POW - Italian work camp pg 146

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by FB77, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Bruce A

    Bruce A Member

    Dear Piero,

    That's great news - I'm excited to know what documents Mr Paolo has. So, the Bazzanos rented the farm from their relatives, the Marchesanis? I assume your Professor's book on the camps is written in Italian - with interest in this from many English-speaking prisoners, perhaps someone has written a translation?

    Many thanks,

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  2. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Dear Bruce ,
    please put a circle on today on the calendar as this will be a remarkable one !
    Today I got in contact with Mr. Paolo Marchesani who is actually a cousin of the Bazzano's . He was very aware of the historyas he was grown by the Bazzanos and he has proivided me several interesting details on the history . The Cascina was not in fact neither of the 2 previously indicated but the Cascina Raggia which seems still to be in the same status as when your father was there .He is probably going in the next days to take pictures exactly in the same position . There will be a lot to share ( and yes the book is in Italian -and absolutely good point on the translation ) but to celebrate today success let me show what hereunder

    ..Definitely tonight is time for a toast !

    IMG_3897.JPG IMG_3898.JPG IMG_3899.JPG
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  3. Bruce A

    Bruce A Member

    Dear Piero,

    Wow. What can I say? You should see the grin on my face.

    I'm so pleased that the Bazzanos had some form of evidence to prove what they did for my father and George - my family believe they deserved much more.

    Apparently there is a register of Italians that helped escaping service personnel during WW2 which I intend to search. I need to visit the UK National Archives to look for the details but having a copy of the certificate will make it much easier.

    I'm so intrigued about what information you will find out next. Please let me know the location of farm / Cascina Raggia so I can pinpoint it on the map.

    Many thanks once again.

    Very best wishes,

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  4. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Dear Bruce please find Cascina Raggia pictured by Mr. Marchesani tonight . It is as it was in 1943 . Please also find the Google Earth Image and the Google Earth Coordinate . You can still see the Haystack there were your father and other slept . It is done now , just up to me to write the story and pubblish it on our website as an eternal memory . We will make pages in english and italian .If you plan to come and meet people happy to assist .
    Cascina Raggia.JPG GoogleEarth_CascinaRaggia.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  5. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

    Apparently there is a register of Italians that helped escaping service personnel during WW2 which I intend to search. I need to visit the UK National Archives to look for the details but having a copy of the certificate will make it much easier

    The complete records of the Allied Screening Commission (ASC) are held at the National Archives in Washington (NARA). The ASC carried out a 2-year investigation, immediately after the War, into assistance given by Italians to Allied escapers. For reasons too long to relate here, all those docs (over a million) ended up in Washington.

    It may take some time but you can make an enquiry here:
    Contact the National Archives
    Give as many names and places as you can, and explain why you are making this enquiry. You will probably have to pay something and I don't know how long it will take. Good luck and let us know how you get on!

  6. Bruce A

    Bruce A Member

    Dear Piero,

    Please thank Mr Marchesani for the photos and coordinates, it was very kind of him. I look forward to reading your story but I'm sure I can assist with more details if you'd like to include them?

    Once I'm home I'll visit the UK Public Records Office to gather copies of both my father's and George Tudor's full Escape & Evasion Reports as I currently only have a single page. In that report I expect there'll be information about the Bazzanos role in their escape. The PRO will also have more relevant detail which I'll be happy to share.

    Kind regards,

  7. Bruce A

    Bruce A Member

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for the guidance, I'll email the NARA archives and perhaps pay them a visit as I occasionally have business in Washington.

    In addition, I'm sure there's a register of payments made to claimants for helping escaped POWs. This is, I believe available at the UK PRO which I'll go to in the next month or so.

    Kind regards,

  8. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Bruce certainly I want to include all your details. I will start interviewing Margherita and Paolo.if in the meanwhile you wish to write the story in English would be very helpful.
  9. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    IMG_0146.JPG Here I am
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  10. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    IMG_0260.JPG ..
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  11. Bruce A

    Bruce A Member

    Douglas Allum and George Tudor were British army technicians captured by German troops in Agedabia, Libya during late December 1941. Following 14 months in an Italian Prisoner-of-War in Servigliano, on the 3rd June 1943, they were taken by ordinary train to campo P.G. 146/XVIII P.M. 3100 situated in a tiny village called Sforzesca.

    There, under guard, George and Douglas left the camp in working parties to farms in the vicinity. The work was mostly harvesting and although very hard on those not used to farm work, they were frequently given a little milk, the first since being captured, except for the occasional powder milk from the Red Cross food parcels.

    Above all, the great advantage was the opportunity to view the surrounding countryside with a view to escape. The small camp in which they were kept had much less security than the bigger camp they'd come from in the south. The large farms tended to be Fascist but smaller farms disliked the regime and looked forward to the arrival of the Allies, but dared not show their feelings. The prisoners noted which was which for when the time came to escape.

    This came following the announcement on the 8th September 1943 by Marshal Badoglio of the wish of the majority of Italians to surrender, though the Fascists and Germans had complete control of the main ports, towns, railways, airfields etc. In their case they were lucky, being held in a small camp of only 100 prisoners; the guards thought the war was over and just went home. The Germans reacted swiftly, but a day of freedom was enough for them to disappear into the countryside from which it was difficult to be found. Many were recaptured, but countless managed to remain free until able to go south to reach Allied forces hundreds of miles away through country controlled by Germans and Fascists, or to find guides to get them over the Swiss border, just 50 miles to the north, but extremely hazardous because of frontier patrols.

    There was a very small farm not far from the camp at which the prisoners had never worked. Douglas was sure these farmers would help if they were able to convince them the risk would be small, disappearing on the appearance of any Germans or Fascists near the farm, day or night. They spent many nights hidden in trees away from the farm when there were alarms or search parties in the neighbourhood.

    When all was quiet they helped with jobs on the farm and had meals with the Bazzano family. This went on for two and a half months but as penalties for helping P.O.W.s were terrible, it became clear they must move on before the kind Bazzanos were caught. In the end, it was the Bazzanos who provided civilian clothing and put them in touch with guides and a group of underground workers running an escape line to suitable crossing points on the Swiss border.

    Just after midday on the 15th November 1943, George and Douglas dressed in the quite respectable dark suits and raincoats provided by the Bazzanos, with a flask of brandy each, left the farm mounted on cycles and followed a young girl at a distance which would not suggest any connection between them if stopped and questioned. The route took them through Vigevano, across the Ticino river, to Abbiategrasso where their guide deposited her cycle against a wall and they did likewise.

    They followed her onto a very crowded tram type railway carriage, taking them close to Milan Central Station, arriving about 4 o’clock, just as it was getting dark. Their guide obtained tickets, which were slipped to them and followed her through the ticket barrier onto the train, darkened and very dimly lit because of the blackout regulations. Unknown to Douglas and George at the time there were other escapees scattered amongst the passengers.

    On reaching Varese they found themselves in a group now numbering about a dozen leaving the train and directed into a disused carriage on a siding where they hid for the night. In the morning they boarded a local train consisting of railway wagons with forms placed in them for the passengers to sit on and we went on to Cittiglio where to their consternation were joined by some friendly unsuspecting Italian soldiers who were immediately engaged in conversation with their guide to distract inquiring glances. Fortunately, at the next station near Laveno, the escapees got out and followed the guide casually through the village into the countryside where towards evening the group increased to 18. As it became dark it was then clear that it was intended that with two mountain guides they should walk uphill and down for many miles all night, to the frontier, crossing it before daylight.

    Although it was probably only about 10 miles as the crow flies, it turned out to be very much more by the circuitous route took in order to avoid villages and cross bridges which were not patrolled.

    They set off as soon as it was dark in single file, one guide leading with the other at the rear. There was no moon and in the darkness, they blindly followed the person in front, at times through undergrowth, on narrow paths, across fields and through a small hamlet where their passage started dogs barking causing some of the inhabitants to come to their doors. As they continued through without stopping the guides made some explanation to them and they very quickly withdrew, no doubt being told the group was a fascist or partisan patrol to stop any unwelcome inquiries or careless talk to others.

    They crossed with great care an apparently unguarded bridge over a stream, relying entirely on the alertness of the guides. At one point, about halfway through this seemingly endless trek, while crossing a field, George became unable to continue at the pace. He seemed to lose his sight and was stumbling. The guide could not allow their progress to be slowed, as they had to get to the frontier wire before it became light and insisted that George is left in a barn close by. Because of the obvious danger to the rest of the group with only a few more hours of darkness, Douglas had no choice to leave him but was assured that George would be got through the frontier later, as soon as he was well enough.

    Eventually, very tired with the continual climbing up and downhill, scratched by undergrowth, they arrived in the vicinity of the frontier where the ground was well wooded.

    Being at the end of the line, Douglas was the last to cross the open track to the wire, but before doing so handed back a revolver to the guide, pleased that it had not been necessary to use it.

    The dense thicket afforded some protection, except on the track, which followed close to the tall, wired, border fence on which bells were mounted to give an alarm if tampered with in any way. The track, regularly patrolled, would have to be crossed quickly towards a ditch that was covered in bushes beside the fence and at a point selected by the guides. Near the fence was where a water drainage pipe went through, with openings at each end that were secured by a padlocked grill. The drainage pipe was just big enough for a man to crawl through and fortunately had very little water in it at the time. At 4.30 a.m. and in the dark they were able to slip across the track two or three at a time then into the pipe which was just big enough to crawl through on all fours.

    One by one they scrambled through. Douglas was last, fearing for the moment a grip on his shoulder by a frontier guard would prevent escape to freedom, which was now in sight at the other end of the tunnel. His luck held and on emerging through the grills on the Swiss side was greeted by a Swiss guard who asked if they were English then led them to the Swiss guardhouse at Fornasette. George caught up with the party at Bellinzona and later went into hospital at Wiesendangen.

    Both Douglas and George remained in Switzerland until October 1944, arriving back in England by early November and demobilised in May 1946.

    In June 1946, Douglas received a note from the Bazzanos. It is not known if he replied but by then communication with George had been lost. He always felt a debt of gratitude was owed to all those kind and brave Italians that risked their lives so they could once more taste freedom.

    Douglas remained very active for most of his life; he married in 1964, had three sons and four grandchildren. He passed away on the 6th November 2014 at the respectable age of 93.
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  12. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Bruce fantastic piece , I will embedded into the page . We are progressing I believe in 2 weeks to video interview Paolo Marchesani and Margherita Bazzano . With that I think we are good to publish a nice story .I plan to see you soon in London. Best
  13. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

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  14. FB77

    FB77 New Member

    Hello Anne. I did it.
    I hope they understand my english..
    Thank you very much.
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  15. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Breaking news ! We now have information on Ernest Cox and John Gallop thanks to Bruce visiting the Archives . We will post the update soon .
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  16. stephen m

    stephen m New Member

    hello all.
    Am new to this and hope a few people pick up, as no activity here for a while.
    I am doing some research on my Grandad - Bombadier James Morana.
    Wholly English (despite the name)
    Captured Libya 1st June 1942
    Passed through PG66 Capua, before a few months at PG 53 Sforzacosta

    Looks like sent to PG146 in May 43.
    Was at 13 - Villa Biscossi

    We have found his interview when got into Switzerland.
    He hid for 3 weeks, then rail and foot to Switzerland.
    Was helped by two people - Angelo Goy and Santos Tobara.
    Would love to know more about Biscossi, and ideally more about others who escaped.

    He entered Switzerland at Carena
  17. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Stephen,

    Santos Tobara - this is Spanish, not Italian.

    Angelo Goy. There are three Goys in the phone book :

    EMILIO GOY, VIA OPICINO DE' CANISTRIS 9 - 27034 LOMELLO (PV) tel: 0039 0384 85138 - very close , only 4 kms away.

    The other two are about 20kms away.:
    ANGELO GOY, VIA LEGNANO 27, 15121 ALESSANDRIA, TEL: 0039 0131 263570
    ROSSETTA RICCI GOY, Piazza S. Stefano 10 - 15121 Alessandria (AL)TEl: 0039 0131 223829

    All worth a try.

    I suggest you get Pierothegreat on to it ( the post above yours - send him a private message).

  18. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Just found this on Angelo Goy by Prof. Zucca (see thread on Rosasco) and have done a quick translation of the salient points:

    Giuseppe Stefano Zaltieri was born on Wednesday, September 1, 1909 in Isorella in the province of Brescia. He moved to Lomello, in the province of Pavia, where he was a worker on the Boragno farm.

    After the armistice of 8 September, thirty-four year old Giuseppe hid some former prisoners of war who had escaped from the Confalonera farm at Ferrera Erbognone (PV). On Monday, 8 November 1943, four British soldiers wrote a letter testifying help they had been given by Giuseppe and his family. They were also helped by Jewish student Giuseppe Loew at Villa Biscossi,(in hiding there from Milan but deported in 1944 to Auschwitz), by Marta Cassi, by Lomellina farm worker Angelo Goy, who made his home available for meetings, and by Edmondo Boriotti who was the link man with a group of partisans which was made up of Italian draft dodgers and Allied POW escapers.

    The partisans disarmed the Fascist barracks at S. Giorgio Lomellina, taking away weapons, ammunition and clothing, which were then hidden in hidden in the home of Angelo Goy and on Giuseppe Stefano Zaltieri's farm.

    A soldier at the police station in Pavia informed Angelo Goy that a raid was imminent. On the evening of Thursday 6 July 1944 some Blackshirts from Pavia arrested Giuseppe Loew while he was taking three revolvers and some leaflets from Goy's house to that of Giuseppe Stefano Zaltieri: taken to Pavia gaol, the young man was repeatedly asked to reveal the names of his collaborators. Among his papers the fascists had found Goy's firearms permit and he too was arrested a few days later. Goy was released due to lack of evidencebut other arrests continued, amongst them were ex South African POW John Calliford and a Milanese student Giovanni Invernizzi, a cousin of Goy. All were deported.

    So it appears that the one to contact from the above list would be EMILIO GOY from LOMELLINA.

  19. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Now I can work on this as finished on Rosasco.Could we see the interrogation reports?
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  20. Rob1503

    Rob1503 New Member


    I am not sure if anybody still follows this thread but if it is of interest, here is the escape report of Keith Mullens, a South African, who escaped from PG146/XV on 12/9/1943.

    Attached Files:

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