More Reading.....

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More Reading.....

Post by la alma on Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:52 pm

I dont know if this book has been mentioned before but I read it on our recent, very rainy, visit to Italy. It is Pebbles From My Skull by Stuart Hood, about his experiences after leaving a prisoner of war camp in Italy. It differs from other books I have read on this subject by examining his own motives in the choices he made and why it took him so long to leave the partisans. I think it makes interesting reading.

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Re: More Reading.....

Post by Perlasca on Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:01 am

Thanks Alma. I've just finished reading this as a result of your post. I got the re-published version "Carlino" which had some additional info.

 Hood was a "leftie" and identified in Newby's book as someone whom his fellow PoW officers were wary of as a result. Makes him a jolly good chap in my eyes!

 He died aged 95 in 2011 having been haunted forever by his wartime experiences.  Interesting in particular was his agony over why he took so long to re-join the Allied Forces.  Officers were supposed to make their way back to the lines asap after escaping, and it was considered bad form to shirk by laying low with the contadini.

Which is why I find the few books written by the "Other Ranks" much more interesting on the whole.  Whilst they expected to have to rejoin their units at some point, they tended to wait for the Allies to reach them and therefore settled down with an Italian family and integrated wholly into peasant life.  And frankly who can blame them.  They had suffered appallingly fighting in Africa, being shipped across in the holds of ships likely to be torpedoed by their own side (the officers would be in cabins or even flown to Italy), then spent years in captivity in various camps which varied considerably in their brutality. (In comparison, the officers' camps were more "pleasant" - better food, no requirement to work, servants - ie their "batmen" -  and not that far removed from the public school experiences of the officer class.  See Eric Newby again)

Their books  are therefore far more empathetic than the gung-ho nature of a lot of the Italian escape literature.  I find both types fascinating, partly because of how different they are.

Stuart Hood does a bit of both in this book which marks it out as special.  He went on to become programme controller of the BBC amongst many other things

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Re: More Reading.....

Post by la alma on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:25 pm

I agree Perlasca and would appreciate it if you could give me any titles of books you recommend about the other ranks.

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Re: More Reading.....

Post by ghiro on Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:46 pm

Looks fascinating, so I've ordered a copy today.

Incidentally the Hardback version of 'Carlino' is available on Amazon with a price range (+p&p) of £5:40 - £702:84!! Shocked Shocked
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Re: More Reading.....

Post by Perlasca on Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:21 pm

la alma wrote:I agree Perlasca and would appreciate it if you could give me any titles of books you recommend about the other ranks.





Certainly Alma:
Once a Hussar by Ray Ellis
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Hussar-Memoir-Battle-Capture/dp/1628737298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414955946&sr=8-1&keywords=once+a+hussar

Always a Hussar by Ray Ellis - this is about Ray's "re-entry" into civilian life.  He is quite candid about suffering a nervous breakdown on his return
I filmed an interview with Ray before his death which can be seen here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSFAWxPZC4o&index=2&list=HL1402488079


In the Prison of his Days by Norman Davison
http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Prison-His-Days-Captured/dp/0956007589/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414955894&sr=8-1&keywords=in+the+prison+of+his+days

There's a lot of info re Norman (and also his son John's journey to meet up with the descendants of those who helped his Dad) here: 
https://camp59survivors.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/linfirmatore-on-the-davison-rescue/

Escape from Ascoli by Ken de Souza  
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ESCAPE-ASCOLI-EVASION-ESCAPE-SIGNED/dp/B002L4L5PW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414955495&sr=1-1&keywords=escape+from+ascoli

There is a "Ken de Souza Trail" near Fermo where he was hidden.  Ken has passed away but there is info about him on his son Ian's site here: 
http://www.iandesouza.de/index.php?kat=64

Laughing We Ran by Len Dann might be available on Amazon but also has its own FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laughing-We-Ran-by-Len-Dann/120761901949?fref=nf

Enjoy!!

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Re: More Reading.....

Post by Perlasca on Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:28 pm

ghiro wrote:Looks fascinating, so I've ordered a copy today.Incidentally the Hardback version of 'Carlino' is available on Amazon with a price range (+p&p) of £5:40 - £702:84!! Shocked Shocked

Bonkers - which did you go for  Very Happy

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Re: More Reading.....

Post by ghiro on Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:54 pm

Perlasca wrote:
ghiro wrote:Looks fascinating, so I've ordered a copy today.  Incidentally the Hardback version of 'Carlino' is available on Amazon with a price range (+p&p) of £5:40 - £702:84!! Shocked Shocked
Bonkers - which did you go for?  Very Happy
Moi?  You should know that money means nothing to me Perlasca! Wink

So I opted for a copy of the Paperback edition at £0.01 (+p&p)! Smile Smile
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Re: More Reading.....

Post by la alma on Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:32 am

Thankyou for all those titles Perlasco. I haven't read any of them and will certainly add them to my list. I usually save the ones set in Italy for when I'm there as in England I usualy only have time for my book group book. At present it's The Luminaries by Eeanor Catton. I love it although I nearly gave up after 6 pages as it was too heavy (800+ pages in Hardback) to hold lying in bed! I'm now over halfway though and totally hooked.

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