Lucca Hospital PG202

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by GeoffMNZ, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    Yesterday Vitellino posted on another topic re Lucca Hospital PG202 and I would like to research this POW camp further, as my father was here as a Medical Orderly from Sept '42 to April '43.

    Hello Geoff,
    I have found out where H202 was in Lucca from the website below (it's in Italian so I translated the part that interests you):

    "Campo H202 was set up inside the old hospital San Luca della Misericordia in via Galli Tassi. It was opened in the summer of 1942 with a group of 565 British (also Commonwealth I imagine) Prisoners of war. There was accommodation for 50 officers and 565 NCOs and other ranks. It was closed in the spring of 1943. In March of that year it still housed 374 prisoners."

    There's a photo of some of the inmates - hope your father is on it,
  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    Vitellino & Owen,
    Thanks so much for your efforts to get a high res photo.
    I have zoomed in to every face and I cannot recognise my father, but my wife thinks it one or two are possible! Must explore facial recognition software?.

    I wonder if this is a "staff" photo as there are no obvious injuries etc. There are 15 dark shirts (officers/doctors?) and 54 white shirts (medical orderlies?) and 2 nuns.
    My father was a stretcher bearer/medical orderly in 24 Battalion, 2NZEF and captured at Sidi Rezegh.

    I sent a message to Andrea Giannasi, the author of the book "The War in Lucca", referred to on the Museo storico della Liberazione Lucca website, but he has advised there are no more photos of PG202.
    [SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
  7. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    I have used Google Translate on the Hospital setup doc from Campifasciti. Perhaps you could contribute to a better translation?



    Allegato N.10​


    [SIZE=24pt]Stato Maggiore R. Esercito[/SIZE]​



    di prot.P.M.9,

    8 Agosto 1942


    E, par conoscenza:


    OGGETTO: Approntamento Ospedale per pg, di Lucca

    SUBJECT : Provision for Hospital pg (Prisoner of War) , Lucca

    A seguito fogio n.1/36912 del u.s. di questo S.M. ed agli accordi intercorst in via breve con codesto Gabinetto, s’informa che il Comando della Difesa Territorials di Firenze ha approntato l’ospedale Militare di Lucca occupando parte dei locali costituenti il vecchio ospedale civile.

    Following fogio 1 / 36,912 of the U.S. This M.S. and with applicable agreements being short with Codest Cabinet , it is stated that the Defence Command Territorials Florence has prepared the Military Hospital of Lucca occupying part of the local constituents the old hospital.

    Con le misure adottate ed i lavori progettai e gia in corso di esecuzione, il campo ha potuto essere sufficientemente isolato, assicurando una assidua e completa vigilanza in modo da essere garantito contro eventuali possibili envasioni.

    With the measures taken and the work I planned and already in progress, the field has been sufficiently isolated, ensuring a constant and complete vigilance in order to be guaranteed against any possible evasion (escape?).

    Sono state effettuate:

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Recinzioni doppie con filo spinato nei cortile;

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Rialzati i muri di cinta e di divisione, chuise tutte le comunicazioni con l’ospatale civile e lo scantinato, poste in opera garitte, companelli elettrict ed illuminazone elettrica esterna;

    They were made:

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Double fencing with barbed wire in the yard;

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Raised the surrounding walls and division, closed all communication with the Civil Hospital and basement , emplaced watchtowers , electric bells and lighting external power supply;

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Montate baracche, cucine, latrine per il report di pigilanza e per i servizi;

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Revisionato ‘impianto generale elettrico, riparati i tetti, effettuate varie riparazioni e sistemazioni interne.

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Mount barracks , kitchens , latrines for the supervision department and for services;

    ·[SIZE=7pt] [/SIZE]Revised General Electric plant, repaired roofs, carried out various repairs and interior accommodations.

    I lavori, che sono in corso, di ultimazione, importano una spesadi L.400,000 escluso le baracche, il filo spinato, le cucine, il legnome, ed tubo di ardesia artificiale forniti dall’ufficio lavori genio della Difeso Tarritoriale di Firanze.

    Si unisce la planimetria dell’ospedale e si resta in attesa dell’appropazioni dei lavori da parte di codesto Gabinetto.

    The works, which are in progress, completion, import expenditure of L.400, 000 excluded the barracks, the barbed wire, the kitchens, timber, pipe and artificial slate provided by the works of genius (plans?) from the Territorial Defence Florence.

    It combines the layout of the hospital and waits dell'appropazione (approval?) of this work by the Cabinet.

  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Here's my translation. The language is very flowery and I've done my best!



    No.1/41846 protocol P.M 9. 9 August 1942
    To the War Cabinet (1 attachment) ROME
    and, for information: to the MINISTRY OF DEFENCE – Engineers ROME

    SUBJECT: Establishment of the POW hospital in Lucca

    Following on from communication n.1/36912 of the 6th instance issued by this office, and the agreements reached via telephone(telegraph) with this cabinet, we wish to inform you that the Civil Defence Office in Florence has set up the Military Hospital in Lucca in part of the buildings belonging to the old civilian hospital.

    With those measures which have already been adopted and those projected and already under construction, the camp has been sufficiently isolated, thereby ensuring such an assiduous and complete surveillance system as to guard against any possible escapes.

    Measures already adopted include:

    double barbed wire fencing in the courtyards;

    the raising of the external and internal dividing walls, the blocking up of all communicating doors with the civilian hospital and the cellars, the installation of watch towers, electrical alarm systems and external electric lighting;

    the erection of barracks, kitchens and lavatories for the guards and others supplying necessary services

    the overhauling of the electrical wiring system, repairs to the roofs and various other parts of the interior

    The cost of the works, which are nearing completion, amounts to the sum of 400,000 Lire excluding the barracks, the barbed wire , the kitchens, the wood and the tube supplied by the Engineer's Office of the Civil Defence, Florence.

    Attached is a plan of the hospital and we await the approval on the part of this cabinet of the works undertaken.


    A. Gandin

    Head of the V Section

    Chief of Staff
    Colonello A. Pallotta


  9. dave1212

    dave1212 Junior Member

  10. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    Thanks for the translation, it makes a lot more sense now!

  11. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    My sister has just found a bundle of Dad's papers in my mothers effects, including a Papal Christmas '42 Booklet given to him in Lucca PG202. In this book Dad had recorded the following 19 names:
    Black, S.G. 42145
    Burke, P.
    Buys, H.L. 40723
    Clark, J.M.T. 13317
    Collins, A.L. 13341
    Laney, E.A. 13159
    Lebotsche (y), ? C. F. ?
    Patterson, D.D. 9389
    Pirimona, William .J. 24232
    Robertson, T.
    Rothschild, Hans
    Simpson, A.E. 108476
    Smith, J.W 62920
    Trollip, V. 29346
    Van Du Riet, L.H. 107832
    Wall, L.E. 16038
    Zachan, A.A. 40271

    I wonder what happened to them?
  12. papiermache

    papiermache WO 356 Mechanic


    Some of the men your father named will have completed liberation questionnaires, now at Kew. A couple may have witness cards in the Judge Advocate General card system ( original cards in WO 353 ) relating to the investigation in file MD/JAG/FS 45/56 ( see below).

    Other files for PoWs in WO 361 created by unit may mention them, or have correspondence from them. It isn't an area I know well since I concentrate on Far East PoW's ( very few old JAG investigation files now at Kew ).

    JAG staff connected to British Army on the Rhine and Central Mediterranean HQ's may also have opened files. On the whole Lucca Hospital does not appear to leave much of a war crimes trail, which is to the good. In this area the phrase "series accruing" applies, which means that the Ministry of Defence still has material. The MOD now uses private contractors to handle old files.

    A search for Lucca Hospital at the Imperial War Museum returns two catalogue entries.

    First, " Copy number 90/1125: " The Fragrant Forest" by Eason, Arthur C., a " handwritten notebook bound by author from wood, leather, metal and ivory"

    "Includes author's poems, paintings and thoughts written throughout his Second World War experience. He served in Rhodesia, East Africa and North Africa, and was in Lucca Hospital before becoming a POW in camps at Muhlberg and Fallingbostel"

    Second item, catalogue number 13089: an interview by the IWM regular interviewer Conrad Wood with the NCO Adrian Arthur Charlton which has a full description of which these are extracts:

    " British NCO served with 3rd County of London Yeomanry, 22nd Armoured Bde in GB and North Africa, 1936-1941; POW in Italy, 1941-1943; re-patriated to GB, 1943

    ".....Recollections of repatriation process from Italy to GB, 1943: inspection by Swiss doctors for Red Cross; his work for Red Cross on return to GB, 1943; in transit at Lucca Hospital; journey via France, Spain and Portugal, 4/1943;....etc."

    A search in Discovery at TNA returns :

    WO 311/361
    Theft of Red Cross parcels issued for POWs, on a hospital train between Lucca, Italy and Lansdorf, Germany

    Former reference in its original department
    MD/JAG/FS 45/56

    County record offices may have material relating to local regiments, and old comrades associations.

    A search in "Trove", the Australian newspaper search engine, may bring up something about Lucca Hospital ( I haven't tried ).

    Good Hunting,

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  13. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    Thanks for the info, I will follow up the leads. Very interested in Adrian Arthur Charlton's story as he would have been on the same train as Dad. There is also another book that covers the repatriation journey, "Always Tomorrow" by John F Leeming ( POW / Prisoner-Of-war Memoir )( RAF)

  14. papiermache

    papiermache WO 356 Mechanic

    Trove is well worth searching on this subject, but I won't steal your thunder.
    Without the magnificent Trove I could never have got my start into my main line of research way back in 2009.
    Other forum members with mystical powers may be able to flesh out your father's list of fellow prisoners from lists of PoWs they have come across. If they include South Africans then DianeE can do wonders with her Cape Town telephone book.

  15. sheilawin

    sheilawin Member

    Dear Geoff, I just came across your posts whilst researching my father in law who was in PG 202 from June 1942 until September 1943 when he was moved to Stalag 344. I was interested to know if you have found out any further information about Luca and if you would be happy to share.
  16. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Sheila,

    What was you father in law's name?


  17. Alexander Sclater

    Alexander Sclater New Member

    My father was taken at Tobruk 1942. RAMC Corporal at 9th Field Ambulance and Field Hospital. Documents show he was at PG85 transit camp and PG82 Laterina (Hut 8, #7516635). He told of being an orderly in a camp hospital, which I suspect may have been PG202 Lucca. Tales of South Africans and the story of a radio receiver hidden in the operating table that they used. Sadly one day the users took fright and ran away leaving the set exposed and operating, to be found by the Italians. No letters show any transfer to PG202, but mail may have still been via PG82 but sleeping more likely to have been at Lucca. It is also possible that he may have been at the Arezzo Hospital, but there is little information on this hospital. Seems unlikely that the PG82 camp infirmary would have had an operating theatre?
    Repatriated 02-07-1943. Advised that Geoff Muir of New Zealand was an orderly at Lucca and was also repatriated and may be able to help.
    Repatriation must have been interesting as it suggests that their was an move to remove inmates before the German takeover later in1943.
    Visiting Laterina and Lucca in June 2018 so any help would be appreciated.

  18. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Sandy,

    Geoff Muir's FATHER Maurice was a Regimental Stretcher Bearer for 24 N Z Division. Geoff has posted here just above you!.

    Protected personnel - medical orderlies, for example - had the right to be repatriated. Check the Geneva Convention. for details.

    Some of the prisoners from PG 82 were sent to the hospital in Lucca as is shown in the following extracts from WO 224/135, the reports of the inspectors of the Swiss Legation for PG 82 Laterina, held in the National Archives. London:

    8 Oct. 1942
    8 October 1942 Swiss Legation Report PG 82.jpg
    26 Nov. 1942
    26 November 1942 Swiss Legation Report PG 82.jpg
    24/25 February 1943
    24-25 February 1943 Swiss Legation Report PG 82.jpg
    26 May 1943
    26 May 1943 Swiss Legation Report PG 82.jpg

    I seem to think that there is a inspectors' report for H202 - check it out on the National Archives website. I have never found lists of of men sent from the main camps to satellite working camps - including hospitals - but perhaps someone can put me right on that score,


    Attached Files:

  19. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Active Member

    Hi Sandy,
    My father, Maurice Muir #890 2NZEF, was transferred from PG52 to PG202 in second half of June 1942 as part of a party of 106 POW with some medical background (Stretcher Bearers, Ambulance Drivers, Medical Orderlies, etc) to staff as Medical Orderlies, (they were not sick or wounded) the new POW Hospital that was established within the buildings of "Ospitale Militare Territoriale Numero 4". in Lucca. This hospital (and others) was established by the Italians following the capture of many wounded POW in North Africa.
    According to Edwin Broomhead in his book "Barbed Wire In The Sunset", there were 3 Australians, 6 British, and the balance a mix of South Africans & New Zealanders. From my father's letters he knew Edwin and their stories are similar.
    In April 1943 both my father & Edwin were repatriated in a party of about 400 sick & wounded and protected personnel to the UK via France, Spain & Portugal. I understand that as my Grandmother was his NoK in the UK he had a choice of being repatriated to either UK or NZ. At about the same time I understand there were also repatriations of sick & wounded and protected personnel via Cairo, but I have not researched that.
    I still have a stack of info on Lucca that I still have to read, research etc and will post it once I have done that.

  20. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Hello Geoff

    I hope you don't mind me contacting you...

    I am researching Cpl David Binch 7884433 of & RTR who was captured at Tobruk June 1942. He was transferred to PG 82 ( I believe) and then to PG 202, where after a while he escaped with some other allied POWs and lived in Montecatini Terme until recaptures and then sent to Stalag 357 and later X1-D in Germany. Im trying to put more flesh on the bones of his life, escape, recapture and the train journey to Germany. I can see you have been researching this area for a while - do you have any advice for sources to get more flesh on the bones of his story? Cheers Tudor Rees

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