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Sydney Loch (1888-1955) Author & Humanitarian

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    Posted: 30 Jan 2012 at 18:42
The following biographical profile is compiled by me from various resources, the links to the resources used are shown at the bottom of this profile.
Sydney Loch (Sydney De Loche) 1885-1955.
Grazier - Soldier - Author - Humanitarian.
Sydney Loch was born in Ealing, London in 1888. He arrived in Australia in 1905.
On enlistment in the A.I.F. he gave his name as Frederick Sydney Loch. He enlisted aged 25 at Broadmeadows Camp, Melbourne on 28 August 1914 and gave his profession as "Grazier". He served as a Gunnery (Regt No. 827) in the Headquarters Staff of the 2 Field Artillery Bde. of the A.I.F.
On 20 October 1914 he embarked at Melbourne on board HMAT Shropshire (Ship No. A9) for overseas service. with the A.I.F.
His gave his next of kin on the Embarkation Roll as "F. P. Loch, Edersteads, Creesby-on-Eden, Carlisle, Cumberland, England."
Loch was present at Gallipoli from the initial landings (being promoted to the rank of Bombardier on 13/7/1915) until 12 August 1915 when he was evacuated from the Peninsula suffering from Dysentry and Entric Fever. He was taken to hospital in Alexanddria and was return to Australia for "3 months change" on 3/1/1916.
He was discharged in 1916 as unfit for further service.
In 1916 he converted his Journal of his experiences at Gallipoli into a book entitled "The Straits Imprgenable" and it was published by Melbourne publisher Harry Champion. Champion was well aware of the Censorship rules so he changed the names of the characters to ficticious ones and published it as a novel, thereby avoiding having the book heavily censored.
The book when issued in 1916 (under Loch's pen-name "Sydney De Loche") sold out with in three weeks, a paper back edition was also published. It was this edition which carried a notice facing the front page that claimed, "This book written in Australia, Egypt and Gallipoli is all true." that caused the Military Censor to act and ban subsquent editions of the book.
In 1919 he married Joice Mary NanKivell (born 24 January 1887, Ingham, Queensland – died 8 October 1982). They sailed for England and secured a contract to write a book on Ireland, which was published as Ireland in Travail.
They subsequently went to Poland as aid workers for the Quaker Relief Movement with the aim of writing a book about the damage that Lenin's troops had inflicted on Poland and were awarded medals by the President of Poland for their humanitarian work. In 1922 they went to Greece as aid workers following the burning of Smyrna. The Lochs worked in a Quaker-run refugee camp on the outskirts of Thessaloniki for two years before being given a peppercorn rent on a Byzantine tower by the sea in the refugee village of Ouranoupolis.

To help the villagers, Joice purchased looms so that the women could work as rug weavers; she designed Byzantine rugs, one of which is now on display in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. She also acted as a medical orderly and held regular clinics for the villagers. For their work in Greece the couple were awarded medals by the King of the Hellenes.

During World War II, Joice was awarded another two medals by the Governments of Romania and Poland for saving a thousand Polish and Jewish children from the Nazis by leading a daring escape known as Operation Pied Piper from Romania where they were running a refugee centre for Poles who had escaped from the Nazis and the Russian invasion. Subsequently Joice and Sydney ran a refugee camp for Poles at Haifa. In 1945 they returned to Greece and their tower home and re-established the Pirgos rug industry in Ouranoupolis.
His Military Service Records may be viewed here;
His AWM Embarkation Roll may be viewed here;
His wife's wikipedia page may be viewed here;

Edited by Mal Murray - 30 Jan 2012 at 21:25
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