Information on the camp comes from the following sources:
Italian Army Archives, Rome: original documentation on website campifascisti.it. This information cannot be copied
The International Red Cross Committee (IRCC): The Committee carried out camp inspections and made lists of prisoners
These documents are held in The National Archives, London
War Crimes Investigation Files:
Produced by the Judge Advocate General, these files are held in The National Archives, London
The International Red Cross Committee (IRCC)
The National Archives, London, hold just one file on the conditions in the camp - WO 361/ 1895. Unfortunately the original reports are not present in this file and the two telegrams it contains provide the only proof that the camp had in fact been inspected.
The first visit appears to have been made on 16 September 1942:
Telegram: 0103/4498 (P.W.2.a.) 13.10.1942
Report visit 16 September Camp PW 60 Italy opened 6 July (Note that Italian soures give the opening date as 7 July)
From: International Red Cross Committee, Geneva To: Delegate, London
Sent: October 6th Received: October 8th
Strength: Section One 1400 South Africans Section Two 2500 English Transfer forecast soon
-Lodging: Low tents for 20 men
Paliasse bed on earth itself one blanket per man
Earth damp insufficient drainage mediocre sanitary installations
-2 doctors (PW) 3 Italian doctors 10 PW medical orderlies working in infirmary of country camp beds
180 sick malaria evacuated Italian medical commission enquiring into conditions hygiene
-Food regulations minimum
-One wagon clothing 2 wagons foodstuffs British Red Cross recently arrived one of which in bad state
-Representative has no control
-Urgent need cigarettes toilet articles soap blades towels
-Correspondence 3 cards 1 letter in 7 weeks
-Religious services celebrated
-Request for: Bibles, books, prayers, hymn books, grammars languages,games, gloves for boxing, musical instruments, tin-openers,
bandages, sticking plasters, sulphanide (bromides? illegible), iodine, disinfectant for? swamps
-Attempted escapes 2 wounded one killed
-Mailing pressing applications for dissolution Camp 60
The second visit was made on 15 October 1942
0103/5496 (P.W.2.a.). 17.11.42
K.W.16/29 (Foreign OFFICE)
DEPARTMENTAL NO. 1
From Berne to Foreign office Mr.Norton, D. (Untimed) November 10th, 1942
No. 3083 R. 11.20 p.m. November 10th 1942
My telegram No. 2659
In report on camp No.60 Italy visited 15th October, representative Swiss Legation, Rome, states that prisoners are accommodated in tents as since July this has been used as transit camp. Tents have no lighting or heating. Food, clothing medical attention, toilet facilities satisfactory.
Following prisoners died in hospital during August:
4975984 Private C.L. Warner
5879272 Sergeant C.H. Jones
2928797 Private W. Murray
The only other document in the file is a note of December 1942 which refers to the camp closure:
BM/1602 (PW2) 10.12.42
Prisoner of War Camps in Italy
The I.R.R.C. have informed the B.R.C.S. (British Red Cross Society) that no British prisoners of war are now left in C.C. 55 and that C.C. 60 and C.C. 87 have been closed.
(N:B: CC is short for Campo di concentramento per prigionieri di guerra - concentration camp fpr prisoners of war.)
WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION FILES
Private Warner, Sergeant Jones and Private Murray, whose deaths are recorded by the IRRC, are buried in Florence War Cemetery together with other prisoner of war casualties, most of whom had died in the prisoner of war hospital in Lucca, H202.
With them was the victim of a war crime, Guardsman Simon Sidney Fawcett, who was killed on 2 September, 1942.
The National Archives, London, holds three files on war crimes alleged to have been committed inside PG 60. The surname of Guardsman Fawcett is erronously recorded as Forsyth:
TS 26/777: Lucca: murder of Guardsman Forsyth and others
WO 311/1190: Shooting of a British prisoner of war at Camp PG 60, Lucca, Italy, September 1942
WO 311/123: Ill-treatment of prisoners of war at Camp PG 60, Lucca, Italy, July to November 1942
None of these files has been read to date due to the current shut-down of The National Archives (March 2020). The following document, found on the Italian website produced by the Comune di Capannori, gives the bare facts. A request for a death certificate was sent from the camp commandant to the Commune of Capannori on 25th September:
… on the 2nd of the current month, at 21.30 hrs, at Colle di Compito in this commune, a prisoner of war, Fawcett Simon Sidney, son of Sidney and Hilda Raine, of Baldersdale, England, met his death during a violent action.
Two South African servicemen have given the following testimonies:
Bombardier Ronald Philip Abercrombie Myburgh, 4th Battery, 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment SAA:
One man went off his head and rushed at the barbed wire and a sentry shot him dead
Bombardier Harry Rose-Innes, 5 Battery, 2 Anti-Aircraft Regiment, SAA:
...an alarm sounded. Ta, Ta-ta, t a-ta, ta-ta - the staccato notes of the bugles resounded with a particular urgency in the stillness of the night, and excited shouts re-echoed amid the silence of the hills. A prisoner had escaped ! I listened to the bugles, to the shouts, and to the barking of dogs, and closing my eyes in the darkness I whispered, 'Good luck !', for I thought I knew whom it could be. He would need all the luck I could wish him; the last two had been killed as they tried to escape.
From all available evidence to date it would seem that only one had been killed, Guardsman Fawcett, and the other wounded.
Janet Kinrade Dethick March 2020