MELBOURNE, Australia (PRWEB) July 12, 2016
W.E. Welbourne charts one man’s perilous and extraordinary sojourn to safety after an escape as a World War II prisoner of war in his new book “PILGRIMAGE to CRETE” (published by Xlibris AU). Candid and compelling, this retelling follows Arthur Dawson’s wartime exploits, the significant people and events of his time, and shares a history of cultural conflict, tragedy and triumph in Central Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean zone.
Author Welbourne’s uncle, Dawson, is a young Aussie “digger,” soldier, trained “sapper,” and army engineer, who becomes a POW in June 1941 following the Battle of Crete. He survives the war after his third and final escape from a German working camp in Czechoslovakia. Rachael Antoniadou and her Greek family members rescued Dawson after his first escape in northern Greece. Dawson kept in touch by correspondence with his Greek family after the war. Eventually he visits the village in 1991 following the 50th reunion trip made by Dawson and two of his army veteran mates of the 213rd Field Engineer Company. Following his death on April, 2000, Welbourne and his partner Avril Burley follow the veteran’s wartime footsteps. On March 14, 2014, they visit the Greek village of Pefkodassos and find that Antoniadou, a teenager at the time of Dawson’s escape, still survives with fond memories of his wartime rescue.
“The story is a true personal interest story set in the background of WW II and significant historic events,” says Welbourne. “Readers will enjoy the human interest story and hopefully will gain insight from the lessons of mankind's history. Human goodwill and peace makers are needed in order to overcome destructive greed and lust for power. We need to share and look after our planet.”
A snippet taken from “PILGRIMAGE to CRETE” recalls the events leading to Dawson’s first escape:
‘The Germans put me on a train heading for Germany. We were jam-packed together, herded like horses or cattle. The train was full of dysentery; just about everyone on board had it. Packed in as we were, with no toilets and no washing facilities, you can imagine how disgusting we were.
'The train chugs slowly north across the broad Macedonian plain and into the foothills on the Yugoslav border. At this point, Arthur finds an opportunity to escape. He explains: ‘Some blokes managed to open a hole in the floor…’
“PILGRIMAGE to CRETE”
By W.E. Welbourne
Hardcover | 8.5 x 11in | 252 pages | ISBN 9781514496060
Softcover | 8.5 x 11in | 252 pages | ISBN 9781514496046
E-Book | 252 pages | ISBN 9781514496053
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
About the Author
W.E. “Bill” Welbourne lives on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Teaching at schools in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, he played a key role to that country’s independence on September 1975. From 1976, he taught at Brisbane Boys’ College for many years. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queensland University. A keen athlete, he represented Papua New Guinea in two South Pacific Games. He was 400 meters hurdles champion of New South Wales in 1962 and World Masters Games Champion, Brisbane 1995. He is a consummate traveler, visiting all corners of his home country as well as every continent.
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