South African POWs in Italy

Discussion in 'South African' started by Russelle, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Russelle

    Russelle Junior Member

    Hello. My father, Stanley Roy Eldridge, now deceased, was a South African POW in Italy during WWII. I am trying to find out more about his POW experiences. He served with the First Transvaal Scottish Regiment in North Africa and was captured at Tobruk. I know that he worked on Italian farms. After the Italian collapse, he escaped across the Alps to Switzerland and was interned until the end of the war. He was involved with the POW newspaper Marking Time and he won a water polo medal in a competition at Sirnach. The Transvaal Scottish Regiment doesn't have much information (and I live in Australia). Thanks, Russell Eldridge
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Russell,

    By good fortune I have on file (jpeg) the list of POW's held by the Italians, WO 392, kept at the National Archives, Kew, London.

    Pte. 241358 S.R. Eldridge was held at camp number 66, which is Capua.

    There must be a good chance that this is your father? If you would like the actual jpeg image for his entry, then pm me and we can work out how I can get that to you.

    Cheers.

    Bamboo.
     
  3. Russelle

    Russelle Junior Member

    Hi Bamboo, Many thanks for your reply. I'm pretty sure that's my father. I'm not quite sure how this forum works. My email is reldridge1 at gmail.com I'd love to hear more. Cheers,
    Russell
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Russell,

    That is really the only information I can give you. I will email it over soon.

    Capua is a town a few kilometres North of Naples as far as I can see from Google maps.

    Bamboo.
     
  5. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    There is a report that was made by S R Eldridge when he arrived in Switzerland.

    It is in File No. WO208/4249. He seems to have been Captured 12/6/42 and made a Report in Switzerland 17/11/43.

    He would have been in more than one Camp in Italy.

    Brian
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Russell,

    Brian has given some very good info there, seems you might be in luck?

    Bamboo.
     
  7. Kevin Baxter

    Kevin Baxter Junior Member

    Bamboo43
    Do you have any record of a GERALD LAWRENCE BAXTER (Rifleman 2nd South African Div) ? I believe he was POW at Camp 54 and then Camp 65 , escaped then recaptured and POW at Stalag 4F and Stalag (Luft ??) 11A

    Regards
    Kevin Baxter

    Hi Russell,

    By good fortune I have on file (jpeg) the list of POW's held by the Italians, WO 392, kept at the National Archives, Kew, London.

    Pte. 241358 S.R. Eldridge was held at camp number 66, which is Capua.

    There must be a good chance that this is your father? If you would like the actual jpeg image for his entry, then pm me and we can work out how I can get that to you.

    Cheers.

    Bamboo.
     
  8. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    In my POW Lists Rfn G L Baxter 11618 is listed for Italy but no Camp is given.

    He is listed as St 11A in 1945 POW No 141924
     
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Kevin,

    I cannot add anymore detail to what Brian has stated. You are more than welcome to a jpeg of his entry in WO392.

    Just pm me and we will sort it.

    Bamboo.
     
  10. Kevin Baxter

    Kevin Baxter Junior Member

    Bamboo
    Would you be able to check on my late father's information :
    Rifleman GERALD BAXTER
    South African 2nd Infantry Division
    Captured in Tobruk
    POW in Italy (Camp 54 ??) Camp 65 Aug 1942 - Apr 1943
    Escaped Sept 1943 (I think with Pte. Bailey and Pte. Currie)
    Recaptured Feb 1944
    POW in Germany Stalag 4F and Stalag (Luft ??) 11A Mar 1944 - May 1944
    Work camp Dessau May 1944 - Apr 1945

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated .
    Regards
    Kevin Baxter
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Kevin,

    From the list of WO392 your father only has his name, rank and service number against his entry. No camp number is given.

    I only have this document in my possession and have no expertise in this field of research.

    However, I looked up the other two men you mention and have come up with some info.

    Rifleman 11620 P.D. Bailey, held at Camp 146.
    Rifleman 11623 J.K. Currin, also held at 146.
    Camp 146 is simply stated as a 'work camp'? No geographical location is given.

    There are numerous Bailey's and Currie's/Currin's on the list for South African troops, but these two stood out because their service numbers are so close to your father's.

    I am sure Brian will be able to add to this and fill in some of the gaps.

    Bamboo.
     
  12. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    My Records show;

    PM 3100 Liguria District

    PG 146 Mortara : Strength 30/6/43 2344 - 1734 British and 610 South Africans.

    Position 45:14.5 N - 08:43E
     
  13. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    PM 3300 Central District

    PG 54 Fara in Sabina (20mls N.E. of Rome)at Altitude 744ft.
    Camp in three sections,one of buildings two probably tents.

    Strength 30/6/43 - 2 Officers 3143 ORs; 2088 British - 1 Australian - 1056 South Africans -
    Some ORs transfered to Germany 25/7/43

    Position 42.15N : 19.09E
     
  14. Kevin Baxter

    Kevin Baxter Junior Member

    ADM199
    Many thanks for your reply -- this is some of the better information I have been able to gather . Do you know where I may be able to find more information/photographs from ? I have cearched through literally 100s of sites with little success . ICRC have said they have information but it will take 5-6 months !!!
    Your help is greatly appreciated
    Regards
    Kevin
     
  15. Kevin Baxter

    Kevin Baxter Junior Member

    Bamboo
    Many thanks for your reply .Any information / assistance you may offer is greatly appreciated --- I have trawled 100s of reports/sites with little success .

    Regards
    Kevin
     
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Kevin,

    I am going to see how many pages the South African POW list entails and then consider how I can get that to you.

    I will pm you soon.

    Bamboo.
     
  17. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    He gives his Rank as Pte.D.O.B. 8/9/1914 Enlisted 4/4/1940 ang gives his profession as Trader. Address:- Stokes Basin P.O.Askeaton Via Lady Frere, Transkei C.P. S/Africa.

    Captured 21/6/42 like most of the Kaffrarian Rifles.

    PG 65 16/8/42 - 8/4/43 -- St 11A 25/3/44 - 16/5/44

    Work Details Farm Work-Mortara 8/4/43 - 8/9/43
    Dessau 16/5/44 - 12/4/45 Unloading Coal.

    Escaped Italy 9/9/43 and recaptured 12/2/44..

    There should be plenty of P.O.W. Camp photos in the Australian Archive and you could also try the Alexander Turnbull Library in New Zealand.
     
  18. richardsax

    richardsax Junior Member

    Hi Bamboo43
    I am very interesed in you jpeg copy of the WO 392 which may help me put some more pieces to a family puzzle regarding Pte Llewellyn Bowen, my grand father who was captured at Tobruk along with many others of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment. The story goes something like he and about 200 POWs walked out of the camp, along with many of the Italian guards, after the capitulation. He then survive 18 months in caves in the hills, relying on the good will and trust of the local population, before eventually walking south to Allied lines! As a final twist, I believe he was picked up by Free French who, suspicious of their ragged and wretched appearance, threw them into prison until an interpreter could be found.
    As with many others, I would love to be able to fill in some of the details and possibly retrace his journey. Would the above document have details of which camp he was in?
    I would be most grateful.
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Richard,

    So sorry I seemed to have completely missed your post, I do hope you catch up with this thread again?

    Attached is Pte. Bowen's entry and the camps list.

    Steve.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. swan

    swan Junior Member

    I am currently looking for information on my grandfather

    I have in my possession a photo taken of him on 19th Nov 1942 with the following information written on the back

    SGT J.N Phillips 26029
    PG 52 PM 3100
    Italy

    He was captured at the battle of Sidi Rezegh on 22 Nov 1941. He was a member of the 3rd field regiment of the Transvaal Horse Artillery attached to 5 South African infantry Brigade.

    I believe he was moved from this camp in Chiaveri, Italy during 1943 but I am unsure where he was moved to.

    Any information on his where abouts during this time as POW would be greatly appreciated

    Regards

    Paul
     

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