Sidney Smith left his memorandum, known as a “chit,” with the Mazzoni family. It was common for escapees to leave statements concerning help received with their protectors. A chit could later be presented to the Allies by the Italians as evidence when requesting compensation.
“To any British Officer:–
“This is to certify that Signalman Smith, Sidney Seymour, No. 2372205 stayed at this house (Mazzoni, Montelparo) from 2nd. November 1943 to 27th. February 1944 both dates inclusive less eight days and received the best of treatment.
“Signed. Sidney S. Smith
At the bottom of the sheet, in another person’s handwriting, is this additional note:
“The above mentioned was at this house until the 21st March when he was killed by fascists.”
The last sentence is signed, but the signature is not readable.
The following interviews were conducted in 1945–46 by the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police in the course of a thorough inquiry into the death of escaped POW Sidney Smith.
The interviews together create a vivid, disturbing picture of the soldier’s apprehension and murder on March 21, 1944. But the identities of the Germans and fascist collaborators who are responsible for Sidney’s death are never discovered.