South Africans in Italian POW Camps

Discussion in 'South African' started by HilikusZA, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    They were all in Camp 52 named Chiavari in some documents but actually at Coreglia Ligure in NW Italy.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  2. Librason

    Librason Librason

    Hi all, I am new to this forum, and would like to know if anyone can provide any information on my grandfather, HL (Lappies) Labuschagne. He was also capured at Tobruk in 1942, send to Italy, then Germany, from which he escaped (twice, i think). His story was published in Die Vaderland newspaper somewhere around 1974, in two parts, interviewed by a friend of the family, Douglas Jones (jounalist). Over the years all family records of his WW2 experience dissapeared, I would realy like to find out more. I know he was a standing member of MOTH and Freemasons. I hope someone can assist my research.
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Librason,

    Sergeant HL (Lappies) Labuschagne SAP/ 198310 was held in Camp 53 Sforza Costa near Macerata Italy and was subsequenty sent to Stalag 344(previously known as Stalag VIIIB) Lamsdorf (POW NUMBER 30737).


  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member


    In August 1943 your grandfather was being held in Camp 47, Modena.
  5. NeilA

    NeilA Junior Member

    I had a fellow from the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Association dig up my late Dad's records, but would really like to find out more about his time as a POW - what camps etc. My dad spoke with horror of his time in the camps in Germany, and any guidance or info would be useful.
    Derek Edward Amoore
    Transvaal Horse Artillery/ 3rd Tvl Scottish
    Captured Tobruk '42

  6. Koalabottle

    Koalabottle Junior Member

    I just realised that my great Uncle, Gunner William Craig, was also a POW in Italian camps- PG 75 and PG 85 are on tw of the POWW postcards he sent home.
    I also have a later letter home, sent from Stalag IV D, and the contents fascinated me- I thought you might like to share it.
    Bill wrote that he and his comrades were camped ' in a valley about 5miles from Laterina' and on Sept.8th, 1943, a game of football was interrupted when 'the figure of the (italian?) Colonel was seen wobbling towards the S.M.'s tent'. Shortly after, the S.M. emerged shouting ' Armistice has been signed!'
    He says a great shout went up and the nex day, the camp guards deserted and 'the boys broke down the fence and had a walk around the countryside' He describes the abundance of game caught and brought back to camp that day and says that 'half the chaps were on their way that night'.
    The next day, the Germans arrived and took charge of the camp.
    What I have been able to research seems to back this rather amazes me, and saddens me to think he migh have escaped too.
    Does anyone have anything that lists William Craig (Served with the South African Artillery, 2nd Field Regiment) as a POW?
  7. Graham50

    Graham50 Junior Member

    Hi HilikusZA
    I got the info I required from a XXXXXX
    Give him a try and good luck
  8. Graham50

    Graham50 Junior Member

    Hi Elize.
    My late dad was in Camp Fara 54. His name was Raymond Leslie S/N 89594. Could it be that his name is on the list that your Dad left behind? My dad was in the 2nd Battalion Natal Filed Artillery. I have tied up a lot of missing pieces that I have searched through this forum and the web. My dad was captured at Tobruk, taken to Fara 54, and then on to Moosberg in southern Bavaria. This camp was Stalag V11A. He was eventually liberated on 28th April 1945.
    Best regards
  9. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Geotrac,

    If you didn't get a photo of the plaque at Camp 54 you can find it on the above website,

  10. MichealSA

    MichealSA Junior Member

    hi all, my Grandfather was in CampoPG 52 Chiavari, I have the following document if anyone is interested
  11. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    That is very cool Michael, thank you for sharing.
  12. Josey

    Josey Member

    I am looking into my family history and have very little information about my grandfather's service in WW2.
    His name was Denis Oswald Hounsom and his service number was 195646. He worked for SAP before the war and I assume joined up through them. He was captured at Tobruk and taken to Italy as a prisoner of war. He survived the war and came back to South Africa.

    Any information would be helpful.

    Thank you.

    J Hounsom
  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Josey,

    Your grandfather was held in PG 54 at Fara in Sabina in Italy. I can't find him on my list of South African prisoners in Germany and you say he survived the war so presumably he escaped from PG 54 after the Armistice of 8 September '43 and managed to stay in hiding until the Allies arrived wherever he happened to be. You could send for his service record and if you send me a private message I will give you the name of a South African researcher who has obtained quite a lot of archive material for me in the past.

    In the meantime go to to find out what PG 54 was like.


  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron


    Simply to confirm Vitellino's information, here is an image of your grandfather's entry in file WO392/21, Prisoners of the Italians, August 1943. This document is held at the National Archives in London.

    Excuse the quality of the jpeg.


  15. Josey

    Josey Member

    Thank you Vitellino, yes, he did not go to Germany. When the guards left the camp he escaped and depended on the kindness of the farmers in the area. I am not sure how he got home but I have requested his information so perhaps I will get more answers there. It is great to know which camp he was in so thank you very much.

    kind regards
  16. Josey

    Josey Member

    Thank you Steve, very kind of you guys to get us info.

  17. Josey

    Josey Member

    Hello everybody.
    I can't believe that I have received information back from SANDF so quickly. Seriously impressed!
    I received docs from them but I am afraid I am not "army" literate so would like to know if I can email the files to someone who will be able to interpret the different shorthands used in the reports?

    Kind regards
    Jo Hounsom
  18. jpross

    jpross Member

    Hey everybody,

    I would like to find out in which pow camps my wife's grandfather was held.

    He was part of the FC/CTH and was captured at Chuisi, Italy. His name was Stanley Ivan Jakins, Force Nr: 11228.

    Thank you

  19. History1

    History1 Member


    We are trying to find some info on husbands grandfather who was a South African POW in Italy. The only info we have is as follows:
    His name was Frederick Jacobus Norman, force number 19295. He was taken prisoner on 20/6/1942 and 15/09/1944 in Tobruk and Italy. His SANDF record says he was in the Umvoti Mounted Rifles and Imperial Light Horse.

    Thank you
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi C

    Welcome to the forum

    Others will be along to help out with the Italian info, - just wanted to add it seems he was transferred to Germany at some point:

    F J Norman in the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: F J Norman
    Rank: Pte
    Army Number: 19295V
    POW Number: 138397
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lamsdorf, Poland
    Section: South African Land Forces : Officers and Other Ranks


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