Cornish, Ress and Jakeway. Killed Borgo Valsugana,Italy 1944

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by vitellino, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello all,

    Who was Gunner Ress?

    I am currently looking for tie-ups between Italian war crimes files in the National Archives and burials of the victims in Italian War Cemeteries. When 'googling' Borgo Valsugana - (War Crimes file WO 310/83 Borgo Valsugano, Trento, Italy shooting of two British POWs) I came across the following, which I have translated:

    After September 1943, about 200 British prisoners of war fled from the POW camp no 113 at Forte Buso, near Predazzo: most of them found hospitality with peasant families in the Trentino and Belluno areas. In the following November some decided to join the Resistance and the partisan formations operating in the area: in Pietena they succeeded in forming a small group of partisans, the Churchill Company; others set off hoping to reach Switzerland or the Allied armies on the southern front. In August 1944 Cornish, Ress and Jakeways joined the Gherlenda Battalion (Garibaldi Gramsci Brigade), operating between the provinces of Trento and Belluno.

    Following the round-ups of September-October 1944 the three fell into the hands of the SS, thanks to their having been denounced by spy Fiore Lutterotti, who signalled their presence to the German Command. Captured in a farmhouse at Carzano and taken to the SS headquarters in Roncegno (commanding officer Karl Julius Hegenbart), the three underwent torture until 20 December, 1944. Cornish and Jakeways were taken to Borgo Valsugana cemetery, shot in the head and then buried. After the war, the British military authorities exhumed the bodies...There is no precise information regarding the fate of Trevor Ress: probably, he did not survive his interrogation and his body was made to disappear in some field near Roncegno.

    CORNISH, Thomas (name of battle William) - Ilford Essex (London), 16 February 1901-Borgo Valsugana, 20 December 1944. A stonemason, married. Royal Artillery, he was captured in North Africa and transferred to Italy as a prisoner of war. Escaped from POW camp 113 Forte Buso, near Predazzo in Trentino. In September 1944, he joined the Gherlenda Partisan Battalion (Garibaldi Gramsci Brigade). Having fallen into the hands of the SS at Roncegno, was shot together with the soldier Jakeways 20 December 20, 1944 at the cemetery of Borgo Valsugana.

    RESS, Trevor (name of battle Smith) - Gloucestershire, 13 April 1903 - Borgo Valsugana, December 1944. Woodsman. Royal Artillery, he was captured in North Africa and transferred to Italy as a prisoner of war. In September 1944 he joined the Gherlenda Partisan Battalion (Garibaldi Gramsci Brigade). He fell into the hands of the SS of Roncegno, was subjected to torture and violence that led to his death in December 1944. The body was never found.

    JAKEWAYS, Evans (William) - West Bromwich (Staffordshire), 29 June 1914-Borgo Valsugana, 20 December 1944. Labourer. Infantryman in the British army, he was captured in North Africa and transferred to Italy as a prisoner of war. In September 1944, he joined the Gherlenda Partisan Battalion (Garibaldi Gramsci Brigade). He fell into the hands of the SS of Roncegno, he was shot together with the soldier Cornish December 20, 1944 at the cemetery of Borgo Valsugana.

    Supposing that the War Graves Commission did recover the bodies ( I am following this up) they were never identified. However, this appears on the Cassino Memorial:

    Gunner 1022861 CORNISH SIDNEY WILLIAM Monday, November 6, 1944 Age 43 (note Sidney not Thomas as in the partisan records)

    Private 5248276 JAKEWAY WILLIAM ERNEST Monday, November 6, 1944 Age 32 (note Jakeway not Jakeways)

    WO 321/21 shows both Cornish and Jakeway. I cannot find Ress anywhere – any suggestions? Given that D.O.B. of both Cornish and Jakeway given by the partisans concur with their ages on the Cassino Memorial it is possible that Ress's, details, part from his surname, are correct.

    Vitellino
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    try Geoffs search engine for spellings
    no Ress surname comes up on CWGC
    perhaps a forum member can check the birth date
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have looked but Ress is a very uncommon surname, have tried Reece, Reese and Rees (as its close to Wales) but nothing so far, really need some concrete name details from RA sources I would guess

    TD
     
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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    was he possibly Australian/New Zealand
    again no match for name on Geoffs search engine
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ress surname does appear in SA, USA & German records, but none I have looked at so far have a first name Trevor or were born in 1903 - :mad: - there was a Ress born in the UK but both their parents were noted a Rees :blush::omg: - finger problems

    TD
     
  6. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Could only find one Ress that might be a possible. Thomas John Ress, born in Glamorgan, 1903, lived 8 St John Street, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, in 1911 census.
     
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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Where does this information come from ?? - and - what does the bit in brackets mean?? is that his nom de guerre or something else ??

    Just searching the 1939 Register for 13 Apr 1903 and using the keyword 'Gloucestershire' gives 36 results, but none are Trevor or a combination for Ress :mad:

    TD
     
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    The information is from Italian website http://www.televignole.it/la-resistenza-in-trentino-30/ .

    The partisans gave themselves a battle name rather than using their real name. Hence, according to this very detailed information that the local partisans held about these three ex-prisoners, Trevor Ress was known as Smith. I am beginning to think that Smith might have been his real surname and Rees /Ross or whatever might have been his middle name - or his mother's maiden name..

    Vitellino
     
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    no matching Smith on Cassino memorial re the dates mentioned or Cassino cemetery

    could he have survived?
     
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  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I am beginning to think that he perhaps did survive, given that his body was never found and he isn't on either the Cassino Memorial or that at Alamein. I am now going to send for the War Crimes report for the two known victims and see what if anything can be learned from that.
     
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Just a quick update.

    I am told by CWGC that two servicemen were recovered forn Borgo Valsugana cemetery and are buried in Padua War Cemetery as unknowns - Section IV, Row A, Nos 14 and 15. Clearly they are Cornish and Jakeway but I don't know if there is enough evidence to say who is in each grave.

    I have checked WO 392/21 (POWs Italy - I have all sections) and 392/1 (Pows Germany - I just have Britain and South Africa) to see whether all the Artillerymen named Rees who were being held in Italy turned up later in Germany (the German register is of September 1944). They are all there with the exception of

    856787 Gnr. D.J. Rees and 1470881 Gnr. H.D Rees

    These two survived the war as they are not in the CWGC lists of dead, hence they were escapers. However, their initials do not coincide with what we have been told about 'Ress'.

    As far as the 1939 register is concerned, TD, I suspect that our man might have been in the regular army and not in the UK at the time.

    Vitellino
     
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