National Archives Report on Leslie “Jack” Young

I received from my friend Brian Sims this morning Jack Young’s official repatriation papers, which Brian had copied during one of his research sessions at the British National Archives.

Here are details from the four-page report:

Leslie John Young
Service number 7901430
Trooper, 4th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

Date of interrogation: August 10, 1944

Date and place of capture: June 17, 1941, Sidi Omar

Date and place of final escape: September 9, 1943, Sforzesca Pavia

Date of arrival in Switzerland: October 27, 1943

Brief circumstances of capture: put out of action by heavy artillery firing at point-blank range, evacuated tank and were then surrounded by enemy tanks.

Where and when imprisoned, and how employed:

Tripoli German working camp, July 1941–January 1942, employed loading convoys, camouflaging dumps

59 Servigliano, February 1942–June 1943

146/18 Sforzesca, June 1943–September 1943, employed in farming

Attempted escapes: NIL

Details on final escape and subsequent journey until taken over by organization:

“After the armistice I was released by the Italians and lived in the village of Sforzesca as a civilian for 5 weeks. The people got rather scared and we moved to Vigevano where I lived next door to the Fascist leader for 1 week. An Italian officer when put me in touch with the Vigevano organization to come to Switzerland.”


Ercole Ballerini, Vigevano Villa, Sforzesca, Pr. Pavia
Gave us food and lodging for five weeks up to the middle of October

Emilio Bachetta, Vai Cairoli 26, Vigevano, Pr. Pavia
Food and lodging for one week

Ezio Casiraghi, Via Farini 31, Milano
Put us in touch with organization, was part of it

Escape information:

“We got in touch with the organisation and they collected 9 of us on 24 OCT. They guided us to Milan by train, where we spent the night in an Electrical factory, and then went with two French guides to Luino by train again. Here we met the mountain guides who brought us over the mountains to Ponte Teresa.

A rich young woman (I do not know her name) is at the head of the organisation with headquarters in Milan.”

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