Postcards from Bob Smith

Here are two postcards Bob Smith sent while a prisoner at two camps in Italy.

Bob’s neice Carole Proctor explains, “I have 10 postcards written by him, the first 6 being from Campo 59 written to his sisters, one of whom was my mother who died in 2005. The first date on the postcards [from Campo 59] is 5.8.42 and the last is 23.12.42. The next postcard is dated 31.7.43 and the address is Lavoro Base No. 133/xvii. PM3100. He is still there on 4.7.43 but a card dated 15.8.43 he says he is in a new camp—No.133/iii.”

“The Nell referred to is my mother—usually known as Nellie, but Bob always called her Nell. The address in Devon is where my father was billeted before being posted and mum was down there with him. Once he went abroad she joined up too and was in the ATS [Auxiliary Territorial Service], working as a medical orderly. She got to be Lance Corporal which she was always proud of—Dad was a sergeant. Their surname was Lock.”

The first of Bob’s postcards is dated July 15, 1942. The return address is Camp 59 in Servigliano:

Robert Smith
Rifleman 6142045
Campo PG. 16/5
No 59 PM 3300 ITALIA

It is addressed to:
Mrs. J. Lock
38 Decoy Road
Newton Abbot, Devon


Dear Nell, Just a line in answer to your letter. I hope you and Jack are keeping well, also the family. I have had the parcel, in case you haven’t heard, and I thank you for sending it. I will write a full letter later on. Love Bob

The second postcard is dated June 13, 1943, and is from a work (lavoro) base camp at P.G. 17 Rezzanello, near Piacenza in northern Italy.

Robert Smith
Rifleman 6142045
Campo Lavoro Base N133
No XVII PM3100

It is addressed to:
Mrs. Dunford
32 Wilson Road
Chessington Surrey


Dear Ena, I hope you are keeping OK these days. I am in the best of health. As you will see by the address I have settled again and believe me it is OK. I [am] working on a farm at the present. I had my first milk & Rice here for two years. Love Bob