British Officer W. Piteforth with partisans in Umbria/Lazio

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by vitellino, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    I am trying to find out who a certain W. Piteforth was. He is recorded as having joined a group of partisans who operated in the south of Umbria/north of Lazio during the winter of 1943-4 and is described as having evaded whilst being deported.

    I cannot find him in WO 392/21 (extract below) and neither does he appear in my 1944 September version of WO 392/1 as being a prisoner in Germany. He could have been taken prisoner after the Armistice, may have escaped as suggested and may have avoided recapture, hence his absence from these two documents.

    I suspect the Italians have written down his surname wrongly and that he could be Pickworth or Pitchford.

    Any ideas?


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Theres a few W Pickworths in the UK Army list - UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962 results for W Pickworth - 22 in all but they have combinations of initials (Regts vary from RA through Infantry to Dental Corps) - cant find anything for a Piteforth anywhere

    More details more answers - as you will already know

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There are several Pitchfords held in german POW camps but none are Officers

    There is 1 x Pickworth held in a German POW camp
    Name: E E Pickworth
    Rank: Captain
    Army Number: 176603
    Regiment: Sherwood Foresters
    POW Number: 1204
    Camp Type: Oflag
    Camp Number: 79
    Camp Location: Brunswick, Lower Saxony

    He is obviously an Officer but his POW number would say to me he was captured at Dunkirk although I can't prove that directly, plus his initials dont match

    bamboo43 likes this.
  4. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Possibly :
    204281 Lt. Ormsby Walter PITCHFORD Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
    died 12th January 1944

    Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 16.25.50.png
    Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 16.27.17.png
    4jonboy, Tricky Dicky and bamboo43 like this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    No Piteforth's show up when searching through the London Gazette either. I used to have this problem all the time with my Chindit POW's held at Rangoon Jail. The Japanese phonetical spelling of some of the surnames was impossible to decipher.

    One soldier was noted down as G. Richfase; years later I finally deduced that this referred to Pte. George Griffiths.
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ormsby Walter Pitchford
    Birth: 22 November 1917 (22 Nov 1917) - India
    Death: 12 January 1944 (12 Jan 1944)
    F: Vivian Clement Pitchford
    M: Effie Irene Timms


    Ormsby Walter Pitchford
    BIRTH 22 NOVEMBER 1917 • Risalpur, India
    DEATH 12 JANUARY 1944 • Monte Cassino

    1939-1945 • Tobruk and Italy
    Lt. 2nd Bn. Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Regimental No: 5885954. Taken prisoner of war at Tobruk and was moved to several POW camps. Escaped and moved South to join Allied forces but was killed (no details known) north of Monte Casino.

    Was serving in 50 Recce Regt, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers when captured.

  7. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I think we have probably found him. Thank you. He is remembered on the Cassino Memorial.

    The excerpt I posted above shows him to have been recorded in PG 21 at Chieti - not that far, though across the mountains, from where he joined the partisan band. This is what I have found out about him so far:

    During the winter three Italian partisans and the British officer tried to reach the front line, passing through the mountains of the Cigolano as far as Avezzano,Tagliasecco,la Sgurgola and Luco dei Marsi, but due to the rigours of the winter, when in the mountain chain which follows on after the Fucino basin, they were forced to turn back. The Britisher stayed behind at Rocca Sinibalda with a family they had encountered on their way down.

    From Carla Mariani, Fischia il Vento,pub. Comune di Narni 2008)

    I will now try to find out what happened on 12 January at Rocca Sinibalda and will ask CWGC if they picked any one up from there.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.

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