Udine Camp 57

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by sicily43, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. sicily43

    sicily43 Senior Member

    at few km at north of Udine(North italy) there is a small church.
    This is the place for alled POW called camp 57.
    I don't know if the camp was italian of german, if you have info you can write about this camp.
    Is write that the prisoner found solace in church and build the church and after gave the cross
    and italian army soldiers of engenieer corp had restructurer.

    The camp was open by 26/10/1941 untill 13/9/1943 and there were British australian and newzeland soldiers.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. sicily43

    sicily43 Senior Member

  3. Bills girl

    Bills girl Junior Member

    I do believe my father was held here at Campo 57 near Udine until armistice day when the fences were pulled down and the POW became 'free men" in Italy. The area was occupied by germans though so the freedom was partial. I am still investigating all this history and information to try and make a family resource.
     
    4jonboy likes this.
  4. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I do believe my father was held here at Campo 57 near Udine until armistice day when the fences were pulled down and the POW became 'free men" in Italy. The area was occupied by germans though so the freedom was partial. I am still investigating all this history and information to try and make a family resource.

    Welcome to the Forum Bills Girl,
    PG57 Gruppiagno(near Udine) Described as covering an area of 175,000 square Mtrs. On a Plain backed by Mountains. Accomodation was Wooden Huts built in large Rectangle bisected by barbed wire.South of Udiasta. 46-05 N--13-31 E.

    On the 30th June 1943 the following Nos of P.O.W. were incarcerated in the Camp. 591 British-790 Australian-25 S/African-1059 N/Zealand-252 Indians.
    I know of at least one Australian who Escaped into Switzerland. There would be others.

    Hope this adds to what you know.

    Brian
     
  5. DNapier

    DNapier Junior Member

    My father was at PG57 from around mid 1942 until he was trained north into German held Czecheslovakia in Sept 1943.

    There is a fantastic book by Alex Barnett, titled "Hilter's Digger Slaves" which has recently been reprinted, which has a large section about PG57. Alex was a POW there and was on the fringes of the escape team. Some really good info about the commandant who was somewhat of a tyrant, and how the prisoners built the chapel.
     
  6. mitsilad

    mitsilad Junior Member

    Sicily43 states that the church is a few km north of Udine, yet Brian's map reference is south of Udine.
    Can someone please clarify where it is. I would love to visit the site as my father was there in 1943 before being shipped to Poland and Germany.
     
  7. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Very nice search!
     
  8. Lucky Gunner

    Lucky Gunner Adult user

    Phil McWilliams has kindly provided his detailed directions in finding the site of PG57, in the 2/28th Btn's online newsletter 'Tobruk to Borneo' (from Page 9)
    http://www.second28th.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/TOBRUK-TO-BORNEO.pdf

    Also recommend "Unbroken" by WR (Bob) Beecroft, who's father was a Warrant officer at PG57, search for it online.
    best of luck from another descendant of a PG57 Vet,
    Katrina
     
  9. Sai Kung

    Sai Kung Junior Member

    My Grandfather moved from Capua PG Camp 66 to Prato Isarco (aka Prato all'lsarco) near Bolzano. Apparently Prato Isarco was an old brewery. From here they were trained to Gruppignano Campo PG57 @ October 1941. My Grandfather Walter Smith, (Western Australian soldier) wrote that he was in the first round of PoW's to go into the new huts as soon after he arrived new comers from North Africa arrived to fill the camp. A mixture of Aussies, Tommies, Kiwi's, Indians, Pakistani's and a few Air Force Cypriots. Winter came and the passes between Switzerland and Italy were closed which meant Red Cross rations reduced to less than a third. Freezing conditions and lack of food took it's toll. When summer approached again sports were taken up with apparently some fantastic betting! A seasonal change came again, conditions deteriorated, the Italians Capitulated and the PoW's were put in cattle trains to German Stalag Camps. Granddad wrote that a couple of PoW's escaped through ventilation openings at the top of the train when the train was traveling slowly up a hill.....

    Sicily 43, do you know if this church was part of a Catholic Seminary that was used as a hospital? My Grandad was there for months with severe Rheumatism. He said that the Italian Doctor and the Italian Padre (who was in hospital also for Ulcers) became good friends with all patients.
     
  10. adrianm

    adrianm Junior Member

    As I am planning to visit the Udine area in mid-2012, I did some research into the location of PG57 via my wife's relatives (who live near there). Attached are two files:
    - an extract from a local document identifying the location of PG57, and
    - a Google Earth place marker for PG57 based on th map provided
     

    Attached Files:

  11. chris daly

    chris daly Junior Member

    Phil McWilliams has kindly provided his detailed directions in finding the site of PG57, in the 2/28th Btn's online newsletter 'Tobruk to Borneo' (from Page 9)
    http://www.second28th.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/TOBRUK-TO-BORNEO.pdf

    Also recommend "Unbroken" by WR (Bob) Beecroft, who's father was a Warrant officer at PG57, search for it online.
    best of luck from another descendant of a PG57 Vet,
    Katrina
    Excellent post Katrina.I visited campo 57 in July 2009 and have been asked since for the co-ordinates, so thanks for those. i had to find it myself and took 2 days, but it was worth it. Tell me next time you are in Sydney may be able to swap some stories
    Cheers Chris
     
  12. Groomerlad

    Groomerlad Junior Member

    Hi
    I have just returned from visiting camp pg 57 and happy to share any information with you .
    Cheers
    Errol
     
  13. Vistabay

    Vistabay New Member

    Hi
    I just joined and wasn't sure how to post and hit the red button. It appears I've accidentally given you a negative rating....SORRY!! I hope an administrator sees this and rectifies my error.

    My Dad was there for 4 years and a month and I've obly just found out as he never spoke of it to us. Sadly I know little of Dads time over there but would love to know more. My 25 yo son who was very close to Dad is extremely interested in his Pop's past and I'm hoping to find out as much as I can. Dad was in the 2/17rh 9th division. He was also a RAT.
    Thanks in advance!
    Chris
     
  14. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hi Chris and welcome.

    Good luck with your research

    (Don't worry, I have given a positive rep so it has cancelled out :) )


    Lesley
     
  15. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Chris, good luck with your research
     
    Vistabay likes this.
  16. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Hi Chris,

    Put as much detail as you can including name etc.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  17. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

  18. Vistabay

    Vistabay New Member

    Thanks Lesley!!
     
  19. Vistabay

    Vistabay New Member

    Wow!! Thanks Geoff, this has been really interesting to read...still going!! My Dad NEVER complained about anything all through our lives and with major health problems (due to starvation in the POW camps) he certainly earned the right!
     
  20. Vistabay

    Vistabay New Member

    Our Father's may have known each other, Dad was captured Easter Sunday or Monday 1941 and spent just over four years there. I'm also Bill's girl as my Dad was Bill Lambourn.
    We are VERY keen to go and have a look at the camp or its remains now that I've finally found out where he was, he would never talk of it to us kids or Mum, which I think may have been (understandably) quite common.
     

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