Violin tugs the heart strings

Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Busselton resident Peta Sadler with her grandfather's violin from WWII.
Camera IconBusselton resident Peta Sadler with her grandfather's violin from WWII. Credit: Nicolette barbas

Peta Sadler, who has been playing the violin since the age of six, wanted to pay a special tribute to her grandfather this Anzac Day.

The Busselton resident stood at the end of her driveway with candles alight to play the Last Post in commemoration of her grandfather Jesse Frank Varvell who was a prisoner of war in Poland during World War II.

“My grandfather lied about his age to get into the army, fought in the Battle of Crete and was a prisoner of war for four years in Poland and Germany,” she explained. “He was known as the person who ‘acquired’ things at the prisoner of war camp. One day he came back from the guards with this violin which he carried on his back for the long march, he refused to get on the plane back to Australia without it.

“Knowing the lengths he went to just to bring this now 150-year-old violin back to Australia with him just blows me away.”

Dr Sadler, pictured, said her desire to learn the violin was fuelled by watching her grandfather play. He had settled in Perth.

“When my grandfather died the violin was passed down to me and I have continued to play it,” she said.

“My children are now learning violin as well.

“I feel so privileged to have such an important piece of history and to be able to play the last post in memory of him was such a good feeling.”

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