Jim Simpson’s Knitted War Trophy

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"I knitted a few pairs of socks for some who were eager to escape, but they all seemed to return rather crestfallen, but with socks intact.” J.O. Simpson, 1995.

James O. Simpson enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1940, aged 26. On his first mission, his aircraft was shot down. Captured by the German Army, he was transported to a prisoner of war camp, where he spent the rest of World War II.

As a prisoner James knitted an extraordinary memorial to this time in Australia’s military history: a rug depicting a map of Australia and the Coat of Arms.

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Detail

Film by Malcolm McKinnon, featuring James O. Simpson at Corryong
Project Director: Malcolm McKinnon.
Production and Project Coordinator: Karlie Hawking.
Camera Assistant: Simon Goss.
Archival still images of Stalag-IVB reproduced with kind permission of Anne Jans and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Thanks to Nick McKenzie & Edie Kurzer and to Bob Kaighin for assistance at Corryong.
This video was created as part of the Murray Arts “Stories of the Upper Murray” project, with assistance from the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Arts Fund, Regional Arts Victoria, National Museum of Australia, City of Wodonga, Shire of Towong, and Museums Australia (Victoria).
Filesize: 30.8 MB

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