WWII / North Africa / Grandfather
My grandfather was Cpl. JJ van Rooyen. His police career began during the late 30's in Durban, South Africa. He was selected to be part of the 1st SA Police Battalion during WWII and was sent to fight the Nazi Regime in North Africa in 1941 when he was 22 years old. There are family stories of him saving the lives of soldiers during the war and that he was a very brave man. He was captured by the Germans during the fall of Tobruk on the border of Libya and Egypt of June 1942. He was first sent to camp 82 in Italy (Laterina)as a prisoner of war. In 1943 he was transferred to Stalag 4B in Germany (Muhlberg) which was the largest concentration camp during WW2. He lived in the camp for 2 years as a POW and was freed in 1945 when the war ended. He returned to South Africa and continued with a long police career as a Police Major and detective. He was awarded 4 medals after the war. I still have his belt buckle, bayonet and war medals.