1636567 Gunner Frederick John KITSON, 68 H.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery: POW

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by RedReptile556, May 3, 2024.

  1. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member

    Screenshot_20240503_232500_Ancestry.jpg Hey everyone,
    New to the forum.
    Recently I stumbled across this record that I believe to be a liberation questionnaire. The man is a relative of mine and the family didn't know much about his service. He was captured in '42 and at the end of the war he didn't return. The family accepted this and carried on with their lives until on VE Day in '46 he turned up at their doorstep!

    Now the introduction is out of the way. I would like to have anyones help with some questions. I can see that he was held in a number of different camps one of those being blechhammer. Any details that anyone can tell me about what he would have done at the camps and Anything on the camps would be greatly appreciated. I have looked on the National archives. I think it says that his record includes a photo? What does this mean? A photo of him or of some sort of record?.

    This may be alot.

  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Good morning RedReptile556 and welcome to the forum,

    First of all, the liberation report. There should be two more pages downloadable from ancestry.co.uk.

    Secondly, there is plenty of information, including photographs, about Campo PG 65 on this forum:
    Campo 65 Gravina Report. There are also several Youtube videos, one made in September 2022, when a big three-day event at which I was a guest speaker was held at the camp. Unfortunately they are in Italian, but at least you can see the area covered by the camp and the few remaining buildings.

    Next, for Campo PG 53 Macerata, to which your relative was sent in July '43, there is also a lot of information on the internet, including my video on Youtube. I am currently involved in trying to organise and event at Macerata in September of this year.

    For Blechhammer I recommend this site, for which I was the translator.

    Finally, the National Archives item will be his German Record Card, held in File 416. The photo would have been taken when he was in Stalag 344. TNA have made a mistake with the Camp number, which they have recorded as 844. I have informed them of the error.

    Best wishes,

    Vitellino (Janet Kinrade Dethick)
    Last edited: May 4, 2024
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  3. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member

    Hey everyone,

    I have done some more research and I found this photograph of Fred. Is there anything you can tell me about it. I know he was in the Royal artillery. Screenshot_20240606_202204_WhatsApp.jpg
  4. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member


    This is my relative Frederick John Kitson. Anything anyone able to tell me about this uniform Screenshot_20240606_202204_WhatsApp.jpg
    Uncle Target likes this.
  5. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    The factvthat his rank is Gunner tells you that he is Royal Artillery.
    Uncle Target likes this.
  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Newport in Shropshire or South Wales?

    Cant find him on CWGC so he probably survived the war.

    A job for the Genealogy members.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Please add Fred's full name, DoB and Service Number in the text. It helps us to research him and we often get others find online the name / service number and join us.

    He has not appeared here before your post.

    A brief history of 68 HAA from the useful reference site:
    From: 68 (North Midland) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA (TA) - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    As he enlisted in October 1940, he missed the defeat in France and his joining was amidst the reorganization of the army, which may explain a South Wales man ends up in a North Midland RA regt.

    The surrender at Tobruk in June 1942 appears here a lot: 33k prisoners were taken when Tobruk surrendered on 21/6/1942 and South Africans made up the largest single contingent. Under an agreement between the German Afrika Korps and the Italians all OW were dealt with by the Italians and evacuated to Italy. In September 1943 Italy declared an armistice and most POWs were moved by the Germans out of Italy to various camps in Poland and Germany itself.

    If you search online with "68 heavy anti-aircraft" site:ww2talk.com there are a small number of threads. If you add make it 68th two other threads are found, one specifically on his battery firing on German tanks on 20/6/1942. None of the threads on a scan mention a War Diary, as it would have been damaged or lost at Tobruk.

    Their main AA weapon was the 3.7" gun and there is plenty of online information on them.

    There is an IWM taped interview of a battery member on: Taylor, Reginald (Oral history)

    A short history of the regt in North Africa:
    From: John Shelton Gisborne - Local history society
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2024 at 11:50 AM
  8. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Google maps comes up with Newport, South Wales
  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Please keep your query to just one thread as duplication confuses members :).
    See here:
    Uniform identification

    Mods can you please merge, thanks
    dbf likes this.
  10. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member


    Frederick john kitson
    1636567. Born in 1911. But pow questionnaire says born 1914.
    From Newport South Wales.
    From my own research and help form others and the pow questionnaire. He was in many camps, one of these is Blechhammer BAB21.
  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

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  12. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Using the forum's search facility you can find about fourteen threads on POW Camp BAB21 @ Posen (now Poznan in Poland).

    Using "BAB 21" site:ww2talk.com I found many more threads; probably more as BAB21.

    Hence finding, the full title was in German: Bau und Arbeits Battalion; and at some stage the camp became E 793. Plus, it is possible he went on 'The Long March' westwards, conducted by the Germans as the Red Army came closer and ended up in Germany in May 1945.

    There is a video interview of a BAB-21 POW on: BAB 21 Blechhammer video

    Is there any date on the Liberation Questionnaire? I cannot see one.

    Incidentally VE-Day was 8th May 1945, not 1946; so, was it the first anniversary of VE-Day when he arrived home?
    There could be many explanations for this, including spending time as a "guest" of the Red Army (subject of a few threads).
  13. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member


    On speaking with family members. And doing my own research. It seems that Fred arrived back home in 1945 not '46 as the family thought. I have no idea where the 46 VE Day date came from. I believe that he was on the long march.
  14. RedReptile556

    RedReptile556 Member

    Anyone able to tell me if this was true? Screenshot_20240611_173324_Facebook.jpg
    From a relative. Her dad was one of Fred's children
  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Feasible if not credible.
    Try reading The Pegasus Archive

    Prisoner of War
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2024 at 6:11 PM
  16. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    When glancing through an online search for BAB21 there were references to deaths from an Allied bombing raid, so it should be easy to confirm.
  17. Gareth Smith

    Gareth Smith Active Member


    There are a number of interesting links on FMP, Ancestry, and National Archives that might be of interest to you:

    Royal Artillery Attestation: https://search.findmypast.co.uk/rec...01-1638600/00100&parentid=GBM/ROYALART/504730
    Service Record (National Archives): Name: F J Kitson . Service number: 1638567 . Date of birth: 28 February 1914 . | The National Archives

    Casualty List (Missing) - https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM/WO417/046/0342&parentid=GBM/WO417/0386745
    Casualty List (PoW) - https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM/WO417/050/0364&parentid=GBM/WO417/0436088
    Casualty List (No longer PoW) - https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM/WO417/094/0500&parentid=GBM/WO417/1010156

    WO 392 POW Lists 1943-1945 - 21: Imperial Prisoners of War Held in Italy, Italian-Occupied Territory: British & Commonwealth Army: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imagevie...src=ccy627&_phstart=successSource&pId=1191225
    WO 392 POW Lists 1943-1945 - 1: Imperial Prisoners of War Held in Germany or German-Occupied Territory: British Army: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imagevie...hsrc=ccy627&_phstart=successSource&pId=796777
    WO 392 POW Lists 1943-1945 - 11: Imperial Prisoners of War Held in Germany or German-Occupied Territory: British Army: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imagevie...hsrc=ccy627&_phstart=successSource&pId=798122

    Prisoners of War: https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBM/NMPPOW/00052731

    PoW Card (National Archives): https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C17047654

    Liberation Questionnaire: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imagevie...phsrc=ccy627&_phstart=successSource&pId=82324
    davidbfpo likes this.
  18. Gareth Smith

    Gareth Smith Active Member

    A few more links for you:

    Prisoner of War Online Museum: Kitson, F J - Online Museum of Prisoners of War

    PG53 Info - I CAMPI FASCISTI - Dalle guerre in Africa alla Repubblica di Salò
    PG65 Info - I CAMPI FASCISTI - Dalle guerre in Africa alla Repubblica di Salò
    Stalag IIA Info - Camp Fünfeichen - Wikipedia
    Stalag IIIB Info - Stalag IIIB

    German PoW Camp Map - Maps of German World War II Prisoner of War Camps

    dont forget too, to apply to the Red Cross to see what PoW records they hold for him. The next slot opens on 23rd September 2024.
    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or Second World War: Quarterly limit reached
  19. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I don't want to bore anyone, but I DID post this last month - on 4th May - regarding PG 53 and PG 65.

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