Category Archives: Reginald Skinner

Reginald Skinner in Switzerland

Escaped Allied POWs bask in the beauty of their Swiss harbor

Many Allied soldiers who escaped from prison camps in northern Italy in the fall of 1943 made their way safely to neutral Switzerland.

Reginald Skinner was among them.

Reginald’s granddaughter Hannah Angell doesn’t know in which Swiss community he found shelter. Other POWs represented on this site found refuge in Alpine resort villages such as Adelboden, Arosa, and St. Gallen.

Reginald kept the following photographs as reminders of his time spent Switzerland.

(See also “Reginald Skinner—P.G. 59 and Beyond.”)

Reginald Skinner—Notebook Poetry

A poem from Reginald Skinner’s prison camp notebook

Reginald Skinner’s prison camp notebook contains seven full-length poems. (See “Reginald Skinner—P.G. 59 and Beyond.”)

The poems are:
Reflections of a P.O.W.
The Fireside Fusiliers
The Mirage
The Long Range Desert Group
A Father’s Story to His Son

Reginald did not record the authors of the poems, but some of the poems appear with attributions in other prisoner’s notebooks, most notably Robert Dickinson’s “Servigliano Calling.”

“Reflections on a P.O.W.” is in G. Norman Davison’s diary, and the same poem also appears in “Servigliano Calling” with the shortened title “Reflections.” See “Camp 59 Poets.”

In addition, “The Mirage” and “The Fireside Fusiliers” are in “Servigliano Calling.” All three poems are credited there to Cpl. D. Nevitt. (See “The ‘Servigliano Calling’ Poets,” “‘Servigliano Calling’ Camp Poem #8,” and “‘Servigliano Calling’ Camp Poem #10.”)

Of course, it’s entirely possible Reginald wrote some of the poems in his notebook himself.

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Reginald Skinner—P.G. 59 and Beyond

A spread from Reginald Skinner’s notebook

On the inside cover of his POW notebook, Reginald Skinner recorded his name, rank and company, as well as his bed and hut assignment in P.G. 59:

6097228 BUFFS
BED. NO 1019 9 HUT.
CAMPO 59. PM. 3300

Reginald Skinner of the Buffs

Recently Hannah Angell wrote to me from the UK. 

“My daughter has been doing a school project on WW2,” she explained. “My grandfather was a prisoner of war in Italy. After doing a little research, I believe he was a POW in Servigliano. I have attached some pictures of a pocket notebook from his time there and a picture of him. His name was Reginald Skinner. 

“My grandfather passed away eight years ago and he was a man of few words. He never shared any stories from his time in the war. All he told us was he was a POW in Italy and escaped to Switzerland. 

“The only memory he ever shared with me was when he had a toothache an Italian soldier took him away and they ripped the tooth out of his mouth! 

“He was in North Africa before Italy. I’ve found records with dates of capture and when he was interviewed in Switzerland.”

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