6 April 2009

Rumours: A Memoir of a British POW in WWII

Charles "Chas" Mayhead served during the Second World War with the Royal Army Service Corps. Sent to the Middle East, in 1942 he was separated from his company in the desert and was captured by the Germans.

He was held captive in North Africa, then shipped across the Mediterranean to Italy. Held for a short while in a camp near Naples, he was then transported to Northern Italy to keep him away from the invading Allies. One of the camps Chas was held at was Campo Concentramento P.G.53 at Sforzacosta. Later, in 1943, he escaped from another camp and managed to hide out for two months near Novara. As the Germans entered the area, he made for Switzerland, across the Alps, but was recaptured just outside the Swiss border.

Transported to Innsbruck in cattle trucks, then by passenger train (after being placed in chains) to Germany, he ended up after one week of travel at Stalag XIB at Fallingbostel near Hannover. In 1945 he escaped yet again when the prisoners from Fallingbostel were marched further into Germany to escape the invading Allies (again!) near the end of the war.

Available from:
Pleasure Boat Studio
Amazon UK (the site contains extracts from the book - it is cheaper to buy it direct from the publisher than via Amazon)

Further reading:
Fallingbostel Military Museum - Stalag XIB

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