POW - Cpl David Binch (7884433) 7 RTR

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Tudor Rees, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Am doing some research for relatives on Cpl David Binch (7884433) of 7RTR. a professional soldier, he fought in France BEF 1940 , was evacuated at Dunkirk, then on to the Middle East and fought there. Captured in June 1942 at Tobruk, he was sent to POW camp PG 82/PG 202 in Italy, escaped, recaptured, and then sent to Stalag 357 and then X1-D in Germany until liberated.

    I am trying to get some detail about the POW camps and the conditions there - but wondered:

    - can I trace how prisoners were transported? (say between Tobruk and PG 82, or between PG 82 and Germany)
    - are there any reference works/books for research into these camps and the conditions?

    Unfortunately he did not complete a POW form when liberated

    Thanks in Advance
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tullybrone likes this.
  3. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Apologies - new to posting here
  4. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

    Welcome to the Forum. You might like to get hold of a copy of a book just published, written by Frank Unwin who was in PG82 Laterina. Pen and Sword Books: Titles by Frank Unwin

    Also, a poster on this forum, vitellino has done a lot of research into this camp and set up a website.

    Good luck
  5. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

  6. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Hi - thanks for replying. Have been in touch with the website and vitellino was very helpful. Will follow up on the book too.

    Many thanks
    Tudor Rees
  7. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hello TR,

    I can't say much to help you, however the father of a friend who was captured in North Africa in June 1942, from what little he passed to family members, is that he was transported to Italy in what would appear to have been the storage tank of an oil tanker, or something similar, as he had stated that oil residue to the depth of a few inches was in the hold in which they were kept for the duration of their journey. It is not known as to which camp in Italy he was then transported to. Hope this helps.
    Tudor Rees likes this.
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Allcard,

    What was your friend's father's name? It should be possible to trace one of his camps from WO392/21 (National Archives) If he was then sent on the Germany the same applies (WO392/1) and if he filled in a liberation report he may have mentioned the ship. I have a copy of the whole of WO 392/21 and the British section of WO 392/1.

    In the meantime, it's time I looked up some Italian sources regarding the ships they used. The ones sunk/attacked (including by the Royal Navy) such as the Scillin are well known.

    Tudor Rees likes this.
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    WO 392/1


    Whilst you are looking for ships thought I would post this and save you some time

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: D Binch
    Rank: Corporal
    Army Number: 7884433
    Regiment: Reconnaissance Corps
    POW Number: 50026
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 357
    Camp Location: Oerbke, Lower Saxony
    Record Office: Royal Armoured Corps and Reconnaissance Corps Record Office, The Drill Hall, Barnet, Hertfordshire
    Record Office Number: 3

    Tudor Rees likes this.
  10. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hellp Vitelino,

    Thank you for your suggestion. It is something I have been trying to get them to do for some time - thanks for the National Archive ref, that will be useful for the future - however they have not yet got around to do it. I will see if I can get their permission, then if I can, I can give you the details to see what you can find as they have very little knowledge of him. He was taken to Italy and held by the Italians, but at some point escaped and made it back to Allied lines.

    Thanks again
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Just tell me his name and I'll give you one of his camps in Italy!
  12. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Hello Alucard

    Thats helpful info. - thanks. Am trying to establish with his wife, whether he was wounded at Tobruk and evacuated as a "casualty". Do you know whether "wounded" or "walking wounded" were subject to the same treatment as your friends father?

  13. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    Hi Vitellino

    Do you have any information on PG202 at Lucca? David Binch may have been sent there after shrapnel wounds at Tobruk. He later escaped, and went into hiding for a number of months in the hills around Montecatini Terme before being captured again and sent to Germany.

    Best Regards
  14. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hello Tudor.

    I am sorry, I do not know the answer to that.
  15. Tudor Rees

    Tudor Rees Member

    No worries - thx
    Alucard likes this.
  16. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hello Vitellino.

    This is the chap.

    Leonard Francis Mitchell, Gunner, 3 Field Gun Regiment, Royal Artillery, Service Number 809783
    Reported missing 12th June 1942.

    Many thanks.
  17. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Alucard,

    Gunner Mitchell was held in Camp PG 53. which is in the Marche region of Italy near to the town of Macerata.
    Below is an extract from WO 392/21.

    Mitchell L.F. WO 392 21.jpg

    Quite a lot has been posted about this camp on ww2 talk.

    The Italians called it Urbisaglia in their official documents whereas the International Red Cross and the British (National Archives, for example) called it Sforzacosta. It was set up in a disused linen factory .

    I cannot find Gunner Mitchell as a POW in Germany in WO 392/1. There are two possibilities - he escaped at the Armistice of 8 September 1943 and reached either the Allied Lines or neutral Switzerland, or he died as a POW.

  18. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hello Vitellino,

    Thank you very much for this information. I will pass it on, and I am sure it will be much appreciated.
  19. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

    There are several books written by others who were imprisoned in Campo 53 Sforzacosta. I recommend Ray Ellis "Once a Hussar" for starters. Then there is Solvitur Ambulando by Eric Moss and Laughing We Ran by Len Dann. Prisoner of War
    They should all be available on Amazon or by googling

    Good luck

Share This Page