It's said all's fair in love and war


Police looking for German Internee escapee

On 22nd November 1941 at 1 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon in the sleepy town of Monarto a young woman looked out of her window and noticed a man without a hat, dressed in shorts walking passed her home.

As she did not know the man she became suspicious and rang the police.

She suspected he was the escaped German internee that she had heard about.

Not waiting for them to come she got into the family car, grabbed an old revolver that her father had given her, and followed him at a good distance and saw him stop by the roadside.

When Sgt Eddington and Constable Steer from Murray Bridge met her they found the man asleep by the side of the road.

They had to shake him awake, but he didn't attempt to get away and looked so tired and very sunburnt.

"He had such a nice smile and looked a very decent fellow" the young woman said.

He was the 27 year old Hermann Hans Joachim Schwarz.

He said that as the train was only travelling at 20 miles per hour he had leapt from the train near Tailem Bend about midnight on Wednesday.

He had walked more than 50 miles over the last few days.

He had some parcels of food with him, including a German sausage which he had bought in Murray Bridge.

The butcher said he had tendered a Bank of England ten shilling note at the butcher's shop.

For water he had called into a little cottage and had offered to pay for it.

He told police that he was making for Port Adelaide where he hoped to get work in an American ship. He said he was a sailor and would follow the stars to find Pt Adelaide.

He was handed over to the military authorities.

The young woman was noted for her bravery and laughed when told many young city women of her age would have been afraid and locked themselves in their houses.

She said she "felt sorry to be the cause of ending his freedom, but I suppose all's fair in love and war."

Information taken from The Mail, 22 November 1941, pg 2 and The News, 24 November 1941, pg 8

Murray Bridge & District Historical Society Inc.

"A Community Saving our Past"