Lloyd Haig Moule was born in Deepwater, NSW in 1918.2 In 1940 he joined the army and was transferred to the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment to fight in the Middle East. On 8 April 1941 he was captured just west of Tobruk and was interned in the POW Camp No 57 Grupignano, Italy.3
Escapes from this camp had been attempted but were unsuccessful. Lloyd and his friend Ted McCarthy saw their chance when they volunteered to work as farmers in the camp. With the help of a young Italian girl they escaped to a village where they met two partisan officers. In Lloyd’s own words the escape “was nothing dramatic”.4
They took up arms with a partisan force in the Piedmont area waiting for British airdrops of supplies which did not arrive. Finally, in desperation seven POWs without maps or compasses crossed the Alps into Switzerland with directions from the partisans. They were to walk six hours in the thawing snow until they saw a huge cross and then take the path to the right. They found the cross but there was a young boy there who warned them to go left. Thinking it was a trap Lloyd walked with the boy for two kms before the others decided it was safe. The boy disappeared and the POWs learned the next day that Germans had raided the other village killing its citizens. Lloyd always maintained the boy had been an angel. The POWs were interned in a Swiss army camp until 1944.5
After the war Lloyd married Margaret Holstein,6 had a family and became an insurance agent at Wingham.7 He moved to Old Bar where he became a Trustee of the Old Bar Reserve8 and in 1961 the first Government subdivision of Old Bar was made available by auction.9 Lloyd and Margaret built the first house on this subdivision in Tirriki Street.10 Lloyd died on Remembrance Day in 2016 aged 97 years.11
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Australian War Memorial, PO2287.0001, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C305617
2 NSW BDM, Birth Index for Lloyd H Moule No. 3391/1918.
3 NAA: B883, NX40603, MOULE Lloyd Haig.
4 Lloyd Moule, Australians at War Film Archive UNSW, Canberra, viewed 22 September 2020 http://australiansatwarfilmarchive.unsw.edu.au/archive/1285-lloyd-moule
6 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for Lloyd Haig Moule and Mary Margaret Holstein, No. 10102/1948.
7 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 3 August 1951, 2.
8 NSW State Archives & Records, Licence renewal for Recreation Hall, Old Bar, 1966.
9 The land in this subdivision was bounded by Old Bar Road, David, Ungala and Smith Streets and took in Tirriki and Kolang Streets.
10 Aileen M Butt, Golden Sands and Green Grass of Old Bar, 1988, p.15.
11 Legacy.com, Lloyd Haig Moule.
12 Australian War Memorial, PO2793.001, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02793.001