News Updates

What’s New

  1. General Round-up
  2. Italy – The Tenna Valley – a video
  3. France – Comete Line – a video
  4. A Mystery Solved
  5. Escaper or Evader
  6. What Happened to The POW Camps in Britain
  7. Latest Book Reviews


If any of the events listed on our calendar are of interest to you then please  do get in touch for more information.


We have a section specifically for schools (under Young ELMS) and will be continuing to develop that section this year and we have produced a school’s pack (created by teachers) which is free of charge.  Just contact us for your copy.


If you have any items, photos or articles which you think may be of interest then please do contact us using the contact form available on the main menu

Tenna Valley Story

For anyone interested in POW matters in Italy here is a short video film (in Italian) made during one of our recent Tenna Valley Trail events.   The film looks at the exploits of Ken de Souza, who was a POW in PG 70, Monte Urano.  Following the armistice Ken hid in the camp, then escaped into the countryside and thanks to the help given by the Brugnoni  family was eventually picked up by sea and recovered to the Allied lines.  The film features Ken’s son, Ian,  during  visits to the park where a memorial  to his father has been erected, and also shots of the POW  camp,  a former leather factory but now disused.  For a longer article written in 2006 by Ian his son look here

Comete Trail 2014

For the French speakers amongst us, there is an interesting video report on last year’s Comete Trail, reported by journalists of Le Pays Basque magazine.  Have a look/listen here.

A Mystery Solved

Just to demonstrate how chance encounters can lead to the solving of age old mysteries! The hunt for Signalman Smith began during the Freedom Trail in the  Tenna Valley region of Italy  in September 2013, when the walkers came across a small iron cross by the roadside. At this spot a certain “Giorgio”, known to be an escaped British POW, had been killed. Nothing else was known about him. Anne Copley, who is a member of the WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society as well as of MSMT, took up the challenge of investigating further. With the invaluable assistance of Dennis Hill of Indiana University and British researcher Brian Sims, the whole story has been revealed. In parallel, Roger Stanton, director of ELMS, also worked on the story.We now know that “Giorgio” was in fact Signalman Sidney Seymour Smith, captured at the fall of Tobruk and imprisoned at Camp 53  Sforzacosta.  How and when he escaped is unclear, but by November 1943 he was hiding at the house of the Mazzoni family, just outside Montelparo. The War Crimes file at the National Archives contains witness statements from the Mazzoni and Viozzi families (among others), from which the story of his murder by the S.S. can be pieced together.  For more information look Here and for a much more detailed explanation of what happened go to this link

What Happened to the POW Camps in Britain  (With thanks to The BBC)

We spend much of our time talking about POW camps in occupied Europe but did you know that there were more than 1500 POW camps constructed in the UK during WW2.  These camps housed more than 500,000 mainly Italian and German POWs who were brought to Britain  during World War Two. They spent the remainder of the war in commandeered stately homes, old Army barracks or hastily thrown together huddles of huts, often built by the prisoners themselves. But what happened to the 1,500 POW camps they called home?   Eden Camp was Camp 83!  Many ex-servicemen will also have memories (fond or otherwise) of Camp 21 at Cultybraggan!   Have a look at this interesting article


Upcoming Events

  1. ELMS Reunion Week

    April 21 - April 27
  2. Italian Freedom Trail, Sulmona

    April 23 @ 5:00 pm - April 27 @ 10:00 am
  3. Tenna Valley Freedom Trail

    May 6 @ 4:00 pm - May 11 @ 10:00 am
  4. Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of VE Day

    May 8 @ 8:00 am - May 10 @ 5:00 pm
  5. Chemin de la Liberte

    July 9 @ 8:00 am - July 12 @ 5:00 pm