Details about Campo 65, moves within Italy and from Italy requested...

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by NeilA, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. NeilA

    NeilA Junior Member

    Hey all,
    Thanks to the efforts of the folk on here I have ascertained that my late Dad was held at PG 65 as late as August 1943, and the ICRC have established that he was moved from Italy to Stalag VIII C - Stalag IV B - Stalag IV A.

    What I'm looking to do, though, is trace his movements in Italy and, hopefully, establish a date of departure for Germany.

    I suspect he was moved from North Africa to Campo 82, based on my memories of stories he told of a particular Sergeant- Major in his camp in Italy. He spoke of a failed escape attempt from a work party which, I am assuming, was while he was at PG 65. I also believe that PG 65 was evacuated north by the end of August 1943, in anticipation of the Allied invasion of Italy.

    That's where it gets even hazier!

    If anyone can help with the following, I'd be very appreciative (think piles of gold, dancing girls and chocolate elephants...):

    1. Is there a record of WHERE POWs were moved to from PG 65?
    2. What were the time-frames of evacuating POWs from Italy to Germany? He is noted as being at Stalag VIII C on 05/12/1943 - a fair bit after the September 8th armistice.
    3. Is there any way of establishing camp lists in Italian POW camps? The ICRC didn't send me any of those details, is that because they don't exist?
    4. How soon after his capture at Tobruk would the Italian authorities have notfied the ICRC? He was in the Benghazi and Derna camps, but they seem to have been faily chaotic affairs.


    I have a gajillion other questions, but would appreciate any help I can get!

    Cheers,
    Neil
     
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    FOLLOWING INFO FROM MY DAD'S ICRC RECORD AND POW QUESTIONAIRE MAY HELP YOU

    ICRC RECORD SAYS HE WAS IN PG53 AT TIME OF ARMISTICE. NEXT ENTRY IS NOTIFICATION FROM GERMANS THAT HE WAS IN STALAG 17A ON 4.11.1943

    HIS OWN POW QUESTIONNAIRE SAYS HE LEFT PG53 12.9.1943 AND ARRIVED AT STALAG 7A (MOOSBURG) 16.9.1943.

    HE LEFT STALAG 7A 1.11.1943 AND ARRIVED STALAG 17A 3.11.1943.

    MY INTERPRETATION IS THAT GERMANS DID NOT NOTIFY ICRC OF INTERMEDIATE/TRANSIT CAMPS BUT ONLY WHEN POW ARRIVED AT A FINAL FIXED LOCATION.


    3. Is there any way of establishing camp lists in Italian POW camps? The ICRC didn't send me any of those details, is that because they don't exist? SORRY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN BY "CAMP LISTS"?

    4. How soon after his capture at Tobruk would the Italian authorities have notfied the ICRC? He was in the Benghazi and Derna camps, but they seem to have been faily chaotic affairs.

    AGAIN CAN ONLY QUOTE FROM MY DADS ICRC FILE - CAPTURED 23.12.1941 AND ITALIANS INFORMED ICRC 2.2.1942 - HE HAD ARRIVED AT NAPLES FOR PG66 1.1.1942.

    APPRECIATE MANY THOUSANDS CAPTURED AT TOBRUK MAY HAVE SLOWED THE PROCESS. YOU MAY WANT TO SCROLL DOWN OTHER POW THREADS AND SEE IF ANY COPY POW QUESTIONNAIRES ATTACHED FOR TOBRUK PRISONERS THAT MAY GIVE YOU AN INDICATION OF TIMESCALES.

    DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR DAD COMPLETED A POW QUESTIONNAIRE ON HIS RETURN TO UK?

    Hope above is of some asistance.

    Regards

    Steve Y
     
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  3. NeilA

    NeilA Junior Member

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the prompt reply!

    I probably was a little muddled, but your input has been valuable. I'm looking for some form of proof of which Italian camp he msy have been moved to after PG 65, and before he was evacuated to Germany. The ICRC mention his being on "camp lists" in Germany - I assume detailing arrival/ departure from a camp - and wondered if the same system applied in the Italian camps. A lot of my dad's fellow South Africans were moved to PG 52 after PG 65, so that might be a good place to start...

    What is interesting is the delay in notification, which is quite common. Glad to see it's not just me overlooking something.

    I'm in the process of trying to establish if he completed a PoW questionnaire and, if so, that should answer some of the above.

    Cheers,
    Neil
     
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    No problem Neil.

    Just thought to mention that the forum POW expert is ADM199 - have a look at his Prisoner of War List topic - it may help.

    I would send him a personal mesage. He may be able to help.

    Steve Y
     
    NeilA likes this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    NeilA likes this.
  6. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Hi Neil,
    I can't add much sorry apart from a comment on Derna and Benghazi. Your assessment that they were chaotic affairs is pretty correct. Some prisoners only spent a few weeks in transit camps such as Derna and Benghazi and others spent months there. A lot of it depended on the amount of prisoners being held and transport being available to get them to Italy and into permanent camps.
     
    NeilA likes this.
  7. Colin R

    Colin R Junior Member

    There was a POW work camp Campo 107 in Villagio di Roma, near Torviscosa (northern Italy) where 1000 prisoners were held, including my father Leslie John Rhodes, 19th Battalion, New Zealand army. He was captured at Ruwiesat Ridge, shipped to Bari, Italy, transferred to PG57 Gruppignano, then Campo 107, where there were approx 500 New Zealanders and 500 South African prisoners. I obtained confirmation of his presence from the Red Cross records.
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Colin,

    There is a report file for Campo 107 held at the British National Archives. Here is the link, hopefully it might have something for your research.

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C168967

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  9. HI Neil,

    I am doing a research on camp 65 as it was located near my hometown Altamura.
    Prisoners where gradually evacuated toward northern Italy as the allies were getting closer and closer. There are some official documents about it but not specific names just nationalities.
    If you like you can contact me on my email address dbolognese69@gmail.com
    I am getting in touch with as many descendants as possible from camp 65 and collect stories and pictures for a future memorial museum here.

    Best regards

    Domenico
     
  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi Dimenico,

    As Neil hasn't been on the forum for almost 2 years he may not pick up on your post.

    I'll send him a PM to alert him to your post.

    You may wish to remove @ from your email to avoid spammers etc - replace it with "at".

    Steve
     
  11. Thanks a lot Steve, really appreciated. I have already welcomed several descendants visiting camp 65 and I have experienced how important is for a son or a daughter to learn about the places where the father was.
    Thanks also for the advice on the @ ... how can I modify my previous post ?

    Regards

    Dom
     
  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for your efforts to help POW relatives.

    Just click on the “edit” word to the right of the your post “time stamp” (at the bottom of your post) and it will open your original post in a new box. Amend your post and click on “save”.

    Regards.

    Steve
     
  13. NeilA

    NeilA Junior Member

    Well, it's been forever since I checked in here!

    I recently came into correspondence between my dad and his parents, all while he was in Campo 65, Campo 75 and then Stalag IV A (Hohnstein)

    I now have much better timelines, as a result.

    I am still very keen to get more info on Campo 65, as my dad describes it as massively depressing and uncomfortable.

    Cheers,
    Neil
     
  14. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Neil,

    What dates do you have for this correspondence? Both PG 75 and 65 were emptied ahead of the Allied landings in Sicily in July'43.

    Document WO 392/21, dated August 1943, lists the LAST KNOWN CAMP in which a Prisoner was registered as far as the IRC knew - it does NOT mean that he was in that camp in August 1943.

    Many of the men from PG 65 were sent to work camps in the north - PG 112 Turin, PG 146 Mortara and PG 148 Bussolengo to mention just three.

    I hope you have contacted Domenico Bolognese - there was a magnificent event at the site of the camp in June 2019 which he organised and which I attended.

    Vitellino
     
  15. NeilA

    NeilA Junior Member


    Hi Vitellino,

    Thanks for the quick response!

    I will check the dates on his letters, but Inthink he was moved to PG 75 in about April 1943 - I don't have the letters at hand. He worked on several farms during his time at PG75, the whereabouts are unknown to me.

    I haven't contacted Domenico yet, but I will!
     
  16. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    One of the farms attached to PG 75 was Santa Clotilda near Cerignola. There was a war crimes investigation regarding the conduct of the farm, and the date of the crime is recorded as August '43. The main camp was already closed at that date, but farmhands were in short supply, so presumably these prisoners had been kept behind. I haven't read the file but here are the details:

    The National Archives, London:

    WO 311/1220. Ill-treatment resulting in death of prisoners of war (witholding of medical supplies and transfer to hospital) at working camp Santa Clotilda Farm atached to PG 75/5 Cerignola, Italy, August 1943.

    Perhaps it might be worth getting a copy - at least you would have some idea about the conditions on these working farms down in Puglia.

    Vitellino
     
  17. john bethell

    john bethell New Member

    I have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can help with.

    My father, John (Jack) Bethell , no 2929577, 2nd RHA, I Battery, was also in PG65 amongst other camps.

    His service record shows these movements after being captured near Gazala 31/5/42.

    PG66 July 1942 - October 42
    PG65 Oct 42 - May 43
    PG53 May 43 - Sept 43

    Stalag VIIA Sept 43 - 2/11/43
    Stalag XVIIA 4/11/43 - 28/11/43

    Tulln, labouring on railway 29/11/43 - 5/4/45

    I've read a number of the threads about these camps and looked at the PG65 website but was interested to know more about Tulln (presumably on the Donau, west of Vienna)
    As I can find no mention of a camp there would he have been transported to and from Stalag XVIIA?

    Secondly, my father took about a month to return home to England via Romania as per the service record.
    Missing VE Day by a couple of days.
    Could anyone shed light on why he would take that route?

    I did send an email to Domenico, as mentioned re PG65, but failed to get a reply.

    FYI I have requested more from the National Archives re a possible Liberation questionnaire.
    And I am aware there is a museum in Kaisersteinbruch so when things return to 'normal' I might visit there at some point.

    My father died in 1965 and like most never talked about these experiences (at least to me)

    Would appreciate any insight.
     

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