I WISH to get hold of the book Partisan. The book is about my uncle, Jack Denvir, who rose from corporal in the New Zealand army to supreme commander of the partisan resistance forces in Yugoslavia during World War II.
His second lieutenant was Gunner Colin Cargill AIF.
These guys carried out raids on the Germans and Italian armies from camps in the Balkans alps.
Jack Denvir was captured and escaped three times from German prison camps.
The last time, he took control of a German supply train and killed eight German soldiers. He then used their uniforms as part of a disguise to get his men through Italian and German towns.
The book also says some of the best resistance fighters were the Yugoslav mountain women.
Because these men were classified as missing in action and fighting behind the enemy lines, a lot was kept quiet about the fighting and my grandparents assumed their son was dead.
The British Empire did not recognise a lot of their medals and awards from Europe but they were probably some of the most decorated soldiers of World War II.
Yugoslavia’s leader Marshal Tito bestowed the freedom of Yugoslavia and hero status on them but they were not allowed to accept their medals and the same for the other countries.
Every four years, Tito took them to Yugoslavia for a reunion and showered them with gifts — but nothing from the soldiers’ home countries or British governments.
This book reads like the classic movie The Great Escape and I sometimes wonder where the theme for the movie came from.
— RUSSELL ADAMS,
(02 6021 5190) West Albury