Escape Lines News Updates

What’s New

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

The ELMS Annual Reunion

Just a reminder to members that if you haven’t booked in yet for the event then please do so as soon as possible by contacting the Director.  Could we also ask all members to ensure they bring their membership cards with them.  Non members of ELMS may of course visit the Eden Camp Museum and attend the Commemoration Service, but will be expected to pay the normal admission charges


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.

Photograph Album

The is a considerable collection of photos covering many of the events and occasions attended by ELMS members.  Please click on this ELMS link

The Tenna Valley Trail

Just a short reminder that this event takes place in early May.  It is probably not too late to join the event, but if you want to then please contact us via the website as soon as possible.  Sadly for this years we won’t be joined by any of  our colleagues from the Monte San Martino Trust (MSMT) but you might be interested in the exploits of one of their members, Miles Skinner.  On April 26th 2015 MSMT supporter Miles Skinner sets out  to run ten marathons in just seven days. Starting at Lucca, in Tuscany, he will head south for St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, his destination. The route to Rome takes him along a beautiful, but extremely hilly, stretch of the historic Francigine pilgrimage route, passing jewels such as San Gimignano and Siena. The total length is 420km, equivalent to ten marathons.  Miles’ grand father was a POW on the run in Italy and he is doing this to raise funds for MSMT.  If you want more information have a look at this link

Escape Lines Trail Results in 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

Latest Book Reviews

This selection of books includes stories of women in Ravensbruck concentration camp; what happened to those servicemen left behind after Dunkirk; a tale of a member of a Special Forces unit in Burma;  Frank Dell’s story of his escape following the shooting down of his Mosquito aircraft over Germany; a story of Jews determined to get to Israel after the end of  the war and two books about SOE,  the first an account of their activities in Italy and the second an examination of what happened to the  SOE  Prosper network in occupied France.  For a short review of each one have a look here

And we have a new addition to our Young ELMS book reviews, Run, Spy, Run by Craig Simpson.  Have a look at the Young ELMS section to see a short review

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. Rumes & Bachy – In the Footsteps of “Monique”

    May 9