Crowle Grange – Concrete apron built by POWs

In front of the house at Crowle Grange there is an inscription dating from the end of the Second World War from when the concrete apron was laid.

 

Crowle Grange Concrete Apron

 

Crowle Grange Concrete Apron

The inscription reads;

9.11.45

Italian POW

GC PC

BG BM

Remember

The POW camp in Crowle was located on Mill Road, approximately where Wyvern Close is now located. During the war it housed Italian POWs. The huts were apparently still in situ as late as the 1960s.

 

John provided some further information as one of the POWs contacted his father after the war;

I have found the letter from from one of the prisoners, which he sent to my father in 1949. It reads as follows:

Scala 9-5-1949
My dear Boy J. Son

I write you for letting you know about my health and of my family, as I would like to know about you and your family.

My dear Mr J. Son I write you also for telling you that I wanted to go back to your farm, for doing a little of work as you like.

If you like that I will come back to England to Crowle, you must do the possible for doing the act of calling me there, so I prepare everything is necessary, about cards and so I can come. I wish very much to see you.

I think that you will be so kind to answer me, and let me know everything.

My best wishes to you and to your wife.

Your
Gino
the prisoner

This the adress
Signor Cappuccio
GABRIELE, SCALA
VIA S. MARIA
(SALERNO)

I regret to say that my father did not reply to the letter, as he already had quite enough men on the farm and did not need Gino’s help, though he did sometimes tell us about Gino and what a good fellow he was. Apparently he was a very good plasterer and builder. The Italian POWs were pleased to be out of the war, and had no wish to escape back to Mussolini’s Italy. In our collection of family photos we have a postcard of Mussolini, bravely steering a ship in a storm. I don’t think he is on our family tree, so I wonder if the postcard might have been given to Dad  by one of the POWs? Knowing what Dad thought of old Mussolini, I am surprised he kept it! I went to Sorrento on holiday a couple of years ago, and with hindsight would have been interested to visit nearby Salerno and find the address. I expect Gino must be dead by now, but I wonder if any of his family are still there?




  • 3 Responses

    1. Kevin Murphy
      Kevin Murphy at · · Reply

      Thanks for sharing.
      Look for the street VIA S. MARIA, Scala, SALERNO on Google Earth and you can go along it. You missed out there – it’s just inland from the wonderful Amalfi coast.

      I am doing a history of POW camps across S Yorkshire and all of Notts and was glad to find your pieces on here. We have family living On Mill Lane across from Wyvern.

      I was there today thanks for the Apron sign location. Is there any other documentary or local info on the camp – especially a photo/Aerial?

      Kevin Murphy

    2. Kevin Murphy
      Kevin Murphy at · · Reply

      Thanks for the permission.
      I am doing Powerpoint Presentations and writing it all up, and will be glad to mention Crowle’s part.
      I think the Camp will have been a satellite, but not sure whether Pingley (Brigg) a huge camp, and most likely as it would have been under Lincolnshire’s WarAg committee; Doncaster Racecourse (not sure it was a camp, just a ‘cage’ clearing the thousands captured after D-Day.) or somewhere else – Lodge Moor in Sheffield being a massive 4 part camp for over 14,000?

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