As war stirred again in Europe, Joice and Sydney joined an organisation called the Friends Relief Service in Bucharest to help the Polish refugees that were pouring into Romania.
And it was from there, in 1940, that the Queenslander’s incredible mission began.
Operation Pied Piper.
After their journey across the Black Sea, Joice’s group arrived in Istanbul and were met by other Polish refugees who’d fled the previous year. It was there they learned that, just hours earlier, the German Army had marched into Bucharest. They had escaped with barely a day to spare.
But their journey to safety was still not over.
As historian Susanna De Vries described in her book, Blue Ribbons Bitter Bread: Joice Loch – Australia’s Most Heroic Woman, after catching an overnight ferry to Mersin, Joice had to secure a ship to take them on to Cyprus.
Desperate, she phoned the British Embassy and gave her…