Earlier this year, I received from Trish Harper photocopies of a calendar booket her father was given when he was interned at Camp 59. Charles Kenneth Simmons used the printed calendar pages to mark off the days as they passed, and he used blank spaces to record notes about activities in the camp and rumors of war that reached the prisoners.

Simmons used the pages marked for “MEMORANDUM” to list names and addresses of fellow servicemen.

Altogether he recorded addresses of:

61 American servicemen
Four English servicemen
Two Scottish servicemen
One Australian serviceman
Six Italian families

I will post all of the addresses on this site as I transcribe them and confirm their accuracy as best I can (the handwriting is not always clear).

Interestingly, the summer 2008 online newsletter of the UK National Ex-Prisoner of War Association contains an article about two prisoners (Maurice Newey and David John Jenkins) from Italian Camp 54 at Fara in Sabrina who had been given copies of the same calendar book.

According to the newsletter, the calendar, entitled “Christmas 1942,” was a gift of Pope Pius XII. The booklet is composed of 48 pages plus a cardboard cover. Pages 26-48 contain hymns and Christmas carols. The booklet also contains quotations of papal encouragement and a prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman (“Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom”).

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