Camp 52, Chiavari

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Warwick13, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Thanks for the help - sorry I didn't say that before.
    Regards
    Belinda
     
  2. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Belinda,
    Another great resource is the NZ official history. Takes a bit of searching to get the info but very useful to put things into context.
    .
    War History Project

    Search for "wounded in battle" to find "Episodes & Studies Volume 1" centre pages for a drawing "Chain of Evacuation from Stretcher to Hospital Ship"
    [​IMG]

    My dad was a SB/MO in the field as part of 24 Battalion, and would have picked up wounded and taken them the Regimental (Battalion) aid post (RAP) for treatment. My understanding is that the 6th Field Ambulance would then transport the wounded from the RAP to the Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) for treatment then on to the Main Dressing Station (MDS). I understand that Ambulance Drivers & Medical Orderlies in the Medical Corp undertook this.

    There many other volumes that will cover 6th FA activities

    The battle of Sidi Rezegh where both my father and your grandfather were captured was chaotic. The MDS changed hands several times.
    I suggest that your GF was not captured on the 13th of December as 2NZEF retired back to Cairo as of the 2nd Dec. The date of my fathers capture was recorded as 13th but he was actually captured on the 1st, just before the retreat. My understanding is that it took a couple of weeks for the command to sort out who was missing, captured & killed etc. and the 13th was used as a nominal date.

    Good luck
    Geoff
     
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  3. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Geoff, that's wonderfully helpful thank you. I am just going by dates posted on his documents, but have found that these don't seem to reconcile with dates of battles, etc in books. I will have a great time looking into what you have told me. Thanks again. Belinda
     
  4. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Belinda,
    I know the other NZers repatriated with my father to England and have often wondered about the other NZers who went to Egypt and I have found this newspaper article that will be of interest to you as it mentions your GF.

    Papers Past | 62 NEW ZEALANDERS (Evening Post, 1943-04-26)
    Geoff
     
  5. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Great thanks. I found one which was titled 180 Men Reported Missing - Majority may be prisoners, which mentions him.
     
  6. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Belinda,
    Thank you very much for re-igniting my search. I searched for your Grandfathers unusual name and as a result I found this new resource "Papers past" and guess what? there is an article where both my father and your grandfather are mentioned!!

    Papers Past | WAR PRISONERS EXCHANGED (Press, 1943-04-26)

    This suggests that they possibly were in PG52 and PG 202 (Lucca Hospital) at the same time.

    Cheers
    Geoff
     
  7. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    This is great Geoff. I have PG 202 has never come up in a search before so that is great. I have been looking into things because sometimes I feel people like our GFs are the forgotten ones. Mine was never a great hero or anything, just a family man who did what he felt he had to do, but he must have suffered greatly to die at the age he did after just a year at home.
    Bee
     
  8. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Geoff
    Was your GF M Muir of Dannevirke - as highlighted? It is amazing to find someone who was probably in the same camps as my GF.
    Bee
     
  9. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    That's my father. Another book you should find is "Barbed wire in the Sunset" by Edwin Broomhead. In this book there is section that covers his time in PG52, the selection of 106 POW that had some medical background to be sent to staff the PG202 Lucca POW Hospital, and the subsequent repatriation of protected personnel and badly wounded POW. My father mentions Ted Broomhead in a letter to my mother.
    The book is long out of print but copies can be found on EBay

    Cheers
    Geoff
     
  10. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Great thanks. I will see if I can find it. Don't suppose the library will have a copy.
     
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Geoff , thanks for posting War Prisoners Exchanged - I notice that the first person mentioned is Capt. John Richardson, for a brief period camp leader at PG 82.

    Vitellino
     

    Attached Files:

  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Just found this:

    Forwarding dressing station, A New Zealand Field Ambulance [Detail] Artist: Peter McIntyre Date:1941-1945 Archives New Zealand/Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Wellington Office [Archives Reference: AAAC 898 NCWA 68]
     

    Attached Files:

  13. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    I have found this picture before. It is great.
     
  14. B Smith

    B Smith Member

    Hi Geoff

    I have finally had a chance today to sit down and look at the War History Project and read through the document. It is great, thank you for helping me find the relevant info, the photos are great. I am sure I have probably looked at this before, but sometimes you get bogged down in so much information and don't know what is applicable and what isn't.
     
  15. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have completely altered this post as what I had written no longer applies.

    Vitellino
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  16. DANY

    DANY New Member

    Hi , my name is Daniela Suzzi. My husband, Massimo Minella is an Italian journalist (La Repubblica), a writer and a performer. We are doing researches about Camp 52 of Calvari. At July we performed a kind of theatrical show about the story of the Camp 52 produced by Ligurian Public Theatre and now we are writing a book. We also collaborate with the Camp 52 little museum near Chiavari and with Getto Viarengo. Registers, Pow’s files, objects, paints are kept there. Have you got your grandfather camp file? send me the names. Next time I'll go to the camp I can find their file (The part of these are available yet) .
    Could you send me all the info (in diaries,letters) and photo of your relatives in the camp? All info are important!
    After 1943 and the Nazi Italian occupation, the prisoners were sent in Germany. We tell the story of a South African soldier that escaped, was helped by the local people, fell in love with a Italian girl. The father of the girl was shot by the Fascists for this reason.
    After 1943 camp was used for civil and Jewish prisoners. Almost 30 Jewish passed from the camp. Then they were sent to Auschwitz and all died in the gas chambers.
    These are all sad page of our history and we think it is right to remember and not forget.
     
  17. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Daniela,

    I suggest you visit my website www.powcamp52.weebly.com as I probably know more about PG 52 than anyone other than Geoff Muir. You should also look up on the internet 'La Caserma di Caperana' which contains some excellent photographs.

    I live in Tuscany. Some friends of mine have a house over looking the camp and a few weeks ago we went to the Communications Centre and visited the museum (photos on my website). I have a copy of all the British documention relating to the camp and have collected the testimonies of quite a number of people. An article translated into Italian by me, telling the story of escaped prisoner of war Sam Slack, who joined up with Bisagno and the 'Cichero' partisans, is due to be published soon ( I hope ) in the newspaper 'Rapallin'. I found his index card in the communications museum in the file system you mention. In any case, an abbreviated version of his story is on the website.

    If you want to communicate in Italian please send me a private message,

    Vitellino

    Edited to correct website address
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  18. sheilawin

    sheilawin Member

    Hi Dany
    I would be interested to see if there is a file on my father in law. His name was Gordon James Windridge, Staff Sargeant in the South African Medical Corp 11th Field Ambulance. Service Number 2923. According to his post war questionnaire he arrived in Chiavari on 4th February 1942 and was moved to Lucca on 11th June 1943. Anything you can find would be appreciated.
    Sheila
     
  19. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Sheila,

    As I said in the post to Daniela I have visited the Communications Museum in Chiavari where the POW files are held. I don't know whether or not she is intending to go there, so just in case she isn't I thought I would show you ( and anyone else who's interested) what's available.

    The 'files' are in the form of a card index system. I have attached one with the soldier's personal details blanked out so that you can see what they look like. Your father's card would probably not add anything you don't already know.

    Translation of terms on card:

    Cognome e nome - surname and name
    Grado - rank
    Arma - branch of armed services
    Matricola - army number
    Professione - profession
    Luogo e data di nascita - place and date of birth
    Paternità - father's name
    Maternità - mother's name
    Stato civile - married status
    Nationalità - nationality
    Religione - religion
    Indirizza famiglia - home address
    Catturato - where captured
    Degenza ospedaliera - stay in hospital

    The only other thing in the museum is a day book which gives the dates of arrival to and departure from the camp.

    Regards,
    Vitellino
    index card.jpg
    Edited to downsize file
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  20. DANY

    DANY New Member

    Dear Sheila. I'll go to Chiavari next week and I'll look for your father in law file. I hope to find it! Many of them have been lost. However I will keep you up to date.
    Daniela
     

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