Jack Calder - Captured at Alamein

Running time
2 min 49 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We then went back down to Alamein, which was rather funny. Our orders were no slouch hats, and if you want to talk Australian, try and talk like a pom. But they forgot that we all had tan boots. And of course, everybody knew who we were because of our tan boots. Anyway, we got down to Alamein, had a few skirmishes there. And they decided to try and straighten out the line. We went in one morning around about 4:00AM and unfortunately the company that I was with proceeded a thousand yards more than what they should have. When daylight broke, we were completely surrounded by Germans. We had no hope. All we had was a rifle. All our other arms were back a thousand yards away which...

And we've got German tanks and everything in between us. So unfortunately the company commander had to surrender rather than have his whole company killed there and then. We went back to a place near Marsa Matruh, where I was personally interviewed by the German intelligence and they wanted to know this, and they wanted to know that. I said, "Well, I'm sorry, sir. But my requirement is just to give you my number, my rank and my name." He patted me on the shoulder. He said, "Thank you Sergeant for being a good soldier, but I have one little problem. You and all your men will have to be handed over to the Italians. It is their territory and they will now become responsible for you."

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.