Recently Nigel Hackett wrote to me, “My father, Alfred Hackett (Gunner, 31st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery), was a prisoner of war at P.G. 59 Servigliano from late January/early February 1942 to June 1942.
“Dad was captured in a desert battle in December 1941 and was taken to Servigliano via the military hospital at Caserta and the transit camp at Capua.
“He was moved to P.G. 29 Veano from which he escaped in September 1943 at the time of the Italian Armistice.
“He made it back to the British lines at Termoli in October 1943 with the help of an Italian family, two Italian deserters, plus special forces taking part in Operation SIMCOL.
“I am a member of the Escape Lines Memorial Society (ELMS) and a supporter of Monte San Martino Trust (MSMT), and I have visited Servigliano a couple of times with ELMS.
“Dad—who was born in 1916 and died in 2002—had dictated his story to Roger Stanton, now Director of ELMS, when my father was a member of the Army Escape Club. I discovered more details at the Paradata Archive at Duxford about Operation SIMCOL some years ago.Continue reading