New Zealanders in Alfiano Natta (AL) Italy

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by T. Hilton, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. T. Hilton

    T. Hilton New Member

    Hello, I have been recommended to post in your forum as I am searching for information regarding NZ soldiers. I live in a village in Piemonte (Piedmont), Italy where a small group of young men were protected and housed in our church of Santo Spirito 175070998_10218720378976670_1755038000914201840_n.jpg over the winter of 1943-4. The names of these soldiers were written in the wall of the church, but it is now in such a deteriorated state that it is too dangerous to enter to search for the inscriptions. I do know that certain families received letters of thanks signed by Field Marshall Harold Alexander, and some may have received letters from the soldiers themselves once returned to NZ. I have heard that these young men found their way to our village having escaped from a prisoner train. I understand that Vercelli, 35km from here, might have been the camp they were headed to...a guess. While I am researching amongst my neighbors, I wonder if anyone in your forums might have any suggests for my search on the military side. Thanking you all, in advance
  2. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Italy's capitulation in September 1943 allowed a large number of New Zealanders to escape. Despite misconceived orders to stay put until Allied forces arrived, many got away before German units took over their camps, while others jumped from trains taking them north. Altogether 447 New Zealand POWs managed to escape as a result of Italy's defection from the Axis, a high proportion of all those who successfully escaped during the war.

    Source: Liberation - Prisoners of War | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

    And a link to a thread on this site, which you may wish to review

    POWs camp Vercelli and escape to Switzerland
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021

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