Young, Leslie

Summary

Major LC Young, 2nd Battalion Beds and Herts Regiment, was captured in Tunisia on 13th April 1943. He was taken to a POW Camp in Capua before later being transferred to Fontanellato in May 1943. During his time as a POW, Young took part in numerous camp activities; giving lectures, attending plays, studying construction, and playing card games with other POWs. He escaped camp on September 9th 1943, meeting up with Dickinson, an RAF pilot, who he would travel with for the next month. Along the way, the two met many other POWs, including Peter Stericker, Peter Watson and Captain Gatenby. The latter would remain with Young for the rest of their time ‘on the run’. In early February 1944, Young and Gatenby reached Norma, which overlooked the battlefield of the Anzio beachhead. During this time, some of their fellow companions were captured by German forces after a nearby village was raided. Young, Captain Gatenby, 2 Italian officers, and the sister of one officer, then decided to make an attempt to get through to the Allied lines. This proved to be most difficult – the party were fired upon repeatedly as they tried to advance.

After two failed efforts, the group unanimously agreed to attempt to cross one last time. This final try was a success, though Captain Gatenby and the sister of the Italian officer were both wounded in the struggle. The girl later died as a result of her injuries, while Gatenby was immediately put on a hospital ship for transfer. Full details of the escape are included in Young’s debriefing, which is included at the end of his diary.


The full story follows, in two versions. The version in the first window below is the original scanned version of the story. In the second window below is the transcribed version in plain text.

[digital page 1]

Accounts of Lt. Basil Turner and Captain Gatenby. Sent in by Nick Young, son of Major L.C. Young whom they both met ‘on the way’.

Lt. Turner was captured 13th April ’43 in Tunisia. By 21st, he was in Capua POW Camp with Red Cross Parcels. He was moved to Fontanellato, which was excellent in his opinion, on 2nd June. Lt. Turner soon learnt that the Italians were called ‘I Domani’. In the ‘Bund’ (the area to which all POWs marched when they left the camp on 9th Sept) he noted ‘The awful tangle of misleading rumours, which influenced all our future decisions.’ Friends came and went. After working on a farm for while, he decided to move off on 10th October, but after wading 15 rivers and living in with strangely behaving and poor Italians or oxen etc. ‘the party was not a happy family’. They moved on towards Switzerland but Turner ends up being recaptured 6th November and taken to Germany.

Captain Gatenby (Captured? Camp?) meets up with Leslie Young after leaving some partisans. Gatenby is reminded of Southern Alps of New Zealand (was he a Kiwi?) The two meet charcoal burners along the way. They decide to bear east for Gran Sasso and then, when near, go west of it. In one remote village, they are turned away by all. After a desperately cold night trying to keep warm under leaves in a forest they fall out. They get close to Rieti. After crossing road and rail, Gatenby sees and notes in his notebook (a very dangerous move had he been captured) a petrol factory and depot.Near Corvaro, when Young had a temperature of 102, they are taken in by Giuseppe and Bernadina Dimincares (De Michelis) Describes extreme poverty and dirt. (They go over the road/rail link Rome/Pescara and down towards Anzio. See account in Young. As they get through the lines Gatenby is wounded.

Diary of Major L.C. Young. Captured Tunisia, exit via Anzio beachhead.

Taken POW Side M Sin in Tunisia on 13th April 1943. Taken to Capua POW Camp, receiving bed and parcel by 22nd, after sharing a cabin to Naples. Starts studying building construction books on 28th. Later, Young studies with Anthony Laing in Fontanellato. Details of books read, plays given etc in both camps.
1st June – on train via Rome, Florence, Bologna and Modena to Fontanellato.
Within two days, ‘Pygmalion’ presented in camp. [Pygmalion, play by George Bernard Shaw named after a Greek mythological figure. First presented in 1913]
Mentions names of many POWs. Red patches put on uniform. Paid 50 cigarettes for a towel. News comes in.
19th July – Young bets Fane Harvey £1 that they would be in England before end of October. Young, and others, are frequently ill.
11th August – Col de Burgh takes over as SBO. Strict disciplinarian. Orders beards and long hair off. Roll call made a parade. Opinions divided. Young thinks good.
27th August – receives 16 letters.
8th September – de Burgh gives very good talk
9th September – Move out of Camp.
14th September – Young and Dickinson (Pilot RAF) move off together and on the way meet many, including Peter Stericker and Peter Watson.
25th September – ‘have at last got Dickinson to move South.’
4th October – Slept in cowshed with Frenchman, Russian and South African.
Place names given in quantity by Young, but they are most probably all small villages and are written by him as they sounded, so the exact route is impossible to tell. For instance, is the Pietralunga the one north of Lago Trasimeno which seems a little East of possible route?
After a quarrel, Dickinson fades out. This often happened as groups merged and split up differently.
At Corvaro, in early November, is ill in bed and remains for a month. There for Christmas and on January 1st heavy snow and blizzard. Supplies are dropped to villagers – later some given to POWs of which there are many in the area (Rieti prov.) [handwritten text] de Michelis family
Cross Avezzano Road in a Cart. Tagliacozza, Piglio.
4th February 1944 – reach Norma and overlook battlefield of extended Anzio beachhead. Sleep 4 in a bed. Doc and Charles (??) captured, the latter on his birthday when the Germans come into village. Detail of getting through the lines in his debriefing in which Young is always called ‘source’.
With Captain Gatenby and 2 Italian Officers, including the sister of one officer, they try to get through the lines. They are fired upon and get in ditches, near to giving themselves up. They make another effort to a mound. Fired on again. Captain Gatenby and girl are wounded. Young convinces Americans they are allied. Girl dies next day and Gatenby put on hospital ship.

[digital page 2]

[black and white portrait photograph of Young in full Army uniform]

[digital page 3]

[back of photograph, handwritten text] Major Leslie C Young, 2nd Battalion Beds and Herts

[digital page 4]
[handwritten text] Diary of Major LC Young, P42395. Italy 1943-4.

Working copy.

1943

Tuesday 13th April 1943
Capua. Taken prisoner, Side M Sin. 10.00 hrs, Ferryville via Mateur. Interrogated and slept night in French cell.

Wednesday 14th April 1943
Taken to Tunis and handed over to Italians. Wrote first notification card. First in German prison for Americans, then in Shoe Factory – Awful!

Thursday 15th April – Sunday 18th April 1943
Prisoner in Tunis. Given a bath in mobile bath unit.

Monday 19th April 1943
Left Tunis in Fort de France. Went on board 0900 hrs and sailed 1630 hrs.

Tuesday 20th April 1943
Had cabin and shared with Emery. 5 Northants.

Wednesday 21st April 1943
Arrived Naples 0430 hrs and landed 1400 hrs. Train to Capua 2000 hrs.

Thursday 22nd April 1943
Prisoner in Capua, 165 officers. First Red Cross parcel. Share with Dougie. Lecture by Padre. ‘Boat Race’

Friday 23rd April 1943
Good Friday, bath and delouse. Made tin fire. Church parade. Lecture by Kindersley. Horse racing. Letter to Dad and Tom la Fontaine.

Saturday 24th April 1943
First P.T. Parade. Clothes to have red patch. Spent afternoon splitting vest to make a towel. Concert in the evening. Prepared lecture. Concert excellent.

Sunday 25th April 1943
Early communion well attended. Brains Trust in afternoon. Evensong 18.00 hrs.

Monday 26th April 1943
No PT. sports morning and afternoon. Jones-Leicesters-Anglo Colonial No. 375. Evening play reading good. Playford arrived. Scotch parcel. Briggs, 6 Beds [Bedfordshire], knew Alan.

Tuesday 27th April 1943
PT. morning. Cut trousers and made shorts. Played chess with Edwards. Bath. Washing.

Wednesday 28th April 1943
Got Builders Estimating by Clayton C.V.P. and Architectural Building Construction by Jaggard [?] from Library. Lecture afternoon. Play evening VG.

Thursday 29th April 1943
Dougie Turner ill and in bed, myself not feeling so good because of cold. English parcel. Bed early. Clothes issued. BD trousers.

Friday 30th April 1943
2 shirts, pants, vests and socks. Letters to mother and Mary. Cold still bad. Turner better. Lecture afternoon.

Saturday 1st May 1943
Cold better, change of sheets. Walk in afternoon, 5 miles – glorious feeling. Played cards in evening.

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Sunday 2nd May 1943
Cold much better. Question and answer games in afternoon – won by our hut. Evensong with fine sermon by Padre.

Monday 3rd May 1943
PT in morning. House planning and designing. Walks to Church in afternoon, fine view. English parcels received. Received pay 400 lire in advance. Paid Carter 57. Playford 50 for towel. Sent telegram home 34 lire.

Tuesday 4th May 1943
Finishing touches to lecture. Horse racing game in afternoon. Lost 53 lire. Played poker in evening, lost again. Extra tobacco issued.

Wednesday 5th May 1943
Nothing much in morning. Walk in afternoon. Gave my lecture in the evening.

Thursday 6th May 1943
English parcel. Wrote to Mother and Mr. Lemon regarding Pat. Played Vingt et un [21s, card game] in evening.

Friday 7th May 1943
Rained most of day. Lecture on football by Lord Brabourne. VG [very good]. Sweep on Grand National, did not get anything. Much cooler.

Saturday 8th May 1943
Still raining hard. Spelling bee in afternoon. SBO [Senior British Officer] announced Fall of Tunis. Free issue Beef Brisket.

Sunday 9th May 1943
Better day. B[remainder of word omitted] also fallen. Race meeting in afternoon. Race horse called April the 13th. Horse lost but won on the meeting. Church in evening. Padre excellent again.

Monday 10th May 1943
First Canadian parcel and excellent. Had bath. Chopped wood in morning and talked with Ricketts 5 Leicesters. Like him very much. Bath. Bed early.

Tuesday 11th May 1943
Bad night – touch of sun. Weather hot again. Reading Noel Coward’s Present Indicative. Table tennis match against French. Won easily.

Wednesday 12th May 1943
Another bad night. Draft left. Blake and Jones left a lot of wood, tins and food to Dougie + 1. Moved into Major’s room. Long talk with Anderson and Webb. Discovered Webb was on the Square. News of the New Compound. Finished Noel Coward’s book. Much better night in spite of two Air Raid.

Thursday 13th May 1943
English parcel. Wrote to Dad and Muriel. Very good walk to mineral springs.

Friday 14th May 1943
Nothing much to do, bad day. Very bored. Saw Windy and some of the men.

Saturday 15th May 1943
Again little doing – waiting to move to the new compound. Webb, Butcher and Wier visited it this morning. Saw some more of the men. Air raids Thursday and last night. Long talk with Webb on masonry.

Sunday 16th May 1943
Early communion. Quiet day. Evensong in evening.

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Monday 17th May 1943

English parcel, bad one. Heavy wind storm carrying dust. Played with deck quoits with Zirmanba. Lessons in contract bridge.

Tuesday 18th May 1943
Read Frenchmans Creek and finished it. Walk to church in afternoon, marvellous view. Rumours of Armistice talks. Mess meeting regarding Central Funding. Motion defeated 38-35.

Wednesday 19th May 1943
Quiet day, played football in evening. Lecture by Tony Emery in afternoon on Motor racing, VG.

Thursday 20th May 1943
English parcel. French left for France in afternoon. Thunderstorm in evening.

Friday 21st May 1943
Wrote to Mother and Mary. Bath in morning. Started Italian lessons under Bradford. Reading Mazo de le Roche ‘White Oak Harvest’. Good lecture on English prisons. Bought first cherries at canteen.

Saturday 22nd May 1943
Chopped firewood first thing. Played football. Reading Ballygullion by Lynn Doyle. Play Admirable Crichton, very good indeed.

Sunday 23rd May 1943
Laid in morning. 1st performance by Camp Dance Band. Very good. Evensong in evening. Hudson leaving.

Monday 24th May 1943
Hudson very bad, probably going to hospital. Saw some of the men as they came to baths. Bad report on CSM. Hudson going to hospital. Walk to church. English parcel.

Tuesday 25th May 1943
Nothing of interest to report. Am taking small part in new play and attended first rehearsal.

Wednesday 26th May 1943
Free tobacco issue. Finished ‘I am Jonathan Scrivener’ by Claude Houghton. Heavy storm and no lights in evening. Early to bed and long talk with Webb.

Thursday 27th May 1943
Walk to church. Scotch parcel. Wrote letters to Dad and June Whitfield. Rumour of more officers moving.

Friday 28th May 1943
Rumours confirmed. Am moving to Camp 49. All morning washing. Another touch of sun – did not feel too good at rehearsal.

Saturday 29th May 1943
Laid in the morning after a bad night. Suffering from light diarrhoea. Played soccer in evening and then rehearsal.

Sunday 30th May 1943
Beautiful day. Read lesson at evensong. Band played in afternoon. Bath in morning.

Monday 31st May 1943
Moving tomorrow to Camp 49. Wrote telegram. English parcel. Played in ‘And now tomorrow’. Saw large numbers of English bombers.

[digital page 7]

Tuesday 1st June 1943
Spent morning packing few belongings and saying goodbyes. Left Capua about 16.00 hrs and travelled by train via Roma-Florence- Bolognia Parma to new camp. Arrived Rome 23.00 hrs.

Wednesday 2nd June 1943
Left 03.00 hrs. Arrived Florence 07.00 hr. Bolognia 09.00 hrs and left about 15.00 hrs. Tony Emery and other party got off at Modena. We arrived at new camp about 19.00 hrs. Sharing room with Bill Caffyn [handwritten text] Surreys

Thursday 3rd June 1943
Have met Philip Gardner and Beasley late of 4 Commando. Talks by SBO Col. Tindale-Biscoe. Cooking done on collective basis.

Friday 4th June 1943
Weather glorious – much cooler – no flies. Building holds about 120 officers. Drew advance 50 lire. Bought 4oz of tobacco from Opps Ltd.

Saturday 5th June 1943
Spent morning talking with news reporters. Letter home to mother. Play ‘Pygmalion’ in evening. Very good indeed.

Sunday 6th June 1943
Quiet day. Finished the Loom of Youth by Alex Waugh which I started on train. Also read Sabatini’s ‘The Nuptials of Corbal’ and am now reading A.G. Streets’ ‘Endless Furrow’. Went to evensong at 20.15.

Monday 7th June 1943
First walk at Fontanellato. Short but very enjoyable. Reorganisation of room. News bulletin in afternoon. Send postcard to Johnnie.

Tuesday 8th June 1943
Moved to new room with 3 other Majors; Laird, Duthie and Pyman. Gramophone recital in evening.

Wednesday 9th June 1943
Tummy not feeling so good. Haircut this morning. Reading Eden Philpotts’ Colonel Westover. Wrote Dad.

Thursday 10th June 1943
Little to report. Played basketball. Heavy thunderstorm at night. Lecture by Col. Mainwaring on Middle East Campaign. Finished ‘A Slick Young Fellow’ Max Brand.

Friday 11th June 1943
Worked in morning. Identification particulars taken. Played Vingt et Un.

Saturday 12th June 1943
Good walk. Pantelleria Falls. Pay came through 550.40 from Capua. 276 Francs held by Bank. Concert in evening.

Sunday 13th June 1943
Lampedusa Falls
Whit Sunday. Holy Communion first thing. Talk with Laing regarding whose building books I had borrowed and news of 1st battalion in Syria when peace declared. Moved to Tobruk. 2nd unit to break out from Tobruk September-Oct 4. Church again in morning. Sung Eucharist. Finished Masons [?] and Amber. Concern in evening.

Monday 14th June 1943
Postcard to Len Crophy. Drew 40 lire from Bank and settled debts. Read and finished Vachell’s Quinneys’. Watched 8 v 1st Armies at soccer in afternoon. 8 Army won 2-1.

Tuesday 15th June 1943
Hot bath. Work in morning and afternoon. Beer issue.

Wednesday 16th June 1943
Wet and showery in morning. Finished Sackville West’s ‘All Passion Spent’ and reading now [two word illegible]

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Thursday 17th June 1943
Reading Buchan’s ‘The Dancing Floor’. Wrote to mother. Lecture on Iraq. Rebellion by Lt. Col Everett. Very good.

Friday 18th June 1943
Very good walk. Played basketball and lost 6-4 after two lots extra time.

Saturday 19th June 1943
Soap issue and news of Wavells appointment as Viceroy of India. In Town Tonight entertainment. Very good.

Sunday 20th June 1943
Good. Sung Eucharist in morning.

Monday 21st June 1943
Lot of mail in but none for me. Bad day. Started Hot Water Fitting with Laing. Reading Seymour’s ‘Youth Rides Out’.

Tuesday 22nd June 1943
Very quiet day. Extra roll call in afternoon. Read and finished Vachell’s ‘Out of Great Tribulation’. Gramophone recital in evening. Peer Gynt quite good.

Wednesday 23rd June 1943
Chocolate issue. Wrote to Dad. Played league basketball and won 4-0. Reading Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures.

Thursday 24th June 1943
Italian Feast Day. Work postponed until tomorrow. Large procession in evening. Peter Laird’s birthday party.

Friday 25th June 1943
Walk today, not good. Grapes beginning to show on vines. Lecture by Col Mainwaring. Syria and 6 Div. in Tobruk.

Saturday 26th June 1943
Worked on field – levelling running track. Very good concert in evening by Raeder.

Sunday 27th June 1943
Worked hard all day. Church in evening.

Monday 28th June 1943
Lecture by Major de Winter on Mareth battle. Very poor. Pyman explained Tobruk. Read and finished Warwick Deeping’s ‘I Live Again’.

Tuesday 29th June 1943
Wrote postcard to Russell Watling. Reading John Buchan’s ‘Hannay Holds the Door’. Pyman gave me tobacco and saved situation.

Wednesday 30th June 1943
Very heavy rain storm. Quite like England as a result.

Thursday 1st July 1943
Wrote to mother. Worked in field. Quiet day.

Friday 2nd July 1943
Again worked in field in the morning. Lecture by Colonel Mainwaring in evening. Very good.

Saturday 3rd July 1943
Good walk in morning. Quiet day reading ‘Touch and Go’ by Barbara Starke.

Sunday 4th July 1943
Played basketball with Dougie Turner’s team and won. Reading Warwick Deeping’s ‘To the Dark House’. Church in evening. Macdonald, Scott very fierce but sincere.

Monday 5th July 1943
Wrote postcard to Charles Newstead.

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Tuesday 6th July 1943
Nothing much to report. Pay for month 468 – drew 400 and paid debts. Collected 108 for card winnings. Annoyed Pyman very stupidly. Gramophone recital. Sibelius Finlandia and invitation to the Waltz.

Wednesday 7th July 1943
Wrote to Dad. Read Margaret Bowman’s ‘Diction’.

Thursday 8th July 1943
Good walk in morning. Played bridge evening and finished all square. Blake was my partner against Pyman and Laird. Talk with Wheeler.

Friday 9th July 1943
Heats for sports. Reading Ernest Raymond’s ‘The March’. Haircut.

Saturday 10th July 1943
Walk, very good one. News of invasion Sicily 2pm from Rome. Sports very good fun. Came 2nd in Majors Race. Boxing tournament in evening.

Sunday 11th July 1943
Read Victor Bridge’s ‘The House on the Saltings’. Church in morning.

Monday 12th July 1943
Invasion going well. Examination on hot water fittings. Postcard to Muriel.

Tuesday 13th July 1943
News of four landings on Sicily and riot at Taranto.

Wednesday 14th July 1943
Reading Hugh Walpole’s Judith Paris. Played bridge and won. Walk today.

Thursday 15th July 1943
Reading Thomas Armstrong’s ‘Dover Harbour’. Invasion news still good. Played bridge with Blake Ricketts and Martin Bird. Letter to mother.

Friday 16th July 1943
Heavy air raid during the night on Bologna Parma Modena. Bar repaired after being closed for 5 days.

Saturday 17th July 1943
Play, ‘Blythe Spirit’, very good indeed.

Sunday 18th July 1943
Holy Communion and morning service. Wrote postcard to Mary. Further withdrawals in Sicily. Evensong.

Monday 19th 1943
Bet with Fane Hervey. £1in England before end of October.

Tuesday 20th 1943
Bombing of Rome confirmed. Played bridge with Wilcox and Strange and lost heavily. Started to sunbathe.

Wednesday 21st July 1943
News of Hitler and Mussolini’s meeting. Wrote letter to Dad. Saw SBO regarding mail from Capua.

Thursday 22nd July 1943
Reading Mazo de la Roche’s ‘Finch’s Future’. Played bridge in evening.

Friday 23rd July 1943
Dull day, with rain in afternoon. Pleasant change. Reading Arnold Bennett’s ‘The Clayhanger Family’. Lecture by Mainwaring on Air Cooperation.

Saturday 24th July 1943
Walk. Feeling a little feverish. Palermo reported to be evacuated on Rome Radio. Bought tickets in raffle for gramophone. Russians attacking along entire front.

Sunday 25th July 1943
Not feeling too bright. Laid in the morning. Evensong. Bar shut by Italians.

[digital page 10]

Monday 26th July 1943
Mussolini sacked. Bagadlio taking over and the Fascist party finished. Italians appear indifferent but rush to hear the news. Letters for subalterns but none for me. Martial law and curfew.

Tuesday 27th July 1943
News in papers of last Fascist meeting – called the fantastic epilogue. Very bitter towards Mussolini.

Wednesday 28th July 1943
Reading Somerset Maugham’s ‘Theatre’. Italians paying a lot of attention to the news. Air of expectancy abroad. Wrote to Brother.

Thursday 29th July 1943
Still no letters. Feeling bad about this. Have stopped working. Reading ‘How Green was my Valley’.

Friday 30th July 1943
Italians had special parade and Commandant explained situation. Mainwaring lecture on El Alamein. This was first class and did me a lot of good. He talked of Churchill and Montgomery arrival in M.E.

Saturday 31st 1943
Day opened with announcement of no more newspapers for Camp. Reasons not given; some say lack of paper. Quiet day. A very good concert by Raeder in the evening.

Sunday 1st August 1943
Went to morning service. Drink with Dougie Turner in the evening. Reading Campbell Mackenzie’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’.

Monday 2nd August 1943
Wrote to Spike. Very interesting news bulletin.

Tuesday 3rd August 1943
Weather still very hot and close. Reading Louis Bolmfield’s ‘Wild in the River’. Played bridge with Pyman and Laird and lost 13 lira, making 21 lira to date this month.

Wednesday 4th August 1943
Dull but close day. Wrote letter to Dad. Tunnel discovered 23.15 hrs. Italians loosed off round in evening. Consistent attack on Sicily.

Thursday 5th August 1943
No letter. Played bridge with SBO Tynsdale-Biscoe, lost 19 lira. Total to date 40 lira. TB had John Hunter in his troop in France.

Friday 6th August 1943
Reading John Buchan’s ‘The [?] of the Captivity Catania falls. Rumours of invasion of Norway. ORE taken by Russians.

Saturday 7th August 1943
Italian check of all building. Played chess with Polacks. Basketball against the Queens and won 16-2. Bridge lost 6 liar, 46 lira total.

Sunday 8th August 1943
Church in morning. Long talk with Colonel Gibbs. Chess in afternoon with Blake. Bridge evening.

Monday 9th August 1943
2 new arrivals. Colonel Wheeler moves into our new room. Started to work again. Wrote postcard to John Vivian.

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Tuesday 10th August 1943
Good news of Sicily. Lecture by Mainwaring. Reading Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Something of Myself’.

Wednesday 11th August 1943
New SBO Colonel De Berg takes over. Strong disciplinarian. Orders beards and long hair off. Roll call made a parade. Divided opinion. I think all to the good. Played bridge and lost 12.50 lira. Total for month now 58.50 lira. Messina taken.

Thursday 12th August 1943
Wrote letter to Mother. Duty Field Officer for first time. Italians have dug trenches all round camp to prevent any further tunnels. Pete Laird gave me 50 cigarettes, British shaving brush and pyjamas. Very generous.

Friday 13th August 1943
Cool and slightly raining. Very pleasant change. Haircut. Reading J.B. Priestley’s ‘Rain on Godshill’. See play, ‘The Circle’, very good indeed. Walks restarted.

Saturday 14th August 1943
The most important event since capture, 7 letters arrive today; 3 Dad, 1 Muriel, 1 Hensie, 1 [?], 1 Russell. Latest letter from Dad 18th July came direct. Lost at bridge again, 70 lira down.

Sunday 15th August 1943
Church in morning. Postcard to Dad. Lost 2 lira at bridge, 72 lira.

Monday 16th August 1943
Reading excellent book on problems of employer ad men called ‘A Chance for Everybody’, Hyacinthe Dubreuil, published by Chalto and Windus, London. Bridge again, lost 86 lira.

Tuesday 17th August 1943
Walk in morning, very good. Saw Fair Fortresses over and parachute. Laird sick. Wrote letter to Dad. Played bridge with Pyman and lost 4 lira, 90 lira. Washing returned. Basketball and won.

Wednesday 18th August 1943
[No Entry]

Thursday 19th August 1943
Sicily finally evacuated. First letter from Mother.

Friday 20th August 1943
Nothing much to report. Won 12 lira bridge.

Saturday 21st August 1943
3 letters today, 1 Dad, 1 Mary, 1 John Roll. Very good smoking concert.

Sunday 22nd August 1943
Early Communion and Matins. Wrote postcard to Muriel. Played bridge – won 10 lira.

Monday 23rd August 1943
Walk cancelled. Germans passing through. Did nothing much and read in evening. Reading H.D. Downey ‘Acquisitive Society’, Walpole’s ‘The Fortress’.

Tuesday 24th August 1943
Letter from Russell. Beat walk as POW. Sicily dinner. Bridge won 4.50 lira.

Wednesday 25th August 1943
Quiet day. Letters from Dad 14th July, 8th August and Mary on 22nd July. Wrote to Mother. Heard Kinnersley lost an eye in Tunisia. Played bridge and won 4 lira.

Thursday 26th August 1943
Walks cancelled. Bridge – lost 10.50 lira.

[digital page 12]

Friday 27th August 1943
Received 16 letters today. Total 32 to date.

Saturday 28th August 1943
Weather changed and turned quite cold. 2 further letters. Read and went to bed earlier.

Sunday 29th August 1943
Matins at 10. Wrote postcard to Mary. Played bridge with Crofton in evening.

Monday 30th August 1943
Started work again. Quantity Surveying. No letters today.

Tuesday 31st August 1943
Letter from Muriel 12 August.

Wednesday 1st September 1943
Nothing to report. Reading last of Herries series ‘Vanessa’. Won 20 lira bridge.

Thursday 2nd September 1943
Letter to day. WP Lodge meeting. Received letter from Dad dated 1st August.

Friday 3rd September 1943
Rumour of landing in Italy. Played bridge.

Saturday 4th September 1943
Rumour confirmed. Landing at Calabria and at Naples. Party with Kitson, Graham-Campbell and Keay. Game of bridge. Stormy day with wonderful sunset.

Sunday 5th September 1943
Matins. Very fine day.

Monday 6th September 1943
Letter from Dad dated 15th August.

Tuesday 7th September 1943
Walk today, very good one. Italians very friendly. Newspapers start again. Typical days feeding today – small roll for breakfast, cup of cocoa at 11 o’clock. Plate of stew (no meat) with 4 small peaches for lunch. 1 Canadian biscuit and cup of tea for tea. Small quantity of fish pie, 2 potatoes (small) with marrow, rice and coffee for dinner.

Wednesday 8th September 1943
Walk cancelled because of Italian fiesta. This followed usual lines. Church bells ringing very early in morning. Hundreds of people cycle into Fontenallato – most girls, walk about village come to have a look at us – the whole show fizzles out at lunchtime. Marvellous day this. Armistice at 20.00 hrs – just after dinner, sitting down to write to Mother – Italians throw hats in air. SBO gives very good talk.

Thursday 9th September 1943
Threat of Germans forcing the camp. We move out to hiding places at 12.30. News of German column 4 miles from camp. Wonderful feeling to be free. Hiding up all day and night.

Friday 10th September 1943
Italians bring food. Still hiding prisoners of invasion of France. Visit to farm for wash and wine.

Saturday 11th September 1943
Still in hiding. [handwritten text in margin] Fontenallato. Decide to lay up at farm – get Italian clothes and visit but Germans there and have to return. Eventually finish at house in Poretta. Very kind people. Meet Graham-Campbell and Briggs.

Sunday 12th September 1943
Leaving Italians hard. Hiding in fields by day and cottage by night. No news yet. Saw Mainwaring tonight and meeting again in morning for [one word illegible].

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Monday 13th September 1943
Italians decidedly nervous. Shall have to move. Queries where – frontier – E. Coast? Saw Mainwaring – says Germans have released Mussolini, but advancing in South. SBO says move because of Fascist threat. Move to Bunti. Meet Dickinson and arrange to move tomorrow.

Tuesday 14th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Banzolia
Italians late. Leave 5.30 cross railway and into the hills. Arrive 10 o’clock. Sleeping in barn.

Wednesday 15th September 1943
Family – 3 girls – and another family of 6 in same house. Party night we arrived and we help on the farm. No news. Growing maize etc.

Thursday 16th September 1943
Selby and Baddaley arrive about 10 o’clock. News that Corsica has been taken by us. Hostess gets windy and we are leaving tomorrow. Dougie and Briggs going off as a pair. Myself and Dick.

Friday 17th September 1943
Dougie and Briggs move off at 03.00 hrs. Two South Africans pass through at 09.00 hrs. Italian deserters follow. Quiet day resting before we move.

Saturday 18th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Vianiano
Moved off 03.00 hrs. Lovely moonlight tonight. Going very hard. Met 4 DCLI [Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry] officers and rested for day at 10.00 hrs having covered about 10 miles. Very good lunch. Humphreys, Willis and another passed through about 17.00 hrs. We decide to spend night here, pass on early tomorrow.

Sunday 19th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] La Speccio
Leave 05.15 in morning – cross lane and reach small village. Meet 2 DCLI again and we are given a very good breakfast. Italian who speaks English. Staying here. Met 2 Ors [Other Ranks] from Bassutto. Best day yet. A lot of food with a very good party in the evening in locked Vino shop and heard the BBC but no news. Dickinson heard the Italian news. Moved off again 06.00 hrs.

Monday 20th September 1943
Not going far. Bad day. Tried several farms without success. Finally finished at one farm where the people were very poor but we were given a good reception. Leave owing to four soldiers. Coldest night yet.

Tuesday 21st September 1943
Met Peter Stericker and Peter Watson again. Arrived at a very good farm. Tailor repaired my trousers. Lesson in Italiano.

Wednesday 22nd September 1943
Listened to the radio – hiding in woods – moving on tomorrow.

Thursday 23rd September 1943
German scare and move off about 2pm to another home. Not feeling too well but got a very good night in clean straw.

Friday 24th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Valmazzola
Feeling better but resting most of day. Returned to old people. Heard BBC again.

Saturday 25th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Cassola
Great day this. Have at last got Dickinson to move south and today we have made quite good progress.

Sunday 26th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Monte Bello
Spent night at small farm. Terrific thunderstorm. Woman suckling baby the whole time. Made good progress again today – Cornilgia. Bad night because of flea bite.

[digital page 14]

Monday 27th September 1943
Very good progress past Cornilgia, excellent farm – best yet – very good meal. Steak and rice and potatoes. The farmer had been there for 64 years. Several officers have passed through. First bed since leaving camp. The village reminds me of Clovelly. Rained all day and stayed put.

Tuesday 28th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Miscoso
Raining again all day and unable to move on.

Wednesday 29th September 1943
Started off again today and met up with 6 Italians and made good progress until rain stopped play about 3pm. Found a farm about 6pm. Very poor. Razor broken and finished. English speaking girl.

Thursday 30th September 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Valbona
Left about 09.00 hrs. Did not travel very far. Met Italian from La Specia and he found us places for the night. More rain again. Met another Italian who will go the whole way with us. Lost my knife in the hay.

Friday 1st October 1943
Rain most of the day so stayed put.

Saturday 2nd October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Cariline
Italians ran away first thing in the morning with hostess’ boots. Fine day and we leave about 9. Hostess shows us a way across strada and we made good progress. Washed up in very good village. Argument with local priest on religion. Mary’s birthday. [handwritten text] Lovely day.

Sunday 3rd October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Cervarolo
First two hours climbing and after made good progress. Very tired. Good meal and good night. [handwritten text] Haircut

Monday 4th October 1943
[handwritten in margin] Gazzano
Met S A Nightingale – Richard and spent morning when them. Good meat lunch and listened to wireless. Landing at Tremoli. Slept in cowshed with Frenchman, Russian and S.A. [South African] [handwritten text] Hindson

Tuesday 5th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Sassolignoso
Lovely morning, push on again after rest yesterday. We had news of Winchester and Milne yesterday. Met some young Italians from Lucca. They gave us lunch – excellent. 500 lia, 2 packets cigarettes each and me a shirt. Lost 1 packet of cigarettes later crossing stream. Left again about 1.30 pm. Stayed night at small farm. News of T Wildy, Nigel Knight-Bruce. Aerial dog fight overhead – 3 fighters against Sqn. Liberators.

Wednesday 6th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Sassuolo
Made very good press today, back onto old route. Narrow escape from German staff car crossing the street. Very poor village at night – sleeping with the cows again.

Thursday 7th October 1943
1st month. Pouring rain. Moved about ½ mile and met some very kind people. Fed well. Listened to BBC.

Friday 8th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Verale
Still raining but moved off again – could not make much progress. Priest helped us to get to a map. Another good farm. Slept with the cows.

Saturday 9th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Montepulciano
Still raining but kept on again. 2 newly laid eggs each this morning. Rain. Excellent billet – given map for next part of journey. Boots repaired.

[digital page 15]

Sunday 10th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Pieve di Casio
Still raining but made very good progress and crossed one of our hardest obstacles at dusk. Very poor billet.

Monday 11th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Verzuno
Still raining. Made little progress but we were treated well.

Tuesday 12th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Montefredente
Made good progress today. Finished in a bad billet. Cup of tea with refugees from Bologna.

Wednesday 13th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Il Poggiolo
Crossed main BFR railway and made very good progress to excellent billet. Very cold today. Chestnuts after supper.

Thursday 14th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Mantigno
Had to move to the ASS. Bad start and lost our way but finished well.

Friday 15th October 1943
[handwritten text] Altedo
Difficult route again. Mountains very steep but made best progress of week. Roughly 17 miles. Good billet, chicken broth.

Saturday 16th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] S. Benedetto
Met some good friends today and now have New Zealander [handwritten text] Gatenby travelling with us. He is good. Poor billet.

Sunday 17th October 1943
Stopped because of rain. Moved off about 11. Rain again. Some more friends. Turkey for dinner. Poor billet.

Monday 18th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Castel dell’Alpi
Moved on – more rain after 1 hour. Good place. Another move. Night very bad. Bitten by dog. Quarrel with Dickinson.

Tuesday 19th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Celle
Fine day – progress good but had to make a detour. Have to finish at 3 p.m. not possible to reach next village, very kind host.

Wednesday 20th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Santa Paulo in Alps
Early start with very hard climb 3500 ft then through forest. Many narrow shaves with Germans. Helped by a woman. New trousers. Very good billet. Wireless. D lost map.

Thursday 21st October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] La Lama
Good progress – got new directions – lost other two crossing Rome-Berlin road. Night on my own.

Friday 22nd October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Sigonella
Off early. Soon found others. Met Italian who gave us lunch and 10 cigarettes and us on the wrong road.

Saturday 23rd October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Guina
Bad cold last three days. Back on original line – quite a good farm.

Sunday 24th October 1943
[no recorded entry]

Monday 25th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Bocca Genoa
Fair progress today – finished by getting map from Patrone and a good meal.

Tuesday 26th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Pietra Lunga – N. of Lake Trasimeno?
Weather cooler. Pushed on again but lost our way. Met Nixon Green Howards and he spent a night with us.

Wednesday 27th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Madonna della Cima
Raining slightly again. Stole a map from a priest.

Thursday 28th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Sigillo
Going very bad – decide to use road – Dickinson won’t come. Best two days of trip – marvellous friends – all sorts of gifts.

Friday 29th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Belvedere
Family weep when we leave. Make good progress and stay at church school.

Saturday 30th October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Ravenna
Framed message home. Good night. Heard BBC. Made very good progress today.

[digital page 16]

Sunday 31st October 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Arqua Petrarca
Forest guard. Difficultly to get bed. News this morning of Keating, Winchester, Burton, Lytle, Amos and Blake.

Monday 1st November 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Ancarano
Poor night after very long match.

Tuesday 2nd November 1943
Party of Italians, another poor night.

Wednesday 3rd November 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Pescia
Very good progress today and a good village – news of Col. Gibbs.

Thursday 4th November 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Caprarola
Made good progress but refused any sort of shelter. Manage without covers for night.

Friday 5th November 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Francellini

Saturday 6th November 1943
[handwritten text in margin] Lucoli
Difficult road crossing. Quite reasonable billet. Foot very bad.

Sunday 7th November 1943
Reached Corvaro – all sorts of news and decide to see 2 British officers already.

Monday 8th November 1943
Staying in bed with temperature.

Tuesday 9th November 1943
Ditto

Wednesday 10th November 1943
Ditto

Thursday 11th November 1943
Ditto

Sunday 19th December 1943
Moved to mountain Casali.

Saturday 25th December 1943
Christmas Day in Corvaro. Julio for lunch. Doc in evening.

Tuesday 28th December 1943
Frank, Paul and Robert moved off

1944

Saturday 1st January 1944
Heavy snowstorm and blizzard. Bedding covered with snow. Roof over living quarter leaking.

Sunday 2nd January 1944
Into Corvaro. Germans using villagers to clear snow. Collected food.

Monday 3rd January 1944
Snow beginning to thaw. Bath with hot water and washed pants.

Tuesday 4th January 1944
Wood collecting. Bridge in afternoon.

Wednesday 5th January 1944
Very heavy snowstorm again.

Thursday 6th January 1944
Snow very bad.

Friday 7th January 1944
Down to village for supplies. Great news from D, going next week. Hut robbed.

Saturday 8th January 1944
Great wood gathering day.

Sunday 9th January 1944
Supplies dropped by air but all taken by villagers.

Monday 10th January 1944
Village taken – trying to get parcels. Boots repaired.

[digital page 17]

Tuesday 11th January 1944
Jim and Vivian into village. Not feeling very grand.

Wednesday 12th January 1944
Spent all day trying to get parcels back from village. Slept night in village. D not able to go on Friday.

Thursday 13th January 1944
Distributed parcels to prisoners. Trouble with Yugoslavs. Charles sees German captain.

Friday 14th January 1944
Slight chill. Charles into village. Laird called in afternoon. News of Topham Roworth and Hillis.

Saturday 15th January 1944
Glorious day. Vivian and Jim to village. Charles and I to village. Met Laird. Slept. St Stefano after bridge with DS.

Sunday 16th January 1944
Lunch at SS. Wireless BBC, Russian National Anthem.

Monday 17th January 1944
Glorious day. Village in morning. Germans in afternoon. Scare 8 Germans searching mountains.

Tuesday 18th January 1944
Big woodcutting day. Charles bad cold in bed.

Wednesday 19th January 1944
Walk to St Stefano with Jim. D ill.

Thursday 20th January 1944
Woodcutting.

Friday 21st January 1944
Woodcutting in morning. Bridge afternoon.

Saturday 22nd January 1944
Barry’s plane crashes. Charles and I leave for Rocciolo. Day in village. Much air activity.

Sunday 23rd January 1944
Rocciolo – very good. Conference about leaving and News of Landing.

Monday 24th January 1944
Muriel’s birthday. I go to DS. Note sent to D. D at hut when I return.

Tuesday 25th January 1944
I got to D. Move on Sunday, if not before. Charles and Barry to village.

Wednesday 26th January 1944
Jim, Vivian and Barry leave on Friday with Laird.

Thursday 27th January 1944
Say goodbye in village.

Friday 28th January 1944
Move to SS to spend night with D. Gives Charles jacket and boots. Listen to BBC. Good dinner and cognac party. Cart away goods from hut.

Saturday 29th January 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Tagliacozza
Left at 6.00 hrs. Beautiful day. Good progress, cross Avezzano road in cart. Very bad diarrhoea. Good progress at night. 9 Germans.

Sunday 30th January 1944
All day climbing – lost at night. Spent in cave feeling much better – nothing to eat all day.

[digital page 18]

Monday 31st January 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Vallepietra
Move on early. Good progress. Cross mountain 6000 ft. Excellent village – good bed – night disturbed 12.30 by German scare. Italian gives me medicine for stomach. Meet 2 Americans.

Tuesday 1st February 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Near Vic Casalini
Late start but good progress. Cross one main road to Roma. Pass Germans on footpath. Night at convent. Thought the Father would never stop talking. Gunfire very loud.

Wednesday 2nd February 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Piglio
Left convent early – after good meal – march all day with gunfire on both fronts. Night in shepherd’s hut.

Thursday 3rd February 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Campa di Segio
Leave very early. Cross last main road via Casilini and then railway. Very well treated today. News of Cisterna occupied. Heading now for Norma. Hear British machine gun fire in night.

Friday 4th February 1944
[handwritten text in margin] Norma
Worse day of trip. Torrential freezing rain and very bad visibility. Night in village of Norma overlooking battlefront. 4 in bed.

Saturday 5th February 1944
Stomach very bad today but off at 6. [handwritten text] 8 o’clock at night with good guide on last stage. Germans came into village during the day. Charles’ birthday. Left 19.00 hrs. Doc and Charles captured.

Sunday 6th February 1944
Arrived at American lines 07.00 hrs. Sylvia operated on. Charles to hospital. I to HQ. New clothes. Cigarettes and tons of good food.

Monday 7th February 1944
Sylvia died in morning. Arrangements for funeral – coffin. Met Prince Borghesi. 7 air raids and 2 shellings.

Tuesday 8th February 1944
Funeral 13.30. Padre Davies. Leave 14.15 hours. L and T to Naples. Col. M very helpful.

Wednesday 9th February 1944
Arrive in Naples 16.00 hrs. Transit Hotel Patria. Dinner at British.

[digital page 19]

[handwritten text] L.C. Young’s Diary: the Names
[the following names have been indexed with a page number(s) to reference each individual’s appearance in Young’s diary]

Anderson, Capt G. – p.2
Amos, Lt V. – p.13
Baddeley, Capt Jack – p.10
Beagley, Lt Gordon – p.4
Bird, Captain Martin – p.6
Banghesi, Prince – p.15
Brabourne, Lord – p.2
Bradford – p.3
Briggs, Lt K – p.19,10
Burke, Lt V – p.13
Butcher – p.2
Caffyn, Capt W – p.4
Carter, Cansen – p.2
Crofton, Lt K – p.9
Davies, Padre – p.15
de Burgh, Lt Col. Hugo – p.8,10
de Winton, Major Gerry – p.5
Dickinson, P/O Reg – p.10,12
Duthie, Major J – p.4
Edwards, Major H – p.1
Emery, Anthony – p.13,4
Everett, Lt Col Edward – p.5
Gardner, Lt Philip – p.4
Gatenby, Lt Philip – p.12,14
Gibbs, Lt Col Denis – p.13
Graham-Campbell, Lt D – p.9
[digital page 20]
Harvey, Capt C – p.6
Hills – p.14
Hudran – p.3
Humphrey – p.10
Jones, Lt C – p.12
Keay – p.9
Kindersley, Capt Philip – p.1
Kitson, Capt – p.9
Knight-Bruce, Lt N – p.11
Laing, Lt Anthony – p.45
Laird, Major Peter, p.4,5,6,7,8,14
Lytle, Capt J – p.13
Macdonald, Rev H – p.5
Mainwaring, Lt Col Hugh – p.4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Milne – p.11
Morns-Keating, Capt P – p.13
Nightingale-Richard (SA) – p.11
Nixa, Lt P – p.12
Playford, Lt J. Pat – p.12
Pyman, Major H – p.4,5,6,7,8
Raeden – p.57
Ricketts, Capt H – p.26
Rowartt – p.14
Scott, Lt F – p.5
Strange, Capt John – p.6

[digital page 21]

Selly/Sealy – p.10
Stericker, Lt Peter – p.10
Topham – p.14
Turner, Basil ‘Dougie’ – p.1,2,5,7,10
Tynsdale-Biscoe, Lt Col N – p.24,7
Watson, Capt Peter – p.10
Webb – p.23
Wheeler, Lt Col Richard – p.67
Wier – p.2
Wilcox, Capt H ‘Taffy’ – p.6
Wildy, Lt Tom – p.11
Willis, 2nd Lt A – p.10
Winchester, Lt P – p.11,13
Zinman – p.3
Windy – p.2
Frank – p.13
Paul – p.13
Robert – p.13
Jim – p.14
Vivian (?) Lt Vivian Wilson Lloyd – p.14
Barry (?) Lt Barry Keyter (SA) – p.14
Doc – p.15
Sylvia – p.15
D – p.13,14
DS – p.14

[digital page 22]
[LC Young Army Debrief/Statement and Interrogation Form – POW/Escape to Allied Lines]

Statement by: 42359 Major Leslie Charles Young. 2nd Battalion Beds & Herts, 4th Division.
Escaped: 9 September: 1943. Arrived Allied Hands: 6 February 1944.
Interrogated: 11 February 1944
Personal Details:
Date of Birth – 24th March 1911
Length of Service – Supp: Reserve 1929
Private Address – Surrey
Capture:
Tunisia 13th April 1943
Camps:
Tunisia – 13th April 1943 to 20th April 1943
By Steamer to Naples three days
66 Capua – 22nd April 1943 to 22nd May 1943
49 Fontanellato – 25th May 1943 to 9th September 1943

Escape:
Source was Platoon Commander in No.3 Company which was commanded by Lt/Col. Gibbs. When the Company was ordered to split up a number went to the Bardi area. Source and a Lieut. Turner were the last to leave. Source was taken by an Italian to a farm at Paroletta where he met Lieut. Graham Campbell and Lieut. Briggs. Fl/Lt Dickinson joined the party later. They stayed at the farm for three or four days then split into two parties: Fl/Lt Dickinson and source staying together. They sent the week wandering around waiting for confirmation of rumours of British landings. When they found these were false they made their way South with their objective being the Gran Sasso. Nearing Marradi they were taken to the hideout of an Italian band of rebels where they met Capt. Gatenby NZMP who had escaped from a hospital near [one word illegible]. They were asked to join the rebels but left [two words illegible]. At Sigilio, Capt. Gatenby said he wished to keep to the roads as the mountains were becoming too much for him; Dickinson then left and source and Capt. Gatenby carried on alone. In the middle of November, they arrived at Carvaro where the source had flu and was in bed for 10 days. After he got up, they went to the hills as the Germans had been raiding various villagers in the vicinity and the host they had been staying with thought that it would be safer.

[digital page 23]

They then found a shepherds hut to live in and food was brought up to them every day. [one word illegible] After they settled down in the hut there were joined by Capt. Roberts, Major Bellett SAAF and Lieut Lloyd. Capt. Rogers and Major Bellett left soon after with two other South Africans to get a boat at Civitavecchia. After they left source and the others were joined by Capt. Stone NZEF, Major David Laird and Lieut. Barry Keyter SAAF who had been shot down a few days previously. When the party heard that the Allies had landed on the [one word illegible] beachhead. They decided to split up into two parties and try and get through the lines that day. The two parties consisted of:-
1st Party:

  • Source
  • Capt. Gatenby
  • Two Italian ex Officers
  • The sister of one of the above officers

2nd Party:

  • Major David Laird
  • Capt. Stone
  • Lieut. Wilson Lloyd
  • Lieut. Keyter

The first party decided to wait a few days to see how the beachhead progressed. The second party moved off the same day to go to Frascati area via Tevoli (probably still there). The first party’s journey over to the beachhead was via Tagliacozeo [two words illegible] – Vallepietra – Conv.S.Lorenzo – [one word illegible] – Segni – Norma. They left Norma at 19.00hrs on 5th Feb for the American lines on the C. Mussolini. An Italian at Norma had given them a sketch map of German and American positions. They crossed the via Appia half way between the Canal and the Via Appia. As soon as the crossed they came under fire from German posts. The two Italians were in front of Capt. Gatenby and the Italian girl. Source and the two Italians lay flat and the other man managed to get into a ditch at the side of the road. Source rolled over and ran for the ditch thinking that the Italians would do the same. They waited in the ditch for some time and then crawled out only to get the burst of rifle fire. They waited in the ditch for about another quarter of an hour and then moved off down the

[digital page 24]

road for 600 yards or so. They then stopped and had a conference. They decided with full approval to carry on hoping that the others had got away. They moved off and had gone a short distance when they came under fire again. They immediately went to the ground and crawled into a ditch. They then decided to wait for the moon to set before attempting to again. Just as the moon set, the Germans raided Nettuno and Anzio. They waited for this to finish and then set out. After covering a short distance, they were fired on again and thought that the position was hopeless and that they would have to give themselves up. They decided to have one more try and carried on. Source, who was leading the party, saw a mound and made for it, he crawled to the top and was immediately fired on. Source was not hit but the girl was seriously wounded in the neck and Capt. Gatenby was wounded in the arm. This post turned out to be an American one and after source had made himself known they carried the girl to the hospital. She was operated on but died the next day. Capt Gatenby was put aboard a hospital ship.

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