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15 October 2014
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Homecoming from Italian POW Camp

by CSV Media NI

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Contributed by 
CSV Media NI
People in story: 
Rose Stone
Location of story: 
Belfast, N Ireland
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
19 August 2005

This story is taken from an interview with Rose Stone, and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions. The interviewer was David Reid, and the transcription was by Bruce Logan.

My brother, he was in the army, he joined the army.
And my father was an army man, my uncle was an army man, all army. And that was it. Well, then my father, he got off the army cause as I say my mother died and left 4 of us.

My brother ended up in a POW camp. He was a POW in Italy. He ended up there til the end of the war. And he’d got hitten over his knees, he said they broke a stick over his knees, and he had always trouble with his knees after that. But they’re getting more care now than you did in those days. Because work and all was scarce when they came back after the war. It was hard to get a job. Funny enough, my father, he worked for the Corporation, and he seemed to be able to be done all right, he was working all his life.

And my brother now, he just died a couple of years ago. And when he came home from the prison camp, my father had remarried by this time, we had a stepmother. And she filled this plate up with dinner, thinking he was … He pushed it away.
It took her a while to get used to it. He just would take a wee small portion. His stomach had shrunk with starvation, you see? He’d been starved in the prison camp. And then gradually, I said to my stepmother “just put a wee drop out for him, and he’ll eat just a little”. And that was how he got back again. He tried to have just a little every day, until he got his appetite back. I can’t remember [how long it took]. He was a POW, and they were captured in Italy. And that was it.
My father was an army man too, but he got out because there was nobody to look after my young sister and all. So he got out of the army, they let him go.

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Message 1 - Re: Homecoming from Italian POW Camp

Posted on: 19 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Rose

If your brother was a PoW until the end of the war in 1945, then he could not have been in an Italian camp. All the Italian PoW camps were closed in September 1943. After that, Allied PoWs either made there way back to Allied lines, or to Switzerland, or stayed with Italian partisan bands. All others were rounded up by the Germans and taken by train to PoW camps in Germany and Poland.

Peter Ghiringhelli


Message 2 - Re: Homecoming from Italian POW Camp

Posted on: 19 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

'... their way back ...', sorry.

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