The Aussie flag made by war prisoners
AN Australian flag, fashioned from an old sheet, handkerchiefs and red body belts in the Changi Prisoner of War Camp during World War II, has made its way to Townsville as part of a private collection.
The flag was made by Gunner Leslie Peade from the 2/15 Australian Field Regiment, Stanmore, during his time in the camp.
The flag has been stored in a box in South Australia since the mid-1990s after it was purchased from collector Ken Hughes, who opened the Caloundra Military Museum.
When the opportunity came up for Wulguru resident Dallas Moxham to purchase the flag in September, he was determined to find out more about it's history.
"It's the hardship of what they went through and the risks they took in making something like this," he said.
"They would've had to roll it up and hide it somewhere.
"When I got the flag I went online and a photo came up on the (Australian) War Memorial (website), and told each and every name of the blokes holding it.
"The photo as taken in Saigon just after the war ended where they were recuperating."
The photo identifies GNR Peade as the creator of the flag, holding it in Saigon alongside Private W.J. Stevens, Driver G. Woolley, Driver R. Taylor and Driver L. L. Chapman.
Further research suggests GNR Peade, who was born in Kempsey, NSW on 8 September, 1912, and enlisted in the Australian Army on 21 April, 1941.
He was discharged on 7 December, 1945 and died in 1968.
Included with the flag is the timber clogs GNR Peade can be seen wearing in the photograph.
The flag will be preserved in a wooden frame, with Mr Moxham hoping to find out more about it's treasured past.
Originally published as The Aussie flag made by war prisoners