The Murder of Corporal Edward Symons, 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion.

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Drew5233, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Going through some old files I came across this witness statement sent to me some time ago by Brian (ADM199) and thought I'd share it with you.

    I'd be interested if any of you chaps 'down under' have anything to add? Can you confirm if his name is spelt correctly for example?

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    This member's pers file has not been digitised by the National Archives of Australia, which I normally take to mean that no-one (family member / researcher) has applied for it to happen.

    There is one other (undigitised) file for this member which I found with a bit of a search - it is titled "War crimes - Italy - Shooting of Corporal Symons, AIF, at PG 57 Udine Gruppignano" - it might throw more light on the outcome of any investigation.


    According to the AWM ROH the cause of death for Symons WX1982 is "Executed"
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  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Dave,

    Any chance you can get the files ?

  5. Martin Elliget

    Martin Elliget Senior Member

    This file mentions the shooting of Symons and the verdict in the subequent trial:

    Title War crimes - Italian war crimes
    Contents date range 1949 - 1951
    Series number A1838
    Control symbol 1550/14
    Item barcode 572097

    See NAA page 7 (31 Jan 1951), para. f.:

    "Shooting of VX1982 Cpl. E. W. Symons, AIF, at Udino,
    Gruppignano, on 20 May 43.
    SODINI Marinello (Sentenced to Death by Shooting).
    (on 30 April 46 the Supreme Allied Commander confirmed
    the finding of the Court but commuted the sentence of
    death to one of imprisonment for life)."

    See NAA page 4 (21 Apr 1951), para. f (bottom of page):

    "With regard to the shooting of Cpl. Symons by SODINI
    Marinello, the information contained in the Australian
    Government's memorandum of the 31st January, 1951 is
    correct. I am able to say that, from information from
    the Italian Government, SODINI was put on parole in
    December, 1950. He was tried at Afragola on 4-9 March

    On NAA page 43, a letter to Downing Street from a Goerge (sic) Crombie, dated 9 Sep 1950, gives an idea of the political machinations at the time.

    So in summary, crime committed May 1943, sentenced to death Mar 1946, commuted to life in prison Apr 1946, parolled Dec 1950.

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  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Well done Martin - I didn't think to search for a general war crimes file.

    I wonder how much other info I have missed in my research by not broadening my search parameters?


  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Martin....Another one who got off lightly.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  9. Toni Maxwell

    Toni Maxwell Member

    Corporal E W Symons WX1982 was my Grandfathers brother..
  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

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  11. Toni Maxwell

    Toni Maxwell Member

    Thank you I will pass this information on to my mother. I actually only learned of my great uncle today, I had no knowledge of him other than he had been shot during a cricket match during the war. Apparently it was something he said that led to him being shot.
  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    You're welcome. I'll contact Andy - the starter of the topic - to see if he can reinstate the images in the first post. They have likely been lost in one of the forum upgrades since 2011.

    Steve Y
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  13. Toni Maxwell

    Toni Maxwell Member

    Thank you so much.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    No, he gave up with imageshack.
    Drew5233 and the Infamous Imageshack
  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thanks Owen.

    I don’t really understand how these hosting sites work but appreciated Andy’s link was broken.

    Just hoping Andy may have kept (and is able to remember where it is!) the original image elsewhere on his own system.


  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    You know Andy -he always backs everything up on a seperate hard drive - he wouldn't be caught out by computer problem affecting his records/files

  17. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    I’m sure he will have it somewhere Richard..... but will he be able to find it again after 7 years?

  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Photobucket lasted a week and I went back to imageshack. I'll see if I can find the file but I have no idea where it is.
  19. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    I never actually met Brian ADM199 but he was a delightful man, by all accounts, and would have been chuffed to have the online resources we have now.

    The United Nations were persuaded to release their archive by people such as Dr. Dan Plesch of SOAS. ( see this recent article: Long-hidden World War II files offer another way to prosecute war crimes ).

    As to the statement temporarily mislaid in Yorkshire ( I know the feeling only too well and I haven't a clue what the cloud is ) it could be at Kew on either WO235/98 ( the trial file) or on WO311/315 ( the investigation file), former file reference: MD/JAG/FS 41/12. The "Dead Victims" cards at Kew have this reference. Brian probably knew the cards well.

    Summary of the case now available online from the International Criminal Court database. ( this is building, only from about 2013/14 onwards.)

    Other documents are available online. Search online for “ICC Legal Tools”. Click button “Search”. On next page click “ Source” in left hand column. Click on “ United Nations War Crimes Commission ” ( applies a filter ). On main page in search bar type “Sodini.” Five documents available for download. You sometimes have to wait a bit for the download. To see how large the file is click on "Metadata."
  20. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    It would be worth getting the file to find out the facts regarding his death. It's hard to imagine it could be over a cricket game, if it's described as an "execution"?

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