An Unpaid Bill for Onions

This note reads:

“SEC. No 11. received from Canteen 30 KILOS of onions at 3 LIRE per kilo TOTAL LIRE = 90 Lire To be payed on the 16/9/43.

“8/IX/1943 [signed] Armie Hill Sec. Sergt.”

This scrap of paper, which was both a receipt for onions received and an I.O.U. for payment owed, was in Armie Hill’s pocket when he escaped from Camp 59 on September 14, 1943.

Armie was the Section 11 “section sergeant,” the serviceman who was put in charge of the 35 American servicemen who lived with him in Hut 4—Section 11.

The date of the receipt is written 8/IX/1943, seemingly a combination of Arabic and Roman numerals. If this is the case, then the transaction date was September 8, 1943—the day the Italian Armistice was signed.

And the due date for payment was September 16, 1943—two days after breakout from the camp.

It’s interesting to learn the price on onions from this slip (paid for in special Camp 59 POW money, of course), and to know that at least on occasion purchase of food on credit was allowed.

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