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Julian Meyer

Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Death: September 06, 1993 (75)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Place of Burial: Johannesburg
Immediate Family:

Son of Abraham Leopold Meyer and Fanny Meyer
Husband of Bessie Meyer
Father of Private; Ralph Meyer; Private and Private
Brother of Leah Wilma Freinkel and Zelda Rapeport

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Julian Meyer

LETTERS IN A SHOE BOX 1940-1945 Naomi Schamroth Rapeport May 2017 Julian Meyer was born in Johannesburg on the 18th August 1918. He was schooled at the King Edward VII School for Boys. He went on to study law at the University of the Witwatersrand. He interrupted his studies when he volunteered to join the Union Defence Force at the beginning of the Second World War. He was assigned to the Transvaal Scottish Second Battalion. During the five years of the War he wrote numerous letters to his family in Johannesburg. These letters described his experiences. After his training in South Africa he was sent to Egypt and was stationed in the Western Desert. He was one of 10 722 South African soldiers captured during the fall of Tobruk to the Axis forces on 21st June 1942. On 30th June 1942 a telegram was sent to Mrs F Meyer, his mother, by the Department of Defence informing her that her son 32383 Lance Corporal Julian Meyer was reported missing 20 June. In the New Year of 1943, the Office of War Records sent a letter which stated that they regretted to inform her that, 'as the prescribed period during which he could be regarded as such has now elapsed it will be necessary for us to institute action for the presumption of his death….' The final letter from the Office of War Records on the 8th May 1943 read: ' I am in receipt of one kit bag from the Authorities in the North, belonging to your son L/Cpl Julian Meyer. This is now being forwarded to you, as received, by passenger train and I trust it will reach you safely'. The Meyer family approached the Catholic Archbishop of Bloemfontein for assistance in obtaining information regarding Julian. On 22nd September 1942 the Meyer family received a telegram from the Catholic Missionary Station in Bloemfontein ‘CONFIRM L/CPL MEYER 32383 CYRENAICA. Following his capture in Tobruk, he was sent to Italy and spent over a years as an Italian Prisoner of War at P.G. 54, situated at Passo Corese, Fara Sabina, 35 km north east of Rome. This camp was comprised of two compounds 150 m by 150 m, each containing 2,000 men. Each compound contained four rows of tents accommodating 68 men in each. The camp housed British, South African and Ghurkha prisoners, mostly from the surrender of Tobruk. Shortly after the Italian Armistice in 1943, German troops arrived to take control of the Camp 54 and immediately set about trying to recapture the POWs who had fled from the camp.He was captured and taken German Prisoner of War where he spent 2 years at Stalag IV-A Arbeitskommando 1169 in Dresden. This camp was manned by South Africans. He witnessed the bombing of Dresden during the early part of 1945. By mid-April, the German military authorities decided to evacuate POW camps along the Elbe. The POWs were forced to leave, under guard, for the Sudetenland. Those from Camp 1169 joined the thousands of mobile evacuees. Their march experiences were harrowing as they marched towards Czechoslovakia. He was released on the 9th May 1945 by the Russians at a little place called Peterswald on the Sudentenland border on the main road to Prague. He ceased to be a prisoner at 9.30 am on 9th May 1945. Four days later, on the 15th he crossed into the American lines at Siegmar- Schonau near Chemnitz, Saxony. By that evening he was at Gera. The following midday at Erfurt. On 17th he boarded an American plane and landed in Brussels. He was repatriated to the U.D.F Repatriation Unit, Brighton England and spent 3 months there. He eventually sailed to Cape Town, South Africa in August 1945.

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Julian Meyer's Timeline

August 18, 1918
Johannesburg, South Africa
July 3, 1951
South Africa
September 6, 1993
Age 75
Johannesburg, South Africa