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Xanthoula Papadopoulos and Slim Wrigley

Xanthoula Papadopoulos met Corporal Herbert ‘Slim’ Wrigley in September 1941. Wrigley had escaped from a German prisoner of war camp in Salonika. He fled to Katerini, northern Greece, and found shelter with an English-speaking schoolteacher; her father Ioannis. Wrigley subsequently fought alongside Greek partisans until 1943 when he was evacuated to neutral Turkey. Ioannis, meanwhile was caught and executed by the Germans on 13 January 1944—leaving his family destitute.

Xanthoula, found Wrigley’s address amongst some family photographs in 1949. She wrote to him for assistance. He remembered his protector’s beautiful daughter and sponsored her passage to Australia. The two were married in 1951, five weeks after her arrival. Slim died in 1995.

…I still marvel that a horrific event like war changed the course of our lives, and that an address scrawled on a slip of paper led to love.

Xanthoula Wrigley (nee Papadopoulos)

Reproduced courtesy of Xanthoula Wrigley

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