P.of W.Camp -53 SETTORE No 1 PM3300 ITALY

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by oldtyke, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. oldtyke

    oldtyke Junior Member

    I am researching my uncle's (James King) Royal Engineers, WW2 exploits mainly his time whilst being a POW held in Italy, I have just read a letter from him sent to my sister his address was as follows, this is what is on the front of the letter:-
    Rank - SPR 2075136 RE
    P.of W.Camp -53 SETTORE No 1
    PM3300 ITALY
    The date on the back is 4.6.1943.
    I have not been able to find this camp, I suspect it close to Switzerland as he and a pal escaped over the Alps James was the only one to survive. and was close to death on his arrival in Switzerland! On arriving home (Newcastle upon Tyne) he was given only 6 moths to live, But died in the 1970s
    Regards Arthur
    South Australia
  2. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Hi Arthur welcome to the site, its a great place!
    I have just done a quick search for P.G. 53 and the place name that comes up is Sforzacosta (you can search it on google maps), which appears to be half way down the Adriatic coast of Italy near Macerata. So not exactly close to Switzerland! I also came across this site P.G. 53 which gives you a bit of background to the camp. I would imagine ADM199 (Brian) may have more info on the camp for you, as prisoners of war are his speciality.
  3. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum Arthur.

    Looking through my records I have the following:- PG53 Sforza costa. PM 3300 Central Region, Near Maserata.
    On Plain Alt.460ft. Large Stone Bulding (Linen weaving Mill)25 Acres in Area. Camp in sections and sub sections. 2km from Urbisaglia.

    Strength 30/6/43 - 7 Officers, 6209 O.Rs. 6204 Brit. 1 Aus. 11 S/Africans.
    Some O.Rs transfered to Germany 25/7/43.
    Position 43:18N - 13:22E

    Commandant 3/9/43 was Colonel Petragnani.
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Arthur,

    I have James on the POW's of the Italians 1943 WO392 files, held at our National Archives. See attachment, it should enlarge enough for you to see his entry?

    Confirms Sforza Costa. Stick to ADM199, he's the man.:)


    Attached Files:

  5. oldtyke

    oldtyke Junior Member

    Many Thanks to you all for all that wonderful information, and confirmation that James was in the camp in question, As you can see I'm new at this type of research so can you tell me if there would be more information on his escape I suspect there would be a debriefing on his return to the UK, If so can anyone point me in the right direction please, but remember I am living in Australia.
    Regards Arthur
  6. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Arthur can you send an Email address by P.M. as I have the Report you want.

  7. AnneP

    AnneP Junior Member

    Hi, I am new to this site and am researching my grandfather Corporal Arthur Smith "Smudger" seemed to be his nickname while he was a POW. My grandfather was held in PG 53, PM 3300, Settore, Italy and also in Stalag VIIIB 94, the number also provided on the letter I have is 221044. Not sure what this reference is, but thought it might help. As for many POW's he never spoke of his experiences and I have very little to go on. Any help that can be offered to point me in the right direction would be gratefully received. Many thanks Anne

    PS. His army number is 7627341.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Anne,

    Attached is Arthur's conformation of being in Camp 53 as of August 1943. This is one page of WO392/21, a file held at the National Archives, Kew. POW's to the Italians in August 1943.

    This is all the information I can provide I'm afraid, it was very interesting trawling through all the Smiths to find him!!:)

    Best wishes for your ongoing search.


    Attached Files:

  9. AnneP

    AnneP Junior Member

    Many thanks for this Bamboo43, I really appreciate your help and appreciate the popularity of the Smith name!! Sorry for the delay getting back to you I am just learning to navigate the site, but it is really interesting and I am learning alot!... thanks again.. Anne
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    No problem Anne, glad to help.

  11. stckrrrw12

    stckrrrw12 Junior Member

    folks could anyone have any information on camp 53 as im looking into my grandads history as he escaped for sforzacosta macerate on 14/9/43 as did many others. his army number and rank and regiment are listed below any help would do

    3908756 Sgt F Llewellyn, 1st Bn South Wales Borderers.
  12. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    This is a bit of a "belt and braces" posting.
    I have already posted at http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/46714-pte-richard-mccandlish-hli/
    about a Private Richard Candlish HLI who was originally buried in Macerata Civic Cemetery. He died on 17 March 1943.
    (He was re-interred in Ancona in 1945)
    I supect that he was a PoW at P.G. 53 Sforzacosta (near Macerata) but am seeking confirmation.
    Any help would be welcome.

  13. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    4jonboy likes this.
  14. Meggie004

    Meggie004 New Member

    Hi all, I am brand new to this site :) My great uncle died last year, and my Granny sent over some documents that were located in his items. One was a postcard from the camp in this thread, PG 53 Settore II. It is a POW postcard from my great great uncle to my Great Granny in Scotland. I do not know much about my family history, and was wondering if there were any tips on how to find out more information about perhaps this camp and the inhabitants. All I know is my GG Uncle was Sgt. Alexander M. Grant and died while being transported from this Camp to Germany in 1943. I was told by my Great Aunt that the train was bombed by the americans. Any information would be greatly appreciated! thank you all !
  15. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

    Hi Meggie

    A few bits for starters:

    Here is a interview with Ray Ellis who was also in Sforzacosta. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjvgRP39lqlLEBS5Vas1BZA

    Here is a painting by Paul Bullard who was a PoW in this camp http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/3819

    Very few escaped from this camp at the Armistice (unlike eg the camp at Servigliano, PG 59, also in Le Marche province) because the Allied soldiers in charge obeyed the "Stay Put" order, meaning they were all rounded up by the Germans and shipped off, as it seems happened to your GG Uncle

    And given you have Scottish connections, you might like to have a look at this: http://www.msmtrust.org.uk/news/a-mystery-solved/

    Hope that gives you a bit to go on!

    Best regards

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Anne

    There are some files for PG 53 I have come across whilst searching other POW info:


    Reference:WO 361/1783 Description:
    Prisoners of war, Italy and Germany: PG 53, Sforzacosta, Italy, and Stalag 398 Pupping, Austria; report by Reverend A J Symonds, CF

    Date: 1945 Jun 01 - 1945 Jun 30

    Reference:WO 311/1204 Description:
    Ill-treatment of British prisoners of war at Camp PG 53 at Macerata (Sforza Costa), Italy, 14 August - 15 September 1943

    Date: 1945 Jul 01 - 1946 May 31

    Reference:WO 311/319 Description:
    Camp PG 53, Sforza Costa, Italy: killing of British POW

    Date: 1943 Apr - 1946 July

    There are several members of this forum who are regulars at TNA, KEW who can copy these files if you wish.

  17. WarrenB

    WarrenB New Member

    Hello all, I am new to the site having found it whilst researching my grandfather's service history. I have just found out that he was at this camp in 1943 having been captured in North Africa. I remember him telling me of his escape and walking with others from Italy to Switzerland; I think about 12 escaped together but only 2 reached Switzerland.

    My grandfather was 4534094 Private Alfred Ramsden of the West Yorkshire Regiment. His service record states he was reported a Prisoner of War Italy on 5th June 1942 and the next dated entry is his repatriation ex Switzerland on 23rd October 1944.

    I'd be grateful if anyone has any further information, especially if there are any reports of the escape or any records of any debriefing following his repatriation.

    Many thanks

  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Warren,

    Here is confirmation of his being at Camp 53 as of August 1943. This is taken from WO392/21, a file held at the National Archives, Kew. POW's to the Italians in August 1943.

    Hope it is of use.

  19. WarrenB

    WarrenB New Member

    Thank you for the confirmation Bamboo43

  20. Kevin Harmon

    Kevin Harmon Member

    Hi. I am researching James William Gardiner 28 Field Regiment Royal Artillary Regiment.
    James is listed as being captured 6/6/1942 Gazala PM3300. The record shows a PG but sadly the numbers are not readable.
    ICRC records show him at PG 53 and moved to PG66 15/12/1943.
    James arrived at camp 8B Lamsdorf from 4B Muhlberg on 20/8/1943.
    National Archive records only show him at Lamsdorf camp 344 as prisoner no 221806. His initials are wrongly listed as JD Gardiner but his service number is correct as 851207. It is known that the Lamsdorf connection is correct as James transferred to camp E715 next to Monowitz near the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and later to die following a bombing of IG Faben by the American Air Force 20/8/44
    I can find no record of him being anywhere in Italy. Can anyone help

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