Escaped Prisoner Sheltered in Petritoli

Roberto Lucci’s grandmother, Elvira Lucci (center), was 19 years old when her father sheltered a prison camp escapee in their home.

Roberto Lucci is an Italian who is attempting to find the family of an escaped prisoner who was sheltered by his great-grandfather in 1943–44.

Given the close proximity of his family’s village, Petritoli, to Servigliano, Roberto believes the POW likely escaped from P.G. 59.

Roberto wrote (translated here into English from Italian), “I’m a young man from Petritoli, a village 15km from Servigliano.

“I have started to ask some of the elders who have fragmentary recollections of this man [for help]. I know that William and David are the first or last names.”

Roberto explained that the man’s last name might have been something similar to David—such as Davidson, Davison, Davis, or Davies.

Two escapees found shelter in Petritoli.

“[The other was] a certain Franz, who was English, and [so it] was assumed [the man my grandfather took in] was of the same nationality.

“The story is basically this:

“My great-grandfather, Luigi Lucci, who was blinded during the First World War helped the fugitive because he knew what it meant to be away from home and suffering because of war.

“[The escapee he helped] had taken refuge in the countryside near Petritoli along with this British soldier named Franz.

“[One of my contacts in the village] told me she was in contact with this Franz, and the last time she saw him was 16 years ago when he came back in Italy with his family.

“[My contact] is trying to find the address of Franz, and it seems to her that he was from London.”

Of course, it is possible Franz’s comrade was American or from a Commonwealth country, rather than from England.

I would like to hear from anyone who has information concerning this former POW. Write to me at


A handsome civic tower rises above the medieval hilltop community of Petritoli, Italy (Monica Vitali, Wikimedia Commons)


Tre Archi, Petritoli, Italy (Wikimedia Commons)

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