Italian POW camps - documentation

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by vitellino, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    As some of you will know my main interest on this forum is prisoners of war, and within that category those who spent some, if not all, of their time in an Italian prisoner of war camp.

    There is what seems to me an abundance of half-information or even mis-information around on the Internet regarding camps on Italian soil. This is mainly due to the fact that the camps were given a name by the Italian authorities which did not always tie up with the name given to the camps by the International Red Cross, or even used in the numerous (unfortunately) War Crimes reports.

    With all this in mind I decided to set up a small website which is now up and running. To access it at the moment you will need to put its name in the address bar:

    Italian Prisoner of War Camps

    It gives:
    the names of the camps and their numbers in the original Italian documentation
    the names used by the IRC and published in WO 392/21, WO 361 and WO 32
    the names used in the War Crimes series WO 309, W 310 and WO 311

    I have taken the names of the work camps identified by Brian Sims and published in the Pegasus Archive and have checked out the spelling with maps so that most of them can now be correctly identified and located
    To these I have added the camps identifed and named by Topografia per la storia published on website

    I have also read the documents on the above site relating to escapers before the Italian armistice and have listed them together with a list of six related Escape and Evasion Report catalogue numbers which are held in the National Archives, Kew, London.

    I hope that this website will be of some use to relatives who are still searching for information about these camps,


    Edited as I have changed my website
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Well done !

    When I have a bit more energy I'm going to ask you to find out which POW camp my old Tank Commander SSM.Thomas was held in before he escaped.

    Auguri !

  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    I've just done what I should have done in the first place, that is use GOOGLE and I found this piece I wrote years ago:

    My tank commander in the 4th QOHussars was "Busty" Thomas MM, Bronze Star.

    It was not until many years after the war that I was given his MM citation and learned about how he escaped from two POW camps:

    1E 256
    7340821 Sgt.Major W.T.Thomas, 4th Queen’s Own Hussars. A-10135
    7937449 Tpr. Pugh.T. 4th Queen’s Own Hussars. A- 10136

    Captured at Knightsbridge on the 12 June 1942.
    Finally sent to Campo 70 (Monturano). While in a transit camp in Africa, Thomas escaped alone by cutting through the wire at night. He took a motor truck, but ran out of petrol after going over 100 miles on the first night and went on on foot. He was recaptured by Germans after being at large for a week and having travelled about 200 miles.
    After the armistice P/W on Campo 70 were not liberated but Thomas, Pugh and three other P?W escaped on 16 Set 43 when the sentries were sheltering in their boxes from the rain. On their way South they met an Italian patriot band and took part with them in an action against the Germans. The Italians made off without telling them and as their ammunition was exhausted, Thomas and Pugh made off into the hills. They finally met Allied troops on 6 Oct 43 and were able to give information regarding German gun posts they had passed on the way.

    If you can add anything to this I would be most obliged !

  4. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Ron - A bit more information about his escape in his report attached. In their escape Thomas and Pugh were initially accompanied by two others Keene and Swales but they became separated

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Many thanks

    I've lightened them up so that others can read them

    Ron Busty 2 .JPG Busty 2 .JPG Busty 1 .JPG Busty 1 .JPG
    vitellino, TriciaF and Tricky Dicky like this.
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    To spare the late Busty Thomas's blushes, he never ever mentioned his illustrious past to me during the year or so i was in the 4th QOH but i did get to visit him post-war when I took my kids to see him in his role as Warden at the Tower of London. I still relish these images !

    Attached Files:

    vitellino likes this.
  7. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Ron and Horsepassenger, what a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    I've attached another amazing account of how three submariners from HM submarine Sahib and Sig/Para Costello escaped from PG 70 after the Armistice.

    You will notice that after having been initally held in the interrogation camp for Mariners ( At Manziana near L. Bracciano in Italy) Able Seaman Timewell had been sent to Germany for interrogation, as had about half the crew, BEFORE the Italian Armistice, after which they were sent back to Italy and detained in PG 70!


    Timewell Breadmore Minter Costello.jpg
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  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello again everybody,

    I am having some problems with my website and have taken it off line temporarily. I'll post again when it is up and running once more.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  9. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

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