Frank Butler

An English soldier, also captured in Greece, who was sent to Stalag XVIIID where he befriended Bruce and helped him through some difficult times. Frank and Bruce escaped from Austria and travelled to Odessa after serving on the front lines with the Red Army and witnessing Soviet barbarity - murder, rape, looting and pillaging - before being repatriated to England.

Leopold Lobnik

Josefine’s younger brother was arrested by the Nazis for subversion (he was classified as “prominently anti-German”). He was incarcerated in Flossenbürg and Dachau concentration camps where he existed in the most primitive conditions, suffered from malnutrition and overwork and was subjected to regular beatings and brutal torture. His family did not learn of his fate until after the war.

Anica Lobnik

Josefine’s older sister and a senior member of the Slovene resistance movement. She was arrested and brutally tortured by the Nazis but released when they couldn’t break her. Like Josefine, she was also a partisan heroine who was responsible for many acts of bravery.

Roman Lobnik

Josefine’s younger brother who, at fifteen, was arrested and tortured by the Nazis in an attempt to gain information on his sister’s partisans accomplices. He refused to talk and was released, battered and bloodied, when the Nazis failed to learn anything from him. He joined the freedom fighters at sixteen, was wounded twice in partisan battles and spent time recovering from his injuries in Belgrade hospital.

Jožef Lobnik

The Lobnik family patriarch was forcibly conscripted by the Nazis and made to fight for the Germans on the Eastern Front.

Joe “Blackie” White

One of Bruce’s two best friends. They enlisted on the same day and served together in 25 Battalion of the 2nd NZEF. Blackie was killed when he recklessly charged into a hail of bullets at Sidi Rezegh on 23 November 1941. It was believed he did so out of shame for having caught a venereal disease from a Cairene prostitute.

Cecil “Logie” Logan

Bruce’s other best mate. The pair were inseparable at home and while they served overseas together. Logie was also killed at Sidi Rezegh on 23 November 1941 but as a casualty of battle not from an impulsive act of self-destruction. Bruce never forgave himself for not being alongside his two best mates at Sidi Rezegh.