British Gunner G. Norman Davison’s Memoirs

British gunner George Norman Davison of Sheffield, U.K., was captured in Libya in 1941. He was held at Camp 59 from February 1942 until June 1943, when he was transferred to a camp in northern Italy.

He escaped from that camp at the time of the Italian Armistice and was hidden by local farmers who had links to the resistance.

These Italians arranged passage for him to Switzerland in October 1943.

After the War, Davison wanted to return to Italy to thank those who helped him, but he never did.

Sadly, he died in 1986, just after he had retired to write his memoirs. He never saw his story published, but in 2009 his son, John Davison, succeeded in publishing the book.

The title, In the Prison of His Days, is borrowed from W. H. Auden’s poem, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”:

“In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.”

The book may be ordered through

John’s dedication of the book—in both Italian and English—is as follows:


Questo libro è dedicato alle tante persone che hanno aiutato mio padre e molti altri nel loro tempo troscorso nel nord d’ Africa e in Europa dal 1939 al 1945.

In particolare, è dedicato agli uomini e alle donne che hanno rischiato la loro vita e quella delle loro famiglie solo per la loro gentilizza ed umanità, sensa chiedere nulla in cambrio:-

Giovanni Belazzi: ‘padrone’, farmer, Sforzesca, Vigevano, Milan, Italia;

‘Gigi’ Pistoya, Vigevano, Italia;

Lidia Stoppino, membro di resistenza italiana, Via Carioli, Vigevano, Milan, Italia;

Teresina Andreanna: ‘Rosina’.


This book is in memory of all the people who helped my father and countless others in North Africa and Europe 1939-1945

In particular, it is dedicated to the following men and women who risked the lives of themselves and their families for no reason other than kindness and humanity, without asking anything in return:-

Giovanni Belazzi: ‘padrone’, farmer, sforzesca, Vigevano, Milan, Italy;

‘Gigi’ Pistoya, Vigevano, Italy;

Lidia Stoppino, Italian Resistance, Via Carioli, Vigevano, Milan, Italy;

Teresina Andreanna: ‘Rosina’.