Shipped out of Tobruk as a PoW

8th July 1942: Shipped out of Tobruk as a PoW

A freighter was tied up in front of us, lifting gently in the light swell that was rolling across the harbour. This was our ferry for the trip across the sea to Italy. We were going back to Europe, but not the way that we would have wished.

At last, we got the signal to embark and as each man reached the gangway he was presented with a packet of Italian cigarettes and a tin of corned beef. This was to last us until we reached Taranto and together with a quantity of rusty water all we had until we landed.

We were packed into the holds of the vessel and given to understand that nobody would be allowed on deck in any circumstances. A number of buckets were then passed down and the Italian interpreter indicated that these were our loo for the trip. Some of the men already had dysentery and after two hours below, the atmosphere could almost be leaned upon.

A German picture of British prisoners of war captured at Tobruk
The port facilities Tobruk had been bombed relentlessly, alternately by the British and the Germans.

Bob Mallett had been captured, along with 33,000 others, when [permalink id=20177 text=”Tobruk fell”] to Rommel’s latest attack. The Germans handed them over to the Italians to deal with. It took time for the Italians to organise facilities for them and to find transport to take them back to Italy. When the ship did arrive it was very basic:

A motley crowd was herded onto the quay. We were now on our way to a prison camp, somewhere in Italy. Guards stood around us, dirty and unshaven, leaning on their rifles. We numbered about 400 English, South Africans, Indians, Australians and a collection of nationals from almost every European country. We were all dirty, hungry, lousy and miserable.

A freighter was tied up in front of us, lifting gently in the light swell that was rolling across the harbour. This was our ferry for the trip across the sea to Italy. We were going back to Europe, but not the way that we would have wished.

At last, we got the signal to embark and as each man reached the gangway he was presented with a packet of Italian cigarettes and a tin of corned beef. This was to last us until we reached Taranto and together with a quantity of rusty water all we had until we landed.

We were packed into the holds of the vessel and given to understand that nobody would be allowed on deck in any circumstances. A number of buckets were then passed down and the Italian interpreter indicated that these were our loo for the trip. Some of the men already had dysentery and after two hours below, the atmosphere could almost be leaned upon.

The ship had been carrying barrels of tar, and some had leaked as the whole floor had about an inch of tar over it. We had about two square feet of space each and when the ship got out into the heavier swell, sickness added to our troubles.

One of the guards lounging above the hatch shouted. We looked up and saw an Italian army padre peering down at us. He had a poor command of English and not a lot of tact. “Englishmans,” he called, “You have been conquered,” and got no further. From somewhere in the hold a tightly knotted tarry rag rose and caught him fairly in the face. Exit padre. We never saw him again.

For over two days we sat in that hold. The floor was soft and slimy. I had laid an overcoat on the floor, but the tar oozed through. Most of the men had nothing but shirts and shorts on when they were captured andthe state of them can best be left to the imagination.

Once anything was placed on the ground, it was impossible to remove it. The men’s watches had all been taken off them when captured so we had no idea of time. It just got light and it got dark; that was all we knew.

After what seemed a lifetime in this hell, one of the guards above shouted. We looked up. He waved his rifle, pointed and yelled ‘Taranto’ so we took it that we had not much further to go. The ship stopped rolling and slowed. The activity on deck increased and we guessed that we were through the boom into Taranto harbour. We just sat, sweated and stank while waiting our destiny.

Bob Mallet was to twice escape from Italian prisoner of war camps before finally crossing over to the British lines in Italy in 1943. See War’s Long Shadow: 69 Months of the Second World War

Rommel with italian troops in the desert.

95 thoughts on “Shipped out of Tobruk as a PoW”

  1. My late Father in Law in Royal Engineers taken at Tobruk then on to Italy and then Germany. Arthur Burkett left diaries of the camps and on the Lamsdorf Long March, which I have had published all monies going to Walking with the Wounded and Invictus Games. We are trying to find Ernie who was with Arthur and they shared food and helped each other so much.
    One possible might be Ernest Partington pow no. 30895.
    any help to trace Arthur’s mate Ernie we would love to find him to give a copy of our book and all the information it holds.

  2. My late father Arthur Sydney Paxton was also taken prisoner at Tobruk on the 20/6/1942. His service number was 1454247 holding the rank of Lance Bombardier in the Royal Artillery 88th regiment, battery 282. Like many mentioned here he never spoke of his experiences as a POW.
    He passed away in 1991 and I have been researching what he went through for some years but cannot find evidence of where he was held in Italy.
    Using my father’s service record and the POW records of the ICRC I know he was captured on the 20/6/42 at Tobruk, he was in Italian hands on 31/8/42 and appears on a list of POWs taken to Italy in October 1942 but has no camp number allocated.
    As children, my late mum told us that dad had been held by the Italians and as the war turned against them, he was being transferred back to Germany on a train which was bombed by allied planes. He subsequently escaped and along with some other escapees, hid in the mountains, surviving by stealing or begging food from local farmers. When he attempted to travel to allied lines he was recaptured. I now know there were 2 instances of POW trains bombed by allied trains. The first in December 1943 at Aquila station and the second in January 1944 on the bridge at Allerona so he could have been on either one of these.
    The ICRC records next show that he arrives in Germany at Stalag VII A on 6/8/1944 transferred from Mantova in Italy. In October 1944 he was transferred to Stalag X1A and he was liberated from here by the Americans at the end of the war.
    So my question is, can anyone help with details of my father for the 2 years between August 1942 and August 1944? Many thanks.

  3. Hi, I am trying to reach Matt who wrote about his grandfather, Frank Huckvale. My grandmother was a pen pal of a Frank Huckvale before WWII, who was in the British Army. If this might be your grandfather, can you email me at I have photos and letters.


  4. The following is what I know of my father’s experience as a PoW in Italy and Germany. He was an Australian soldier from Western Australia, 2/28th Battalion serving in the Middle East. He arrived in Egypt in January 1941, then Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, before going to El Alamein.

    27 July, 1942 – he was captured at the Battle of Ruin Ridge near Tobruk, Syria. Between then and 27 September 1942, he was shipped to Taranto, transferred to Bari, Camp 51, then Camp 29, Italy, then from Nov 1942 – July 1943 in Campo 57, Gruppignano, near Udine, working on local farms.

    July 1943 – Sept 1943 – Interred Camp 106/1, Vercelli, north of Genoa, Italy. This camp was a collection of about 25 work camps, mostly on farms in the rice fields around Vercelli. Most of the POWs seem to have been from Australia and New Zealand.
    Most of the PoWs seemed to be from NZ or Australia

    Escaped in September 1943 when Italy capitulated, and was then on the run until recaptured in Dec 43 or Jan 44. He mostly lived in a village looked after by locals, after trying to walk south to meet the Americans and then trying to cross the mountains into Switzerland.

    24 Jan 1944 – Mar 44: Interred in Stalag 7A, Germany – a transit camp after he was captured. From here, he was sent by train to Stalag 1VB, just north of Muhlberg in Germany. He was only here briefly, before being sent on to Stalag 1VD.

    Mar 1944 – 13 March 1945: Interred Stalag IVD, Germany. Stalag 1VD was situated at Torgau. This camp was a distribution facility for supplying the kommandos (work camps) with forced labour. It was situated in two separate buildings in the centre of Torgau, near Leipzig. Here he worked in a coal (Plessa) mine.

    13 March 1945 – liberated by the American Forces. He and some mates made their way to the Netherlands, then repatriated to England and following rehab, arrived back in Australia in July 1945. In September he married my mother, to whom he had been engaged since he enlisted in the Army, became a farmer in south west Australia, and had four children.

    Like most of the other posts, he rarely spoke of his war experiences, except the funny things that happened. Occasionally we got snippets of some of the horrors, eg eating grass from the tracks when the train stopped while they were being transported; how badly the Russian prisoners in the next camp were treated; having only something to eat in the morning before 4am when he worked in the mines and nothing til dinnertime; how he was beaten up by the Gestapo for knocking out a Polish prison guard 6 weeks in the mine before the war ended and couldn’t work in the mine again.

    He was always known as Sam Salmon and most of his fellow prisoners were British – his best mate came from the East End and was Sid…(known as Lofty).

    My email is if anyone can fill in any details.

  5. As indicated the author of the excerpt is Bob Mallet, I think most people have grasped that. If you need more details refer to the original source.

  6. Hi, I am just wondering WHEN and WHO wrote that extract which starts with: ‘A motley crowd was herded onto the quay. We were now on our way to a prison camp..’

    Also, who did this person intend to read it?

    Thank you!

  7. Peter McCullough you asked where the Cameron Highlanders were taken after being captured at Tobruk. My father was imprisoned in PG 60 at Colle Compito near Lucca and in 1943 transferred to Stalag 4b between Leipzig and Dresden. Hope this information is helpful.

  8. My father, Gordon Jonathan Lee was captured heading into the desert after the fall of Tobruk. He was a corporal in the artillery, from Durban.
    He ended the war in a camp outside Dresden and told us how he had been into the city to collect costumes for camp theatricals , leaving in the truck he saw the beginning of the firebombing.

  9. To everyone wanting to find out more regarding their relatives:

    British – send for his service records to

    Australian – records of Prisoners of War are now on line and can be downloaded. I don’t have the exact address but search with Australian POW records and it should come up.

    South Africa and New Zealand – go onto the government website and look for military records.

    Good luck

  10. My father was Mobilized on the Outbreak of war with the 4th BN E Yorks in 1941 he went with his Regt to N Africa and joined the 8th Army

    My Father was taken prisoner in Italy with the 8th Army at the Battle of Knightsbridge in1942.

    He succeeded in escaping in July 1943 and being unable to get back to the UK he joined the Partisans and stayed with them until 1945 when he reported to a S, African unit in Turin.

    He returned to the UK in 1945 and served there until going to Malaya/ Malasia 1948 As RQMS/CQMS with the Green Howards

  11. Hi, I am trying to trace the Italian prisoner of War camp where my father was held. He was taken prisoner at the fall of Tobruk in1942. He sadly passed away in 1976 at the age of 52. Much too young and obviously suffered badly by his war time experience.
    Never spoke much about the war but mentioned that he escaped from the camp after the Italian guards deserted and made his way down south on the Appenine mountains until reaching the American troops moving north. He was either past of the Cape Town Highlanders and was a driver, so may have been in some other service group.
    Hope someone supply me with information as to records which can help find out the necessary records.

  12. Hi, I’m not sure where to start as I have very little information and from a chanch conversation today was told, My grandad Alexander Marsh (real name Joseph Alexander Marsh) from Liverpool was taken PoW in WW2 and was never the same afterwards. He died before I was born in 1973 of cancer. after the war he married my nan, they lived in Bootle and he worked on the docks. I know he was a very tall man and was told he would often be seen wearing his army uniform for years later. This makes sense as I used to see photos of him on my nans wall and ask about him and the war and it was always something no one wanted to talk about other than being told to be very proud of him. Can anyone advise me where I would start to try and find out more about my grandad please.
    Many thanks Michelle

  13. Hello, I am working on research for a friend of mine, 2nd Lt Donald Waful, 1st Armored Division. He is now 103 and spent time as a POW with members of the British 8th Army that were captured at Tobruk. His memories include a British Major that specialized in knowledge of the American Civil War. This officer would teach classes while in the camp. Don does not recall the Major’s name.and would like any information that might help recall.his name

  14. My father, “Tiny” Sydney Frank Schwartz and his best friend, Stanton Alfred West, both of the Kaffrarian Rifles of East London, South Africa, were captured at Tobruk on June 21 1942.

    They were shipped to Italy and I know they worked on a farm. They were then taken to Germany and, after time in a POW camp, were then taken to Stalag 4B. I recall how, every year on 21 June, they would either phone one another (if we were not next door neighbours!) and always shared a minute of silence as they acknowledged the way their lives and thousands of others were irrevocably changed that day.

    He did tell some stories of the war, but mostly anything that was in some way amusing. It was only as an adult, after his untimely death, that I read a small diary he’d managed to keep and letters from and to his parents, along with other accounts of POWs written in books, that I realised just how truly terrible were his experiences as a POW in Germany.

  15. My Dad was taken prisoner at Tobruk .I would like to contact anyone that may have known him or family member that may have any information or photographs, his name “Harry Cooledge” Originally shipped from Tobruk by I think the Italian army , then by the German army to Graz in Austria for the duration of war ..Then back to Italy befrosr his return to England. He met and married my Mum in Graz .. He died after years of ill health in 1977. ..Warm Regards.. John Cooledge email

  16. Hi, my father was a pow in Italy, I have no idea where. His plane was shot down and that about all I know. However, I have a lot of pictures and may have some of your family members on it….if you are interested in looking you can contact me at He was a South African , named Siebert J van der Westhuizen. Nick name Rusty.

  17. Like Jan Clewley says my Dad was captured at Tobruk some time in June (18th?) 1942. He was a signalman in the Eighth Army and was called Cecil Fishel (from Liverpool in the UK). He didn’t speak much of the war (said it was too dreadful to relate) but he mentioned a long march (not sure if this was from Africa to Italy or within Italy itself). I know he was in an Austrian POW camp for some time and then sent to an Austrian farm for some time… Reading books like Sebastian Foulks’ “Where the Heart used to Sing” makes me realise the atrocities of war and how incredibly brave my Dad must have been (and not without scars later in life, that would now probably be known as PTSD)

  18. My father, Dudley Ivor Mumford was taken prisoner of war at Tobruk. He was in Royal Artillery, he too was transferred to Italian forces and taken to Naples and in due course transferred back to the Germans and held POW at Stalag 1Vb, which is located at Muhlberg, not so far from Halle or Leipzig.

    I notice Stalag 1Vb has been mentioned many times by other contributors and I have a drawing of the Camp; today nothing much remains of the Camp however there is a memorial to the POW’s in Muhlberg.The Camp was liberated by Russians forces, however many of the POW’s had to continue living in the Camp for several weeks after liberation and in my fathers case he was finally repatriated to the UK from Halle aerodrome on a converted Halifax bomber.

    Whilst in Stalag 1Vb my father made many of the drawings for a “magazine” entitled ‘Flywheel’ which was circulated amongst many of the POW’s; the magazine was solely about Cars and motor racing and several of the original copies of the magazine are held in the Imperial War Museum in London and were the subject of an exhibition in the late 1980’s which was attended by my Father and several other former Stalag 1Vb inmates who had all worked on the production of ‘Flywheel’; a book was also published with all proceeds going to the Red Cross, without whom many of the POW’s would have perished.

    The Book was published by Webb and Bower (Michael Joseph) and is called ‘Flywheel – memories of the open road’, my copy is signed by 8 members of the ‘Muhlberg Motor Club’ all of whom were POW’s in Stalag 1Vb, there names are: Dudley Mumford, Tom Swallow, Bill Oxley, Allan Vidow, Alex Franks, Dennis Slack, William Stobbs & Maurice Airey – I am aware that many other POW’s contributed to the production, which helped raise the spirits of their fellow inmates, many of the other contributors were I believe South African & Rhodesian and it would be good to hear from anyone who was a party to Flywheel.

    Stalag 1Vb was a large Camp with something like 60,000 POW’s of whom 30,000 were Russian and were segregated from the others. My father passed away in 1992. I still have his POW dog tag.

  19. My grandfather was German soldier at Tobruk and taken as British POW in April 1941. After being caught he was shipped to Australia on Queen Elizabeth. He Arrived in Sydney in August 1942 and left Australia 1947.
    His British POW no. was 20847, the Australian POW no. 41371. I found some information at National Archives of Australia. How could I get further information about his time as prisoner?

    Best, Michael

  20. I have read all of these wonderful comments remembering our fathers and grandfathers and their sacrifice during World War 11 as I do further research to update the book my daughter and I did on dad almost 20 years ago when information was very limited and my father had died some years before.
    My father (Bill Jephson) was from the NZ 21st Battalion and captured at Sidi Rezegh on the road to Tobruk (Dec 41). He endured a torpedo in his unmarked POW ship also (Jason/Jantzen) with a great loss of life (the day after Pearl Harbour) and 3 months of misery before being shipped again to Italy. We all know about the movement of POW’s around Italy and then the transport to Germany and Austria for many of them after being recaptured. I too didn’t learn much from my father instead it was the book on the sinking of the Jason by Spence Edge (No Honour No Glory) that told me so much. I do know that a fellow POW from South Africa came to NZ in the 1960s looking for dad and they had a wonderful reunion my mother said.

  21. Like so many others I never knew about my fathers war experiences other than the fact he was a prisoner for over 3 years. After his death in 1992 my mother told me he was a fuel tanker driver delivering to the front line in North Africa when he was captured by the iItalians and handed to the Nazis who marched him on an infamous march to Auswich.
    Still from my mother, many people perished on the march and after the war a film was made about it.
    He was in the concentration camp until it was liberated, He had to remove bodies from the gas chambers at gun point and scavenged in bins behind the cook house to supplement his diet.
    He was John (Jack) J.P.Gregory, Lance Corporal R.A.S.C. and I would dearly love to confirm my mothers version of events and learn more.

  22. My late father Fred Morrison was captured in Tobruk and taken via Italy to Austria. He, with approx 18 others, was made to do forestry work in a small village called Victenstein, nr Linz.
    I would like to contact any relatives of other prisoners who were held there.

  23. My late husband used to talk about his father Walter (Bob) Andrews who was captured at Tobruk, all he knew was that his father suffered more at the hands of the Italian guards than anyone else.

  24. My father Petrus Johannes Smith (aka Pete or Pedro) served in the 1st South African Irish. He was captured at Sidi Rezegh in 1941. He was sent to Italy and subsequently taken to Czechoslovakia, Poland (where he worked in the coalmines) and then Germany, He was liberated by the American army and flown to London where he spent 2 months living with a family who volunteered to look after returning POWS.
    He spoke fondly of “Sheila” who gave up her rations so that he could have extra food.
    I am trying to put together his story, any information would be welcomed.

  25. My father – Cedric G.H. Attrill notes on his Army service :
    13th Nov 1940 Left England for Egypt, North Africa.
    Sailed from Liverpool on the ship T.T. Reing-dec-Mar Pacifico.
    ( original RMMV passenger ship built by H&W Belfast 1930 )
    Calling at Sierra Leon, Durban, Cairo, Aswan, Sudan, Kerin, (Eritrea) Asmara to
    Alexandria Egypt.
    21st Jan 1941 After Mursa, Matru – Tobruck encounter 1st Siege by Germans
    20th June 1942 Germans took Tobruck, North Africa.
    21st June 1942 Capitulated to the Germans.
    23rd June 1942 Captured in Tobruck by the Germans.
    26th June 1942 Prisoner of War at Bari and Verona, Italy
    17th July 1942 Freed by Italian Patriots.Travelled Brindesi, Taranto, Bari, Acona , Verona, in Italy. Headed to the Swiss border, free for a month, but due lack of clothing and food, not successful in remaining free.
    6th Oct 1943 Germans helped by Fascists cordoned, Termacia and Villa Montana in Italy.

    Recaptured by the Germans and became a P.O.W.
    Prisoner of War Camps C.G.H.ATTRILL was imprisoned.
    10th Sept 1943 At Campo P.G. 53 Italy.
    17th Nov 1943 At Compo P.G. Lavoro 148/LX Italy.
    30th Nov 1943 At Campo P.G. 53 Italy.
    At Campo P.G. 65 Sett 3, Cap. 4 Italy.
    At Stalag VII a, Mooseberg Germany.
    At Stalag IV B , Muklberg. Worked in mines and Lead Smelting Works
    5th March 1944 Moved to E1.116 E – Stalag IV d Muklberg Germany
    6th June 1944 D-Day invasion started.
    7th June 1944 At Stalag IV d – Fort Zinner
    21st Aug 1944 At Stalag IV d – Fort Zinner
    22nd Sept 1944 At Stalag IV d – Fort Zinner
    21st Dec 1944 Moved to E1 113 E.
    13th April 1945 Liberated by U.S.Army, 3rd Sper., 9th Battalion.
    16th April 1945 Lesleben, Saugerhausen, Liege, Belgium
    17th April 1945 Brussels on route to England

  26. Researching on behalf of my cousin Linda, her father, William Harold Purves from Berwick upon Tweed, a Lorry driver before the war was captured at the Battle of Gazala 12th June1942 in the Western Desert campaign., He never spoke about his experiences.and she would like to find out more. What I have found out so far was that he was a corporal in the 4th Hussars, part of the 1st Armoured Brigade. He was severely injured in the battle, losing a leg and some fingers on one hand. He was initially listed as wounded and missing then in September as a prisoner of war. She knows he was transferred to Italy. A local Berwick paper announces his repatriation in April 1943, which is before the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy. I didn’t know that there were prisoner exchanges, was this through the international Red Cross? Looking to find out any info on where he was held prisoner, I presume it may have been a medical camp due to his injuries. Any help/ info will be gratefully received.

  27. My Uncle: John James Radley was a Royal Marine serving with HBL Gp MNBDO He was captured and taken prisoner on 14 September 1942 at the fall of Tobruk. That is all we know about him except that he was Repatriated in March 1943
    Any information about his time as a p.o.w. would be very much appreciated.

  28. I’m trying to locate my Grandfather’s nephew, a South African POW by the name of James (?) McIntosh. His father was James McIntosh, professional at Kimberley Golf Club until his death until 1941.
    On release, he came to Edinburgh, Scotland and stayed with my grandparents for a short time before being repatriated to South Africa.
    I would appreciate receiving any information concerning Mr McIntosh.

  29. My dad, Fanie (Stephanus) Vermaak served with the 2nd Transvaal Scottish and was among those captured at Tobruk. I have a handkerchief of his listing British and South African prisoners at Colfiorito in Italy. I also have a diary of his describing an escape attempt (followed by recapture) and then later working their way back to the Allied side after the prisoners were abandoned by the Italian guards. He did not tell us any of this, we found these things after his death.

  30. My late father, Sgt J W Halsted, was in the South African Artillery and after fighting the Italians in, then, Abyssinia and up through Africa to Cairo. Here the South African units were incorporated into the 8th Army artillery. He too was taken prisoner at Tobruk and ended up at Stalag 8c (current day Sagan, Poland) before being marched across Germany on the Death Marches in 1944.

  31. My Great Uncle was Major James Marshall with Seaforth Highlanders but attached as a battle casualty replacement to the 2 Btn Cameron Highlanders and was HQ Coy Commander at the time of the capture by Rommel on 21 Jun 1942. When the Commanding officer gave orders that though who wished to try to escape should go. H and a Lt Mitchell and a Captain Donald Mackenzie, Sgt Nicolls (an Motor Transport Sgt) Sgt Wood, Private Nicol (who was someone’s Batman) and another unnamed private (all Cameron Highlanders) attempted to walk the 120 miles to allied lines. They were captured after about a week on the run after a few interesting adventures. After moving though a variety of short term holding camps, I understand that that the officers were separated, and moved from Beria taken then shipped up by train to Piacenza and from there, a short way off he PoW camp No 29′ at Veano, in the municipality of Vigolzone near Piacenza. It was a converted Seminary and was apparently quite a ‘good’ camp. It is still there today. On 8 Sep 1943, Italy surrendered and many of the PoW’s escaped. Some went to try and cross the alps, other to the West to try and get a boat to Corsica and my uncle went South to try and re-join allied lines, only to be fatally injured in an avalanche near Casala San Nicola, (cross-country and over the mountains down the spine of Italy), it is a distance of over 750km from his PoW camp. Good to hear if anyone has any other information about him, of that particular camp.

  32. Leo please could you expand on the information you may know of for Helen Robertson, my great grandma was based in London and was later married to Henry Vowles. Could this be my grandma you are referring too. I know she received a medal, but don’t quite know the story behind this and hoping this is her you talk of below.

    Re;Leo Taboné on January 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm
    To the last message: Could that be Helen Robertson who served in WWII as a Medic?

    – See more at:

  33. My grandad Albert Henry Carter was at Tobruk and taken prisoner he sadly passed in 1983 and never talked about his times in ww2 apart from a German surgeon who saved his life removing a lung from complications from working in a mine while a prisoner. He was from Hammersmith London I don’t know what regiment or anymore than that but would love for some help in knowing his movements in

  34. Documents found in house clearance. My uncle Harry Rushbrook apparently taken prisoner at Tobruk by Italians, passed to Germans and saw out the war as a POW. May have been in Royal Artillery and last dated letter was 1942. Any help appreciated?

  35. My father Alan Childs served in North Africa and was taken at Tobruk. Like so many others referenced here he almost never spoke of his experiences. Originally from Barrow in Furness he was a student in Liverpool when war broke out. He married Diana Carter Preston, daughter of the Liverpool Anglican cathedral sculptor Edward Carter Preston before being shipped out to North Africa . I know that as a prisoner he worked in a bakery. On the only occasion he talked about captivity he told a tale about how he stole a loaf of bread every day to share with his comrades. One day he was forced by a guard to bend and pick up a sack of flour whilst he had a hot loaf hidden under his shirt and tucked under his belt. The loaf broke and the hot doughy interior burned him badly on his belly. That little anecdote is the full extent of my knowledge of his war experience. I would like to know more. Maybe someone here knew someone who knew him.

  36. My father Alan Childs served in North Africa and was taken at Tobruk. Like so many others referenced here he almost never spoke of his experiences. Originally from Barrow in Furness he was a student in Liverpool when war broke out. He married Diana Carter Preston, daughter of the Liverpool Anglican cathedral sculptor Edward Carter Preston before being shipped out to North Africa . I know that as a prisoner he worked in a bakery. On the only occasion he talked about captivity he told a tale about how he stole a loaf of bread every day to share with his comrades. One day he was forced by a guard to bend and pick up a sack of flour whilst he had a hot loaf hidden under his shirt and tucked under his belt. The loaf broke and the hot doughy interior burned him badly on his belly. That little anecdote is the full extent of my knowledge of his war experience. I would like to know more. Maybe someone here knew someone who knew him.

  37. My grandfather was serving in the Wit Rifles regiment and was taken as prisoner of war , I think in 1943, he was fighting against the Germans and Italians in Sidi Rezehk and was captured there then I believe was taken to Germany from there where he escaped and ended up in Italy .My dad recalls my grandfather talking about a field Marshall Montgomery. My grandfathers name is Frederick Adriaan De Bruin born 15/7/1914 . Any help to try and trace where he was kept prisoner , my dad has spoken about a Stallag 17b or 13, he’s not sure.

  38. My grandfather, Struan Alexander was a Captain and doctor with the 17 th S.A. Field Ambulance, and was captured at Tobruck in June 1942.He was imprisoned at Piacenza, where due to bad diet, he went blind, but was repatriated and worked as a doctor in Durban after the war.

    Is there anyone else with a relative who was incarcerated at Piacenza?

  39. I have a transcript of the diary kept by my grandfather Arthur Pailin who was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and was captured at Torbruk.
    He gives very little details but does list the route taken from when they landed at Taranto in Italy.
    It reads as follows (I am assuming the year is 1942)
    Brindisi (27 July – 3 Aug)
    Benevento (3 Aug – 5 Nov)
    Capua (5 Nov – 16 Dec)
    Vetrella (17 Dec – 26 Dec)
    Chiavara (26 Dec – 9 Sept 1943)

    Then they were taken by the Germans and between 14 – 19 Sept 1943 travelled the following route
    Görlitz (POW camp – Stammlager 8A)

    He then says that on 9th October 1943 he was at Schweidnitz

    April 1944 Breslau and then Brieg

    In 1945 he was part of the enforced march west.
    He left Breslau on 25 Jan and walked for 44 days ending up near Ziegenhain (Near Kassel in Germany).

    We also know from letters that he wrote to my grandmother that on the following dates he was in the following camps:
    Jan 1944 – Stalag 8a at Görlitz
    Sept 1944 – Stalag 8c at Sagan (he was here until at least Dec 1944)
    3 April 1945 arrived at Stalag 9a near Ziegenhain after a long march west

  40. Hi my grandfather Robert Ord Bolstridge Smith served with the 4th survey royal artillery , he was reported missing from 20th June 1942 but located on 8th July 1942 in Tobruk.

    My grandfather spoke very little of the war but did speak of the loyalty and friendship of the fellow soldiers he fought alongside! I am looking if anyone has any information of this missing report or any information in general regarding my grandfather during his WWII campaign. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  41. My uncle, Frank Capstick, was in the South African forces and was captured in Tobruk and sent to Italy as a POW. I would like to find out where in Italy he was imprisoned and any other information that there is available.

  42. I am trying to trace history of my father, Lance-Corporal L. Spiro, RASC who was captured at Tobruk in June 1942. He was taken prisoner by the Italians and then somehow escaped, spent a year in a French village, and then returned to England in 1944

  43. My uncle Jan Hendrik du Plesses, and my brother inlaw. Gerhardus Janse van Rensburg
    nickname ( Gert) was in this prison camps. They both died during the years of the 70’s
    and 2000″s, my uncle hardley talk about what happen.Small little things how they were
    hungry, and was eating a dead horst. and dogs. and how some of them was shot dead
    in train units. My brother inlaw never say any thing. He met a woman and fell in love with
    her and got married in Italy woman Rita, when they come back he was a building constractor for him self in Florida Gauteng. and move to Zimbawe.
    I, also wish some one can tell us more, or put something on the TV programs or Radio.
    Thanks. Helen

  44. My late uncle, Bombardier Basil Andrew Stewart Macdonald 913809 served with 67 Medium Regt., Royal Artillery, was captured at Tobruk and ended up in Lamsdorf after the Italians went belly up. Injured in a mine accident he died on 26 June 1944, age 23, in the camp hospital.
    Should anyone know where information can be obtained on 67 Medium Regiment RA, up to the time it was captured, or any relevant information regarding my uncle, it would be most gratefully received.

  45. This comment is for Memory Mustard to please contact me! I am busy with the Holder family tree. Your dads brothers were John and Joseph plus 6 sisters. My email address is

  46. Hi all, I am also tryong to trace my dads war route and prisoner camp, he was William Arthur Holder Royal Natal Carbineers, 1 st Infantary Division, taken pow on the 20/6/1943. He received the Oak leaf for bravery on helping his men escape, he hardly ever spoke of his days but if he had a couple of drinks he would lighten up a bit. I remember him telling us how he escaped on what they thought was a Sunday, by. Having a church service and singing, as soon as the guards would pass he would cut a wire.
    They lived under potato plants in the day,. Moved at night. Till they reached allied forces. Please if anyone can help me trace his route I would greatly appreciate. Dad has passed on and I am busy writing his memoirs for our future generations. Please and thank you all.

  47. Hi all, I am also tryong to trace my dads war route and prisoner camp, he was William Arthur Holder, taken pow on the 20/6/1943. He received the Oak leaf for bravery on helping his men escape, he hardly ever spoke of his days but if he had a couple of drinks he would lighten up a bit. I remember him telling us how he escaped on what they thought was a Sunday, by. Having a church service and singing, as soon as the guards would pass he would cut a wire.
    They lived under potato plants in the day,. Moved at night. Till they reached allied forces. Please if anyone can help me trace his route I would greatly appreciate. Dad has passed on and I am busy writing his memoirs for our future generations. Please and thank you all.

  48. My grandfather was a pow . He was taken in tobruk. Then sent according to my Dad to Italy where he stayed during the war we think in a camp near or at Modena. There is no information he did not want to speak of his ordeal. I am taking a trip to Italy in October and would like to visit the camp if I can find anything. If anyone out there has any information on my grandpa his name was
    Captain Gordon Stanley Hayhoe , from South Africa.
    Thank you

  49. my grandfather was taken from tobruk to italy and escaped to rome hid in the vatican with his friend ronald wenn he is actually in a book called the scarlet and the black (patrick flynn was his name

  50. My brother was John Reed. Lance corporal Royal artillery also captured in Tobruk not a lot of information. He was a pow near Verona he escaped for two months and stayed with an Italian family then recaptured. Then taken to Germany to pow camp and condition improved from Italy. My parents and I received letters which usually blanket out in black. So my brother would say in the letters so we would know his location that “I am west of where we spend holidays in such and such a year so we where able to track his location. We would send packages when he was in North Africa and Italy which he never received. All Red Cross packages were received received in Germany. Mom would send soccer balls and cricket bat. Johnny and the others would share the food. My brothers son still has all the letter that we received while he was a pow. If any one has a family member that was with John I would love to hear from you.
    Mary. (Canada)

  51. My dad,Jack Maslin,was a gunner with the Royal Artillery and was captured at Tobruk.I recently found an old notebook of his which lists all the Pow camps he was in.He mentions Auswich as one and describes being taken there in a cattle truck.Has anyone any more information about this period of the war please?

  52. Hi,

    My father was with the royal artillery captured in Tobruk. He was taken to Napels and then onto a prisoner of war camp in Badgastien in Austria. His name was Victor Barton for some unknown reason he was called ‘Pam’. If anyone has any information, I would love to hear from you.


  53. Hi.
    My Dad, James Mattushek was taken prisoner at Tobruk. He served with the South African Services Corp. He was first an Italian POW, arrived at C.Camp85 then moved on to PM 3450. Transferred to German POW and arrived at Stalag4A, coming from Stalag4B.This is according to Red Cross files.
    I have a photo of him in North Africa with some of his friends, Vic Smith, Ross Smith,Lenny Marsh,Lee Hawthorne, James Duffy, Dave Smith.
    My dad worked on farms and also was made to go into Dresden after the bombing to help with the clean up. Towards the end of the war, he and some of the other chaps escaped and and made their way to behind the Russian lines. They would repair a vehicle drive for as far as they could until the vehicle was commandeered and find another vehicle and eventually they made their way to the Allied lines. He thought the Russian atrocities were horrific when they went through villages. He lost a very good friend while they were escaping in one of the trucks, the trucks brakes failed and the truck went over the cliff. He cried as he thought, my friend had been through so much, and to have to die this way.
    I am sorry I never spoke to my dad more about his war days but forever grateful for the bit he shared.
    Lest We Forget

  54. My father was also captured in Tobruk. However he escaped from a train that was transporting them from PG78 camp near Sulmona (I think he had been at PG21 Chieti) to Germany. He made it through to Allied lines with the help of Italian people. He never talked about his experience and died many years ago. I do not have too much information but if anyone could add anything to this story I would be really grateful. Thanks.

  55. My uncle William Bell, Pte. 4345826 4th Battallion East Yorks Regiment,was captured in 1942,at I believe Tobruk. He was a POW of the Italians,P.G 73 P.M 3200 Italy1942,EYR P.G201 P.M P.M 3200 1942. POW number 140065 Camp Stalag 11B, Stalag 344 Teschen Lamsdorf Germany. POW no. 33336 BAB. Died 8th October 1945. Like many took part in the death marches, his epitaph reads :” P.O.W BAB 20. Although ill,he marched 500 miles for two hours at home. Sadly missed”
    I have a photo taken by the camp photographer at BAB 20 and there is also another Hull man named as a private benson who we have never traced

  56. Hi All

    It seems I am luckier than most here. My Dad, Jack Bryson was with the 2nd South African Anti Aircraft Reg at Tobruk when it was captured.

    I have sorted out the whole Poland, Stalag VIIIB/344 thing, including the march west. Which for him started at a coal mine in Sosnoweic (E 579) on 19 January 1945 and ended just outside Regensburg on 24 April 1945.

    I am searching for the route from Tobruk to PG 60, Lucca Italy. This was his first POW camp. He went on to spend nearly 4 months in PG 202 Lucca, which is a hospital, the PG 52 Chiavari.

    If anyone knows where when and how, please get in touch. Obviously wit 33 000 POW’s not all routes were the same.

    Among his things are this list of names
    Mr G Hale, Blackeney, Gloucestershire
    Mr SH Reed, Waterloo, Liverpool
    Mr W Spence, Kilmaurs, Scotland
    Mr L Jones, Gloucester
    Mr AD Bridger, Holmewood, Chesterfield
    Mr N Wallace, Gateshead-on-Tyne, Durham
    Mr RS Allison, Crosshill, Glasgow
    Mr CF Behn, Yatala East, S Australia
    Rev Ted Broomhead, Adelaid, S Australia
    Mr GM Pienaar, Observatory, Cape Town, S Africa
    Rosina Haller, Thiermitnach, Michelsneukirch, Regensburg, Germany

    Anyone know anyone, please drop me a mail


  57. My Great Uncle Ernest Wilfred Jackson, known as Wilf Jackson, was a driver in the transport section of the RASC in North Africa. He was reported missing, and later presumed dead, on 27 June 1942 and is commemorated on the Alamein memorial. However, my family received information that he had been seen in a POW camp in Germany after this date, although he never returned home. I’m thinking that he may have been taken prisoner at Tobruk or Mersa Matruh and moved to Italy and then Germany. I’m researching this at the moment but any information would be gratefully received.

  58. My uncle Godfrey Thorpe was in 67 medium regiment, royal artillery. He was captured at Tobruk after an unfair fight where they ended up putting their howitzers into all round defence. He went to Italy then Germany when the Italians surrendered. Like the others he spent over 1000 days as a prisoner of war. Around 6 months into captivity his brother Sidney was killed and he found out via a letter from his dad.
    Sidney was in a Royal artillery Stuart Op tank. Only the officer survived and wrote about Sidney death in 1946 to his parents. He died in action on the 15th January 1943.
    I have his POW dog tag and both brothers medals plus letters. A very sad story with much suffering.
    A stained glass window at St John’s Church Felixstowe is dedicated to Sidney, as he was affectionately known.
    There are also some pictures in captivity.

  59. To the last message: Could that be Helen Robertson who served in WWII as a Medic?

  60. My Grandfather (John Ivor Lawrence Edwards) had a first cousin John Turner Boughton (married to Molly) from Cradock, South Africa. Helen, could we communicate via email and share some family information. I do not have much John Turner but would welcome information from you.

  61. I have just received my Grandads military records to find out he was one of the prsionors taken from Tobruk. He escaped in 1943 and made his way to the south of Italy where he reached Allied hands on the 28th Oct 1943.

    He used to tell me stories about him escaping I was fascinated


  62. If you have any queries regarding military history you may contact the Department of Defence Archives at as all military records are kept by them. Their physical address is the Schweikert Building, 20 Visagie Street, Pretoria and the telephone number is (012) 339-4600; Fax (012) 339 4631

  63. My father Thomas John (Jack)Brown was from East London South Africa and was captured at Tobruk and taken to Italy where he mentioned that they slept on top of graves and stayed in the same clothes for 6 months.

    He was a stretcher bearer and presumably he was with the Kaffarian Rifles from East London although we have not been able to verify what division in N Africa he was in.

    He mentioned the awful crossing to Italy and having to scoop buckets of faeces from below deck because of the dysentry. He also said how they starved and that Mussolini arrived at the cemetry one day with a load of bread and had photos taken with the POW’s of how they were being looked after then promptly drove off taking the load of bread with him. They survived mostly from soup made with bits of cabbage in water.

    My father Jack had 2 nervous breakdowns in the 1960’s being put down to his war experience, and like so many others did not speak of what happened. The name Mersa Metru in the above comments is definitely something he spoke of.

    Can anyone perhaps advise how I can find out where he was in Italy. He survived the war and died prematurely of a heart attack in EL at the young age of 63. I have been trying for years to find information and would be so grateful if anyone can help???

  64. How can I trace info on my grandad who was at pow in tobrook

  65. Hi my late father William Arthur Ambrose Campbell served with the South African Artillery and was also captured in Tobruk. As far as I am aware he spent some time in a POW camp in Italy and most of the rest in Germany ( Russia) He was also on the famous 900 KM walk towards the end of the war. My father didn`t talk much of his experiences. If anyone can please give me more information on my late i would appreciate it.

    Bruce Campbell

  66. My Father Bob Armstrong was captured at Tobruk too. He was sent to Italy and the to Germany, I guess after the capitulation. He was awarded medals for his leadership and keeping up morale while they were POW’s. He never talked about the war and laughed when my older brother swapped some of the medals for dinkies with his mates at primary school in Lusaka! Let’s hope non of us or our children have to face a war like that!

  67. I am trying to find out more information about my fathers brother who was taken prisoner at Tobruk, Raymond Coetzee, I know he ended up in a POW camp in Germany. Unfortunately he has passed on.

  68. My dad Wilfred Matthew Cliffe was captured at Tobruk and taken to Udine prison camp in Italy where he was badly treated by the commandant. After capitulation he was taken to Stalag 18A at Klagenfurt in Austria where he stayed until the end of the war. I know he was taken to Bari in Italy to be ‘fattened up’ before returning home to Stoke. My mum had been asked to write to him while he was a prisoner by his sister and he came to thank her – they were married a month later! He suffered a breakdown later and was discharged from the army – they said this had nothing to do with what he had gone through. Like many others he hardly spoke about his time during the war except to tell funny stories and make jokes about it. In 1995 the 50 th celebrations seemed to really upset him and I heard about some of his experiences for the first time. He would not have his medals, and Mum only applied for them after his death in 2004

  69. My father,Peter Coombe, served in the Royal Engineers from 1938 until de-mob in 1946.He was taken prisoner at Tobruk and spent the remainder of the war in P.O.W. camps in Italy and Germany.He never spoke of the war or what he did in it to us kids . Nor would allow us to see war films( on T.V.).At the time I did not understand the reason why but never questioned him. My mother, his only confident told me sometime later,after his death, of some of his experiences from Dunkirk to Crete, Egypt and ultimately Tobruk .One statement he made to her that refers to the capture of Tobruk has been with me all my life and serves as acatalyst when things are going badly and can get worse,”I thought when all shelling stopped and we surrendered,the nightmare would be over,I did not realise I was about to enter Hell”.
    He was shipped to Italy and later force marched to Germany (I think to Stalag 4B,Liepzig? ). His military service ended, always being on the losing side,shortly after liberation and retuned home weighing just 6 stones.
    Sapper Peter Coombe, Royal Engineers Passed away on 24th,September 1964 at the age of 48.
    I am immensely proud to bear his name and walk in the shaddow of a hero.

  70. I have just read the above account and it brought me to tears to think of those terrible conditions that our fathers/ grandfathers endured. I’ve just had a look at the few papers that I do have of my dad’s and see that he was a Private in the Dispersal Unit from Tempe, Bloemfontein. His name was Jacob Johannesburg Breitenbach Botha. I can’t find reference to the unit he was in but have found a photocopy of a newspaper cutting about “Tobruk’s 40,000 shells in a day” with a date of 29 November 1941. There is also a copy of a letter to my Ouma advising her that my father was ‘killed in action in the North’ around about 23 November 1941 and a letter returning his identity disc and a letter of condolence from the war office. Only many months later did his uncle hear his name read out on a radio broadcast listing the POW’s taken at Mersa Metruh.

    My dad died in 2000. If anyone finds out any information that links to my dad I would be very grateful. All I know that he was in POW camps in Italy and Germany and that on his 7th attempt he managed to escape and get back to allied lines.

  71. My dad, Les Pett was also taken at Tobruk and took part in the ‘death march’. I know they ended up in Czechoslovakia. He would talk of the terrible cold and of people’s toes falling off due to frost bite but that is all he ever said. I thought it was just Dad that wouldn’t talk about it.

  72. I have been doing research after my brother found an atlas my father had marked of the journey of his capture and subsequent time in Stalag8b.
    This is a helpful forum and I’m just sorry I don’t have more details about my fathers experience. His name was Bob (Robert) Campbell a Scotsman who died in 1989 . He was in royal medical corp and his job was a “stretcher bearer”, a benign title for someone who picked up the dead /dying/injured soldiers. This experience forever marked his life and gave him a strong love of life.
    Anyone that might have known him please contact me. I would like to see those photos on line .

  73. Like almost everybody else my father William Higginson would rarely talk about his war experiences. His sister has filled me in with the bits she remembers and I know he was in the Royal artillery and he was captured in Tobruk. He was later in Stalag 8B in Germany.
    He died in 1989 and I now so regret not trying to persuade him to share his experiences as my boys have so many questions about their granddad’s war experiences.
    If anyone has anything to share I would be most grateful.

  74. My own father Jack McFadden from Belfast. He was taken prisoner at Tobruk. He was a sergeant in the Royal Artillery and was transported to Italy first and then on to Germany. He never did talk much about what happened as with most of those guys. His own father had also been a POW during WW1 and was a veteran of the Somme, having been at Theipval and survived the ordeal there. I wonder if anyone who reads this would have known my father. He would have been 24 years old at that time.

  75. I would like to find out more about my grandfather whom I never met. He was also captured in Tobruk, did the march and ended up as a prisoner of war. He was in the South African Engineering Corpse and his name was Gerald van Onselen. If anyone has any knowledge of him or what happened to them during the war years please can you let me know.
    Many thanks

  76. My father Ernest Raven was also taken as a pow I think he went to Germany.Sadly he died in dec 1977.

  77. My grandfather was South African John Turner Boughton from Cradock, Eastern Cape, South African 2nd Infantry Division captured in Tobruk June 1942, taken as POW to Italy until shipped to England by Red Cross due to illness. He returned to South African in 1944 and ran a printing business in Cradock and started a Red Cross with his wife, my frandmother, Molly. I’d love to know if anyone has any information on where he was kept, conditions, etc.

  78. Clint Lishman

    My grandfather CLIVE LISHMAN was taken prisoner in tobruk. he also was on a Long march, i think to Germany. If anyone has any info, about my grandfather, during These times please help

  79. Hi my name is Cheryl Sickle. I am currently researching my family history and discovered that I have an uncle Christian John Sickle-South African who was a POW at Tobruk and was listed as missing presumed dead 1942. Details below: If anyone has info it would be appreciated
    Service: British Army
    Cape Corps, S.A. Forces
    South African Artillery
    attd. 7 Field Regiment
    South African Regiment 2:
    Batlalion 2:

  80. Hi. My grandad was George Paxton. He was in the royal army service corps. He had an awful time in Italy too. He was a baker. He went onto Germany and was part of the death march too. If anyone remembers him would love you to get in touch please.

  81. My Dad James ( Jim ) Ellis. Was captured at Tobruk, he was a Driver in the R.A.S.C. and like so many of those Captured at Tobruk, was placed in the hands of the Italians. He never spoke to much about any of his expriences. He did however say that the way the prisnors were treated by their Italian Guards, was disgusting, and that was putting extremely mildly.

    Unfortunately my Dad passed on in 1978 ( at age 63) much too early in Life. A lot of this due to the war years, and the suffering they went through.

  82. my grandfather was caught at tobruk also. william marson. he died in 1983. i have a couple of old photos of his time in the army, one of them is prior to the war of him with some boxing trophies, with a group of 3 other men. he was part of a 1000 mile ‘death march’ as it was known which jan clewley has mentioned, and i do believe he was at the same POW camp as you mentoned as i recall my father mentioning the name, he also said that my grandfather never talked about, and that he also hated the italians.

  83. Sue

    Many thanks for adding that. A sad tale and one I was unaware of. I’ll try to find out more about this.


  84. My uncle Frederick Banyard served in the Royal Artillery and was captured at Tobruk. He was one of over 800 POWs who were killed when the Italian freighter carrying them from Benghazi was sunk by a BRITISH submarine, HMS Sahib in November 1942. The British government did not acknowledge the incident until 1996, and his name was belatedly added to the war memorial in our local church in Suffolk. Sadly there were other ships filled with POWs that suffered a similar fate, eg the Nino Bixio.

  85. My Grandfather William Walker was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and taken POW in Tobruk. He lived in Liverpool before coming to Australia and he died in 1989, he had 11 brothers some we killed during service. I’m finding it very hard to find any information on him, he never talked about it. He only spoke to my German Grandfather about it who fought in the same war and was also a POW captured by the Russians (he passed on in 2007) ironic. They got along well. I will keep researching!

  86. My father was captured at Tobruk and ended up in a camp in Italy. He was with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders as a Medic.
    I would like to know in what Italian town the Camerons were held.

  87. My Grandad, Frank Huckvale, was also taken at Tobruk. He was a gunner. My dad says he never talked about it either. He spent time in POW camps in Italy then Germany. One good thing came of it, though; he didn’t have anyone to write to back home so his friend (last name was Butcher) got his sister to write to my granddad. When he got back, they were married. So, that’s how I exist!

  88. My Grandad, Eric Ketteringham was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and was also taken POW at Tobruk. I sympathise with Mrs Jan Clewley as Grandad did not talk about it either. He did once correct me on the proper pronunciation of “Junkers” when I was building a model kit of a German bomber of the same name.
    My Mum tells me he threw his medals away after the war.
    Later we discovered that he had been imprisoned in Italy and escaped and hid with an Italian family for some time.
    As the allies advanced in Italy, he crossed the lines and was returned to the UK. While he was on service in North Africa and then captured, his first baby was born whom he’d never seen. On return to the UK he went AWOL to see her (my Aunt) and was docked one day’s pay.

  89. My dad was captured at Tobruk and I didn’t realise how awful it must have been. He never tlaked baout it at all, ever and now I just wish I could ask him questions. When I was younger I wasn’t intersted it didn’t mean anything to me. Now I am older I would like to hear all about it and I can’t ask because he died in 1973 after having ill health for years. I still have one or two posessions of his, including his notes for the rations per month that the prisioners were allowed, it is all written in minute handwriting – every space on the page filled.

    Did anyone know my dad? His name was Ernest Partington, his nickname was ‘Tut’. He was born in Hednesford Staffordshire and lived in the are all his life, working down the pits until his early retirement due to his health. After coming home from the war he worked as a postman for 4 years then he went down ithe pit.

    After his capture in Tobruk he was marched all through Italy and I know he had to walk with the other prisioners through the Brenner Pass, but that’s basically all I know. He was missing feared dead for over 12 months and I have the telegrams about him being captured.

    II was very interested in the article by Bob Mallett and has provoked thoughtss of how the prisioners had to endure the most awful conditions on that ship and no matter where they were, no matter what they had to do they endured it all with bravery that I can’t even begin to imagine, especially now after seeing films of where my dad was captured.

    I would like to know what happened to the prisioners on their journey to
    (I think) ‘Stalag 8B’ in Italy and if anyone living remembers him during this time I would also be so grateful to hear if anyone has any memeories of their relatives mentioning names that fits my dads description NICKNAME:: ‘TUT’ other names ERN or ERNEST PARTINGTON.

    I still want to search through hundreds of photo’s on the net and maybe I will find a photograph of him on the web pages I have visited so far but not had time to go thruough all of the photographs. I have photographs of groups of men also so I will try to put those online when I have time and someone may recognice once of thier relatives from these photographs.

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