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Drawn Into a Snare

Bertie George Sawford (1914–1945)

Born at Oatlands, Bertie George Sawford was the great-grandson of convict John Sawford. In 1940, the 25-year-old timber cutter enlisted in Victoria to serve with the Second A.I.F.
During his year of training in Australia, Bertie also married his beloved Clara. Seven months later Private Sawford arrived in Singapore, a member of the 2/29th Battalion.
Following the Japanese invasion of Singapore, Private Sawford was listed among those missing. More than a year passed before word came through the International Red Cross that Private Sawford was being held a prisoner of war in the Sandakan Camp in North Borneo. But forced to live on starvation rations, he was not able to survive the ravages of malaria. Private Sawford died on 11 April 1945, only months before the Japanese surrender.

The Victorian Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX35647 Private Bertie George Sawford, 2/29th Battalion, Australian Infantry.
The Victorian Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX35647 Private Bertie George Sawford, 2/29th Battalion, Australian Infantry.

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