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.
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:
R.E.J. SKINNER. PTE. 6097228 BUFFS BED. NO 1019 9 HUT. CAMPO 59. PM. 3300 ITALIA.
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.”