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Football-The Italian PoW's "Escape"

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Had a book on the Italian chapel on Orkney years ago which went into a lot of detail on the football teams, especially the more well-known members. No idea what happened to it though.
    "Coriolano "Gino" Caprara is the last surviving Italian prisoner of war to have been held in the Orkney Islands during World War Two. Now aged 100, he has been recalling how football came to play an important role in camp life.
    "I played for the Camp 34 team against the soldiers. We always played tournaments - and we always lost!"
    Gino was a prisoner on the island of Burray from 1942 until 1945.
    He arrived on Orkney at the age of 25 after being captured in North Africa.
    Italy surrendered to the Allied forces in 1943, but the 1,000 men being held in the two camps in Orkney could not be returned to their native country because of Nazi Germany's influence in the region.
    That meant the prisoners had to stay in the camps until the end of the war...
    ...As the PoWs became more ingrained in everyday Orkney life, sport became an increasingly important part of life in the camps.
    In August 1944 the Italians organised a sports day at Camp 60, and a delegation was allowed to travel from Camp 34 to take part. Gino said he came first in the high jump.
    There was also a football match, which the weekly POW newspaper, Notiziario Dai Campi, described as a contest "for the not-so-young".
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-53138152
     
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  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    As long as they could beat Norwich.
     
  3. Michael Grasby

    Michael Grasby New Member

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    My Father late John Grasby 4798694 The 4th Bn East Yorks /Green Howards/Prince of Wales Yorkshire Reg was one of the witnesses in a War crime it happened in Forno Cse (Canavese) a small town in the foothills of the Alps. During WW2
    He gave evidence to the Judge Advocate General's Office in London in January 1946. He states that he was sent from PG 53 Macerata POW camp to a work camp in the north - PG 112 Turin and managed to escaped and joined with an Italian Partisan Group
    My late Father made Friends with a few of the Partisan and I have a letter written in Italian which language my Father spoke fluently he also sent Photos of his family in Italy and on the letter was his full address
    I passed the letter and Photos onto Vitellino from the WW2 Talk site who with those extra details Translated the letter and managed to uncover new Information about my Father WW2 escapades, Vitellino conferred the POW escape and Joining an Italian Partisan group which he stayed with for 2 years or so
    My Father only spoke Vagally about his War time Experiences so all this Information Gathered by Vitellinois new to me Vitellino is also looking into the Ex-Partisan who wrote the letter to find possible Family connections who posable still live in the Area and can shed more light on my Fathers time with the Partisan hopefully fingers crossed that is possible I would like to thank Vitellino for all the hard work in discovering these pressurise facts about my Father who sadly died in1975
    Attach is the 1946 war crime testimony of my Late Father John Grasby
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Michael Grasby

    Michael Grasby New Member

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    Here are 2 more War Crime Document /witness statements from my Father that he gave to the Judge Advocate General's Office in London in January 1946 they tell of Appalling War crimes the people who committed these crimes are evil and inhuman to say the least my father never spoke of these crimes to me or my family understandable and most likely he wanted to forget about these horrendous War time events, but alas I bet he never did.

    Again I would like to thank Vitellino from the WW2 Talk for sending me these 2 War Crime Documents
     
  5. Michael Grasby

    Michael Grasby New Member

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    The 2 War Crime Documents
     

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  6. ARWR

    ARWR Member

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    Sorry but that is incorrect. Although Italy requested an armistice in 1943 a formal peace treaty was not signed until 1947. This is why Italy was a co-belligerent rather than part of the Allies. Although Britain and the USA did try for a peace treaty earlier Stalin blocked it as he hoped to gain further influence in Italy with a view to supporting the Communists there and any peace treaty need the agreement of all three. If you look at the reports of US diplomats to POTUS in the Office of the Historian you will find this well documented. Harlold Macmillan also mentions it in his diary. Eisenhower had exceeded his authority by offering the Italians a prisoner exchange but was ordered to withdraw it. As a result Italian POWs in Britain remained POWs and many were not repatriated until 1947. As there was a labour shortage of British farms and Italian POWs proved useful there was no great pressure to do much about this, See B. Moore, K. Fedorowich, The British Empire and its Italian Prisoners of War, 1940–1947, (Studies in Military and Strategic History.), Palgrave, New York, 2002
     
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  7. Michael Grasby

    Michael Grasby New Member

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    Just found out that his Italian Friends weren’t in the Partisans but lived in Forno were he was hidden from the Germans
     

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