Rosasco Italy

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Sarita Porter, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    From first doc just scroll down
  2. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Hi Vitellino, if you scroll down the first document "Doc 4" you will see the entry.
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks - I didn't go onto the second page! However, what does the entry in the column before the POW Rome say? Any ideas?
  4. DianeE

    DianeE Member

    Hi do you mean the colum to the left of the Pow Rome entry? That was his regiment 65th Anti Tank Regiment RA
  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Yes, of course. So where he was in Rome will remain a mystery unless Sarita sends for his POW records from Geneva.
    DianeE likes this.
  6. Sarita Porter

    Sarita Porter Member

    Hello all

    Thank you for your interest,
    Rome is a mystery, but can anyone help with the POW’s journey from N.Africa
    to Italy ? an unforgettable experience no doubt! are there any first hand accounts ?
    Can anybody help please
    Many Thanks
  7. Pierothegreat

    Pierothegreat Active Member

    Hello all I apologize to have disappeared for a while but I was travelling. Btw today an article was pubblished in a local newspaper . Funny enough I am now working on another Rosasco story which this time involves a German soldier . Anyway thanks for the docs I will make sure to integrate them into the research that shortly will be pubblished in english as well . All the best !
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Sarita,

    For the journey to Italy from North Africa see Bill Clark The People's War:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Bill Clark's War Category

    and the account written by 7895023 Pte. William 'Bill' Blewitt in his unpublished memoirs entitled 'The Greatest Escape' and reproduced in my book The Long Trail Home

    Captured by the Germans whilst a Private with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters near Gazala in the Western Desert. Endured a waterless march to Tmimi, where I was handed over to the Italians. From there, it was a forced march of hundreds of miles to Libya, and many were killed or died on the way. Our anti-tank gun had been knocked out very early, on the morning of 6th June 1942, and even after capture, the full horrors of war still persisted. Bombed and strafed by our own planes, and shelled by our own artillery, the words 'For you the war is over, Tommy,' had a hollow ring. Worse was to come on that march in the desert. Many fainted through lack of water, especially the walking wounded. Some Indian troops were shot trying to drink petrol! There was no respite, but always the promise of water kept us going. Tmimi was the promised land, but even there the water shortage was acute, and the meagre rations went nowhere near slaking our thirsts. A new place became our goal as we trudged forever northwards, Suani Ben Adem, but in spite of all our hopes, Suani Ben Adem turned out to be even worse than Tmimi.

    After leaving Tmimi, travelling now in huge diesel trucks with trailers, we passed through such famous places as Derna, Benghazi, Homs and Tarhuna among others, eventually arriving at Suani Ben Adem. This was situated, I think, not far from Castel Benito, and was just a compound in the desert. There were no amenities whatsoever, despite the promises of the Italians. Very soon we discovered that the place was swarming with lice and fleas. (There had, I think, been previous occupants). For most of us, this was to be our 'home' for the next five months, and many were to die in Suani. No tears were shed on leaving Suani, except for those who had died there.

    In November 1942, after five months in Suani Ben Adem, we sailed from Tripoli en route to Naples. We were held in the hold of a coal boat, battened down, with only a few buckets for sanitation purposes. Packed in like sardines, we would have had no chance of survival had the ship come under attack from the Royal Navy, not an uncommon occurrence. The hold stank, and it was impossible to find a resting place on the steel plates. As we were all at starvation level, and as many were suffering from dysentery, it was a nightmare voyage. But even under these conditions, one event stood out above all else. One man, caught stealing, was hung by his wrist from a beam, his cries for pity unheard; luckily, not only for him, but for all of us, the Italians eventually heard his pleas, cut him down and took him on deck. On arrival in Naples, the Italian newsmen, with their cameras, awaited us, and what a pitiable sight we were; all of us without any real clothing, the dysentery cases dressed only in pieces of blankets around their waists, their clothing having been used in an effort to keep themselves clean. What wonderful propaganda it must have been; the men of the Eighth Army in rags, and starving from lack of food. We then journeyed, by train, to a camp near Naples, Capua, Camp 66. After being a prisoner for five months, I was, at last, going to have a shower, receive some clean clothes and a straw palliasse on which to sleep, and, above all, to receive a Red Cross food parcel, something I didn't know existed at that time.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  9. Sarita Porter

    Sarita Porter Member

    Many Thanks for that
    That was quite a moving account, totally unimaginable,
    I shall have a look at the links

    Thanks again
  10. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

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