Collective grave, Milan War Cemetery, 25 September 1943

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by vitellino, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have just come across the following on the CWGC website whilst looking for POWs who were killed/died following the Italian Armistice of 8 September 1943:

    All killed on 25 September 1943 and buried in Collective Grave III E 1-3 Milan War Cemetery

    925409 L/Sgt. Frederick Walter Edwards, R.A. previously held in Campo PG 66 Capua
    S/119817 Cpl. Arthur Alfred Farrow, RAOC previously held in Campo PG 29 Veano
    4974424 Pte. John Francis Terrett, Sherwood Foresters previously held in Campo PG 73 Carpi


    In addition there is

    114497 Gunner D.K. Keth, South African Artillery, previously held in Campo PG 54 Fara in Sabina, killed 18 September 1943 and buried in grave I C 7.

    Does anyone know anything about the circumnstances iin which these men died?

    Regards,

    Vitellino
     
  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Perhaps related to Allied POWs attempts to escape from Italian POW camps when Italy capitulated.The Germans for their part were determined that the POWs fell under their control and there appears to be an abundance of escape activity by Allied POWs.

    The German policy towards these POWs was to transport them to Germany as soon as they seized control of the camps.

    George Millar,captured in North Africa who was later to feature with the French Resistance around Belfort was one who as a POW in Italian hands attempted to make a break to avoid being transported to Germany.....failed and ended up in Bavaria where he successfully escaped to Strasbourg in a German freight train returning back to France.
     
  3. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Re Frederick Edwards his RA casualty card states cause of death whilst attempting to escape from captivity.
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO 311/1244 Shooting of British prisoners of war at PG 73, Carpi, Italy, 25/26 September 1943

    WO 311/1246 Ill-treatment and murder of British prisoners of war at Camp PG 73, Carpi, Italy, September 1943

    WO 311/1202 Ill-treatment of prisoners of war at Camp PG 73, Capri, Italy, August 1943

    WO 311/309 Camp PG 66, Capua, Italy: killing of British POW

    WO 311/1188 Shooting of British prisoners of war at Camp PG 66, Capua, Italy, September 1942

    WO 311/1203 Ill-treatment of British prisoners of war at Camp PG 66 Capua, Italy, April 1941 to June 1943

    WO 311/1221 Unlawful wounding of escaping prisoner of war at PG 66, Capua, Italy, January 1943: shooting of British prisoner of war at PG 70, Fermo, Italy, February 1943

    WO 311/1227 Shooting of British prisoner of war at Camp PG 66, Capua, Italy, 12 November 1942

    WO 311/1230 Ill-treatment and medical neglect of prisoners of war at Caserta Hospital near Camp PG 66, Capua, Italy

    WO 311/1189 UK charges against Italian war criminals: shooting of allied prisoners of war at Camp PG 54, Fara in Sabina, Italy, May 1943 and January 1944, and inhumane treatment of British prisoners of war there, August 1942 to September 1943

    WO 311/1277 Death of an unknown prisoner of war at Camp PG 54, Monte Libretti, Italy, 22 September 1943
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO 310/20 PG 73 Carpi, Italy: shooting of British POWs

    WO 310/18 PG 54 Fara in Sabina, Italy: shooting of South African POW
     
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I am curious as to why three of these men were in a joint grave, especially as they were being held in different camps, according to WO 392721. Joint graves, apart from airmen, were usually occupied by tank crews or gun crews.

    Two were from camps in N. italy and Frederick Edwards, previously held in Campo PG 66 Capua, may have been moved to the north from this camp at some stage. He would either have been put straight onto a POW train from a camp, or would have escaped from a camp. He and the others may all have met their deaths on jumping from the train or as escapers, but that does not explain the joint grave.

    Joint burials, according to my researches, are usually reserved for airmen, tank crews or gun crews, of for passengers in vehicles which run over mines. Would there have been any minefields in Northern Italy at this stage of the war?
     
  7. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Joint graves are also for the remains of servicemen whose remains were buried together and when they were reburied it was not possible to identify which remains belonged to whom. If they were buried without any ceremony or customary blanket all you are going to retrieve is a ..well you can picture it.


    Kyle
     
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks Drew- you posted whilst I was writing the above reply. Given the date and the fact that one of the three was registered as having been held in Carpi I think that the relevant document could well be WO 311/1244.

    I have a bit of Info. on PG 54. The men all escaped on 11 September '43 and many were recpatured in the days which followed and entrained for Germany. I suspect that Gunner Keth was part of a group which had left PG 54 in Feb. '43 for a work camp at Sesto San Giovanni near Milan and had escaped from there or from a train.

    Vitellino
     
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Photos of their graves
     

    Attached Files:

  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks for these photos Dave
     
  11. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks. When I've got more time I will follow all this up.

    Vitellino
     
  13. graeme

    graeme Senior Member

    Hi Vitellino,

    Was just wondering if you ever got any further with this incident ??

    Regards,

    Graeme
     
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  14. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Graeme,

    Yes I did - sorry I didn't reply but I am in the middle of analysing all the POW deaths behind enemy lines in Italy and I had forgotten all about this specific incident.

    They were killed by the Germans on having escaped from PG 73 Carpi after the Armistice.

    There are three war crimes files in the National Archives dealing with the incident:

    WO 311/1244 Shooting of British prisoners of war at PG 73, Carpi, Italy, 25/26 September 1943.

    WO 311/1246 Ill-treatment and murder of British prisoners of war at Camp PG 73, Carpi, Italy, September 1943.

    WO 310/20 PG 73 Carpi, Italy: shooting of British POWs.

    Regards,

    Vitellino
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  15. graeme

    graeme Senior Member

    Hi Vitellino,

    Many thanks for replying, and so quickly.

    My interest is in Terrett who is commemorated on the Walsall RoH.

    The newspaper pictures are dreadful however Ive attached his picture for your information. It is a direct computer download from the newspaper so it is the best there is.

    John Francis Terrett was the son of John and Margaret (née Broadhurst) Terrett of 43, West Bromwich Road, Walsall, his father predeceased him.
    He was educated at Ablewell Street School, Walsall and was later employed by Rubery Owen and Company Limited of Darlaston.
    John enlisted in the Army in about 1935 and saw service in Jersey, Jamaica, Haifa and Cyprus before being drafted to Egypt in October 1941.
    He was taken prisoner on Thursday 25 June 1942 .

    Regards,

    Graeme
     

    Attached Files:

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