Ray Stewart Collection

Image: Photo of Lt. Ray Stewart, 1942

Lieutenant Raymond Stanley Stewart of the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion enlisted in Northam, Western Australia in 1940 and was captured on 27 July 1942 at Ruin Ridge, El Alamein, Egypt. He was a prisoner of war of both the Italians and Germans until 1 May 1945 when liberated by the Americans.

During his time in captivity he wrote a series of diaries, including one on a toilet roll. The diaries are still in good condition and legible. They were donated to the Battye library by Ray Stewart in 1999, together with a transcript of the toilet roll diary.

Secretly written by Lieutenant Stewart during his captivity and kept hidden in a Red Cross Gift Box, the diary gives a fascinating insight into the routine of the camps and a daily chronicle of confinement as a prisoner.

Also included in the collection are Lieutenant Stewart's Pay Books, Service Book, a Christmas 1944 menu, an identity card issued by the Germans and a photograph album showing entertainments put on by the prisoners.

The Treasure

(Click on one of the thumbnails above to see a larger image)

Further Reading

Masel, Philip, The Second 28th: The story of a famous battalion of the Ninth Australian Division, Perth: 2/28th Battalion and 24 Anti-Tank Company Association, 2000.

Loffman, Phillip, Australian Battalion, including the anti-tankers who fought with them:prisoners of war captured during action at defence of Tobruk, Ruin Ridge-El Alamein, City Beach: P. Loffman, 1999.