Campo P.G. 21 P.M.3300 Chieti – inspection report.

Aug 28th, 2012

As is often the case with POW letters home the truth of the conditions the men were enduring tends to be glossed over for obvious reasons. They would not want to upset loved ones at home with dreadful details and all the letters were censored by the Camp authorities.

Some camps were visited by the Red Cross however and here is a report about Campo P.G. 21 Chieti at the time Wilfred was there.

1,328 prisoners of war are detained in this camp. This can be considered as grossly overcrowded. Since the previous visit stoves have been installed and are reported to have functioned quite well.

There are now two British Doctors in camp, otherwise there has been no change. Living accommodation is certainly not fit for British Officers. The only furniture in the whole camp is a few tables. almost all the Officers have to use the two tier wooden beds, and there are no cupboards or lockers in which to keep personal belongings.

The water supply is still absolutely insufficient, water being turned on only for about 30 minutes daily, although there is ample water in the wells at this time of year.

Messing in the camp is described at the time of the visit as “disgraceful”, cooking utensils being non existent. Food is brought to the dining room in big cooking kettles. Light in many of the Barracks is do weak it is impossible to read after dark.

Other ranks have no recreation room whatsoever. It is said that the  Camp Commander was aware of these deficiencies and did all he could to improve matters , but that he was unable to do very much. Medical treatment by the two British Doctors and the Italian doctor is said to be satisfactory.

Clothing conditions can now be considered good.  A great number of next of kin parcels have recently arrived. In view of the really bad conditions at this camp, the visiting delegate proposed that it should be closed unless improvements could be made in a very short time.

July 1943

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