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Bell tower of Chiesa S. Michele in Montelparo, Italy.

Early this month I received an e-mail from Loris Ferretti, son of Onelio Ferretti. Onelio was a young man in the comune of Montelparo, in the Marche region of Italy, during World War II.

“My father told me the Americans [who had escaped from Camp 59] hid with him in a room of a church [Chiesa S. Michele or the Church of Saint Michael] in the village, where in the night my grandmother secretly brought them food, using a ladder that was in that room. My father told me he helped the Americans hide, but he never revealed their names. Then the war ended and they returned to their country. That is all know of this little story.”

Mio padre mi raccontava di Americani nascosti con lui in una stanza di una chiesa in paese, dove la notte di nascosto mia Nonna portava loro da mangiare, aiutandosi con una scala che tenevano in quella stanza. Mio Padre mi raccontava di aver aiutato quei Americani a nascondersi, ma non mi ha mai rivelato i loro nomi. Poi la guerra finì e sono tornati al loro paese.

“The monks walled up (closed) that room to hide the gold, precious objects of the Church. They opened that room about two months ago. That room was used to hide the fugitives of Camp 59. You could not get up there without a ladder.”

I frati avevano murato (chiuso) quella stanza per nascondere l’oro, gli oggetti preziosi della Chiesa. Hanno aperto quella stanza circa due mesi fa. Quella stanza servì per nascondere i fuggiaschi del campo 59, non si poteva salire li sopra senza una scala.

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This photo of Stanley Taylor was sent to me by his daughter, Barbara Chapman. Written on the back of the photo is this information:

TAYLOR. STANLEY. L/BDR 1555824.
14/45.
P.G. 59. PM. 3300
ITALIA.

MRS. M.A.E. TAYLOR.
81 ASTBURY ROAD. QUEENS ROAD.
PECKHAM, LONDON. S.E. 15.
ENGLAND

I exchanged several e-mails with Barbara Chapman of Worcester, England, last month.

Barbara wrote:

“Please find attached a photograph of my father, Lance Bombadier Stanley Ernest Taylor, 1555827, Royal Artillery, along with the reverse giving his POW details. My Dad died in June 1973, and all I have are photographs which he’d kept of my Mum and some taken in Africa prior to his capture. However, on the back of these photographs, all rather faded, are details of his capture and also a brief diary. I have to admit for a while I thought it was a shopping list, until I looked closely and realised there were dates, etc.

“Dad’s records from the Ministry of Defence state he was a POW in Italian hands from December 29, 1941 to November 2, 1944.”

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