertaking.
- 1 x POW lettercard (with large section missing), from Leacy to his family, postmarked 25 August 1941, but written between late May and late August that year. The lettercard asks his family to send him lots of chocolate – a method of currency that is noted in the above ‘Decree of Accusation’.
- 1 x 5-page account in German describing the visit to Buchenwald concentration camp by residents of the nearby city of Weimar. This document was likely collected by Leacy, who was fluent in German, during his time on leave after his liberation by American soldiers on 6 April 1945. The document describes the volunteering of residents to visit the camp, as initiated by American soldiers. It discusses the way that soldiers directed residents around the camp, when they were filmed, a first-hand description of Ilsa Koch’s preservation of human remains, the layout of the camp, and testimonies given to the residents from political prisoners explaining their internment.
- 1 x 7 page typed translation of the document above. This copy was likely produced around 1970 or later.