Syd Shaw at El Alamein Anniversary

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 9:55 AM

Perth's champion post World War Two full-back, Syd Shaw, was among a select group of veterans in Canberra on October 29 to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of El Alamein, where 220,000 Allied troops halted the advance of the German forces in North Africa.

He was with three West Australian veterans who were at the Australian War Memorial to remember their role in Hitler's first major defeat in the war in the desert sands west of Cairo.

But the campaign for Syd, now aged 95, was more complex than for many of his mates. He was captured by the Germans and headed for an Italian POW camp, only to have his ship torpedoed by the British in the Mediterranean. He survived, and later escaped from his POW camp in 1944.

Syd, who had trained as a butcher, then returned to Perth to resume his life, including carving out a  career with the Army. He also had an outstanding career as Perth's full back, and was selected for two WA Carnival sides - Hobart in 1947 and Brisbane in1950.

Syd retired as a player in 1953 after 150 games, including the 1950 grand final in which Perth was beaten by South Fremantle by six points. He was made a Life Member in 1966.