Gordon Lee; fl 1939-1945; soldier; Libya, Modena, Italy, Marche, Italy, Audenshaw, Greater Manchester

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Gordon Lee; fl 1939-1945; soldier; Libya, Modena, Italy, Marche, Italy, Audenshaw, Greater Manchester

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fl 1939-1945


Gordon Lee, a trooper, 44th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, was taken prisoner in Libya in June 1942. Following a spell in a camp near Modena, he was transferred to Campo Concentramento 73 at Macerata in Marche, Italy. After the armistice between Italy and the allies, the Italian prison guards disappeared. Against the orders of the Senior British Officer in the camp, Lee and three friends left the camp on 17 September 1943. Within a few hours of their departure, the Germans had arrived at Macerata and most of the inmates were sent to work in Germany.
Lee and his friends planned to travel west towards the Apennines and then to turn southwards to meet the expected allied advance. Travelling through country areas, they were given food and shelter by many Italians. For nine months, they stayed in the remote village of Tresungo near Ascoli, where Erbe Petrucci, his family and other local people looked after them. The German retreat enabled Lee and his companions to leave the village and at Rieti, they met a Royal Engineers Unit. They were sent via Rome to a rest camp at Bari to await a passage home, but Lee returned to Tresungo to take gifts to his benefactors. He was sent to Naples and then Algiers, before finally sailing for Glasgow and returning home to Audenshaw, near Manchester.


Libya; Modena, Italy; Marche, Italy; Audenshaw, Greater Manchester

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Created on: 03/01/2019 by Catherine.Collins




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