Category Archives: Frederick Thomas Lockett

Tom Lockett’s Escape

Historian Richard Pursehouse sent me the news article I’m sharing in this post, published in The [Cannock] Advertiser in December 1943.

Parts of the article are included in a previous post on Frederick Thomas Lockett, “Tom Lockett—Two Months To Freedom.” Thanks to Richard, I’m sharing the article in its entirety.

Also, I’m sharing more images of Tom and a postcard from his daughter, Josie Shemwell.

Repatriation papers for Tom and his friend Tommy Knight shed further light on their path to freedom.

Exciting Escape from Italy
Penkridge Man Hid in Oven from Germans

The [Cannock] Advertiser
Saturday, December 18, 1943

A SERGEANT IN THE PARATROOPERS, whose home is in Penkridge, and who was a prisoner in Italian hands for nearly a year, escaped from a camp in the north of Italy in September, and arrived home recently.

He is Sergt. Thomas Lockett, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Lockett, of Teddesley-road, and when an “Advertiser” reporter interviewed him this week he was wearing physical training plimsoles. He explained that from the time he escaped until reaching the Allied lines he covered between six and seven hundred miles on foot. His feet were still too sore for him to be able to wear boots with any comfort.

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Tom Lockett—Two Months To Freedom


Sergeant Tom Lockett, posing while an ammunitions instructor for his parachute regiment

I heard this week from Robert Maddocks, the chairman of the Penkridge (Staffordshire, England) local history group. He explained that he was contacting me on behalf of Josie Shemwell, daughter of Frederick Thomas Lockett, a sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment.

Tom Lockett was captured in North Africa on December 2, 1942 and he escaped from P.G. 59 in September 1943.

Tom’s repatriation record is given on “Detailed Accounts of 14 British Escapees.” After escaping, Tom was sheltered and fed by the family of farmer Francesco Vallorani of Montefalcone, Italy from September 20 to November 14.

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