10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

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10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 06 Apr 2020 20:09

Hello A.H.F.
My girlfriend's grandfather was a member of the 10th Bersaglieri Regiment, and was captured in Libya in 1940. We sent away for his Italian Military Records and recently obtained them. There is nothing in the records concerning his POW status, and she would like to find out if there is any way to obtain a POW record? Thank you!

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jwsleser » 09 Apr 2020 22:42

His Fogli Matricolari would normally list the date of capture and his date of return and final discharge (Foglio di Congedo Illimitato) from the army. For the latter, it should give the station to which he returned, and the date/location of his discharge. I assume he didn't die while in captivity. If his paperwork is missing this information, then bad recording keeping.

He was a POW in British hands so start here Prisoners of war in British hands. I doubt all the records are online, so you will likely need to contact the archives and request a search of the records. Will involve a cost.

Pista! Jeff
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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by LColombo » 09 Apr 2020 23:39

I think that the International Red Cross Archives may also contain information about him: https://www.icrc.org/en/document/reques ... -war-quota

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 09 Apr 2020 23:47

Hi Jeff!
Thank you for the info! I assume the Fogli Matricolari is his service record? We just received an emailed photo copy of this from the archive of the province of Italy he was from. She has it in online format, and I think it is missing a second page, or otherwise it is an incomplete record.
I cannot read it as it is in Italian, and the last entry was from 1939,I believe, in December. She told me his story years ago and mentioned he had an old photo with a hat with feathers , and that he was captured in 1940. I told her the hat was very significant as it meant he was a Bersaglieri. I asked her was she sure of the date of 1940? She was adamant that they knew it was 1940. I got pretty excited by this and immediately remembered the story of 10th Bersaglieri Regiment being immediately captured upon arrival in Africa in 1940.

It took me several years to figure out how to get his record, and 4 months of waiting and $150. Sure enough, he was listed as 10th Bersaglieri , and last entry was 1939.
Prior to this, he was apparently attached to 4th Bersaglieri Regiment in Albania in 1939. The woman she is in contact with via the service that does the record search in Italy was not sure if it is missing a page , or if the archive forgot to send the second page.
Apparently, he had an entire second family in England while in captivity , and she wants to find these relatives. After the war he returned to his family in Italy. I will check the link you sent me now, and make sure she stays in touch with the record keepers there to find out if there is a missing page.
Again , thank you!
John

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 09 Apr 2020 23:50

Oh, and she is doing the Red Cross search now currently, and there is a waiting list until May 25th. We have uncovered so many stones to find her grandfather's war history.

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 10 Apr 2020 00:15

Have attached the matricula
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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 10 Apr 2020 00:17

Can someone here who reads Italian please help me translate this record? I would be fascinated to know any and all information that can be gained from it. Thank you AHF!

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jwsleser » 10 Apr 2020 03:21

Just a quick read. I need to check a few things.

Bersaglieri Primerauo (I think I have the name correct) was originally assigned to the 4º regiment bersaglieri in August 1933 and released from service in September 1934. He returned to service in July 1936 for training and was reassigned to the 1º reggimento bersaglieri. He was released in September 1936.

He was recalled to service on 30 March 1939 and was still assigned to the 1º rgt. bers. He was part of the invasion force that invaded Albania in 1939, embarking at Taranto on 6 April and landing at Valona on the 7th. The only unit of the 1º rgt. bers that landed in Valona was the I battaglione bersaglieri, so that was his unit. He left Albania on 23 June, departing from Durazzo and returning to Bari on the 24th. He was discharged on 19 August 1939.

No record here about the 10º rgt. bers. The Fogli Matricolari is incomplete. The first page should show his rank/promotions, awards, and campaigns. That page would quickly tell where he served during the war. If he was recalled in 1940, there should be another page.

It appears you hired someone to find the records. Normally one can write the stato archivo (in this case Catanzaro) and request the records at no cost.

The handwriting is a bit difficult to read, so I will check some things tomorrow.

Pista! Jeff
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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 10 Apr 2020 04:01

Jeff, I can't thank you enough for your translation. I was reading that 1 regiment as a 10 due to my not understanding the language. We are just happy to be able to find out where he was and what he was doing, I had assumed that 10 Regiment was the one due to the being captured in 1940. Now , having the battalion even I am more than happy. Again , thank you and she is getting back in touch with the person we hired to get the missing pages. I believe they are going to send actual copies of them. Have a great evening.
John

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jwsleser » 10 Apr 2020 13:26

Just a few quick notes.

He was a conscript, not a volunteer. This was normal. His conscript class was 1912 (his birth year). He was born in Stefanaconi, Province of Catanzaro. This threw me at first because when I checked the city, it is listed as in the Province of Vibo Valentia. This didn't make sense as an individual's Distretti Militari is based on place of birth. A little more checking and I discovered that the Province of Vibo Valentia was created in 1996 and the town was previously in Catanzaro. Problem resolved.

His home address is Via Vittorio n. 63, Stefanaconi. I can't make out his occupation (Arte o professione) and it appears he has some schooling (Can't quite read that). A native Italian speaker can likely understand it. You might ask your researcher to translate those words.

I hadn't looked at the penciled comment in the left margin. It indicates that he was formally release from all service on 22 October 1948. I can't quite read the second word. This doesn't necessarily mean he was recalled to service after 1939. In a European type conscript service, the individual does a period of initial service, is recalled and discharged when needed (as we see here) and then has a final, permanent discharge when the reach a certain age or for any other reason the government decides. So 1948 is when he is finally released from any obligation to serve. The fact that it is written here might indicate he didn't see any additional service and they didn't want to add another page (unlikely), or there are missing pages and the information was annotated here to close the record. The latter might not be good news for your girlfriend.

I will add the the date (1948) does track with the idea he was a POW. Most service members were released 1945-46. POWs were released after they returned home. I am not stating this is proof he was a POW, just that the date matches what I would expect to see in that situation.

Pista! Jeff
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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by LColombo » 10 Apr 2020 20:42

jwsleser wrote:
10 Apr 2020 13:26
I can't make out his occupation (Arte o professione) and it appears he has some schooling (Can't quite read that). A native Italian speaker can likely understand it. You might ask your researcher to translate those words.
Not necessary. The occupation is "contadino" (farmer). The schooling is "terza elementare" (third grade) and it is stated that he could read and write.

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 10 Apr 2020 23:05

Thank you for your work translating this Jeff.
She told me also that according to her uncle, Bersaglieri Primerano was captured at Alexandria. Do you have any idea when someone from the 1st Battalion, 1st Bersaglieri Regiment would have been captured at Alexandria?
Thank you !
John

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by luda » 11 Apr 2020 08:42

Arte o professione - contadino - farmer
Titoli di studio - elementare - elementary

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by LColombo » 11 Apr 2020 09:43

Considering that Axis troops never set foot in Alexandria, it's not possible that he was captured in Alexandria. He was probably captured somewhere in Libya or Egypt, then sent to Alexandria when he was already a prisoner. This sort of memories, relayed decades after and passed from one relative to another, aren't usually 100% accurate.

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Re: 10th Bersaglieri Regiment P.O.W.'s 1940...

Post by jonnyboy369 » 11 Apr 2020 19:33

Thank you,
I figured that out once I had already made the post. I think what I meant to ask was if the 1 Battalion 1 Bersaglieri Reg. was captured as a whole somewhere or surrendered at a particular place.

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