Portrait of Private (Pte) Lawrence Phillip Saywell, 17th Brigade Company, Australian Army Service ...

Unit 17 Company Australian Army Service Corps
Accession Number P02551.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white, Portrait
Physical description Black & white, Portrait
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany: Moosburg
Date made c 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Portrait of Private (Pte) Lawrence Phillip Saywell, 17th Brigade Company, Australian Army Service Corps. Pte Saywell was reported missing on 5 June 1941 after the evacuation of Crete, and confirmed as a prisoner of war (POW) in Stalag VII a (in Moosburg, Germany) on 24 October 1941. He was subsequently transferred to Stalag VII b (Memmingen, Germany). In January 1943 he was transferred to Kommando E7010, a prison camp in Bohemia, from which he escaped with three other POWs during a route march. They were sheltered by local villagers and in return offered to assist the Czech partisans in their sabotage operations. Pte Saywell was murdered, shot in the head by a German SS Patrol on 8 May 1945 (VE Day); he was the last Australian killed in Europe during the Second World War. He was the son of Mrs Gertrude Saywell of Double Bay, NSW, and is buried in the Evangelical Cemetery in Miretin, Czechoslovakia. Five months after his death, a memorial was erected in his honour by the 'grateful inhabitants of the village of Miretin'. In November 1945, the President of the Czechoslovak Republic awarded Pte Saywell the Czechoslovak Military Cross for his 'brave and eminent services to our State in the battle for liberation'.