Lance Corporal Thomas Wagner, SAMC TOBRUK POW, Repatriated
Thomas Wager was born on the 9th of November, 1916. Pre-Enlistment Wager’s occupation was Grocery clerk at a store in Johannesburg, however he did three years with the SAMC prior to the war.
Wagner enlisted on the 1st of April 1941 as a private with the SAMC. He joined the 17th Field Ambulance, arriving in Egypt the 12th of August 1941. He was present in Tobruk during the fall and was captured, being confirmed POW on the 18th of November 1942.
He was later confirmed POW in Camp 64 on the prior to being transferred to Camp 85 in Tuturano Italy 25th of November 1942 (Transit Camp). He was repatriated 12th of May 1943, arriving in Cape Town on the 22nd of July 1943.
Newspaper articles indicate that this was a mass prisoner repatriation effort by both the Axis and Allied Powers, returning wounded prisoners and large numbers of medical and religious servicemen on both sides to their home countries.
He seems to have remained in the union for a time, leaving for Italy in 1944 being posted to a wide range of different postings and hospitals. Wagner was eventually discharged on the 5th of March, 1946.
This group is accompanied by extensive digital copies of Wagner’s Service Records.