Istituto Storico della Resistenza e dell'età contemporanea di Pistoia

Title

Istituto Storico della Resistenza e dell'età contemporanea di Pistoia
Fondo Risaliti

Description

246 items. The 1944-1947 Allied Screening Commission was tasked to track down Italian civilians who helped escapers and evaders. Helpers were given a certificate of thankfulness signed by Field Marshall H R Alexander, supreme Allied commander in the Mediterranean theatre, and - in some circumstances - cash. Helpers had to fill out a form in which they had to state their personal details, the names of Allied servicemen they helped and details on the nature of the help provided.

In 1947, noting that only a fraction of potential beneficiaries had come forward, the Pistoia branch of ANPI (National Association of Italian Partisans) published a communiqué on local newspapers. The statement urged helpers to claim their reward and get the recognition they deserve. Most respondents enclosed Alexander’s certificate or mentioned the addresses from which repatriated servicemen wrote letters of thankfulness.

Normally, each statement contains the helper(s) personal information, the names of the Allied servicemen accompanied in some case by their service numbers, the nature of the support provided (food, shelter, clothing, medical attention, etc.) and the relevant timespan. Sometimes the statement is signed by more than one person, usually all members of the same household; there are case in which the same individual lodged multiple claims. All items concern British and Americans personnel with the notable exception of a Soviet solider for Ukraine. John F Kerrigan appears in thirteen documents having been helped for about a year by many families. Some personnel actively joined local Resistance units as combatants.
All documents are part of the Risaliti collection, now held at the Istituto Storico della Resistenza e dell’età contemporanea in provincia di Pistoia (ISRPt).

Cataloguer’s note: The claims use the word ‘Inglese’ (English) as to denote nationality. Readers should be advised that in Italian the adjective is frequently used as a loose synonym of ‘British’ or 'English-speaking person'.

The collection also include five air raid alarms logs. The documents record early warnings, alarms and bombings in Pistoia, with additional notes on various tows in the Pistoia province, as well as in other Italian regions. The first log covers three years, from June 1940 to August 1943, while the others encompass one year in total. The series ends in September 1944 when the front reached the town. In total, 244 early warnings and 989 alarms are recorded.

Permission to publish the collection has been kindly granted by the Istituto Storico della Resistenza e dell’età contemporanea in provincia di Pistoia (ISRPt). The collection has been catalogued by Ilaria Cordovani, as part of an internship programme sponsored by the University of Florence.

Collection Items

Statement of Ida Caracchi about some Allied servicemen
Ida Caracchi claims she helped ten Allied servicemen. She and her husband hid them in a house located in an isolated area in the village of Striglianella, near Pistoia, bringing food and clothes. Later, they were recaptured; on 4 August 1944 German…

Statement of Giovanni Tosi about some Allied servicemen
Giovanni Tosi claims he helped gunner G A J Starmar, private H T Prior, major W F Barber, major R S Burton proving food and clothes.

Statement of Domicilla Barni about some Allied servicemen
Domicilla Barni claims she helped some Allied servicemen from September 1943 to November 1944, providing food and clothes. One Sunday morning, Carl, Frederick, George, and John came in the village of Fognano, where she lived, in search of food. When…

Statement of Vermiglia Bellucci about some Allied servicemen
Vermiglia Bellucci claims she helped some allied prisoners of war hide in the woods near the village of Fognano, Pistoia. She gave them food and clothes.

Statement of Idelinzo  Ferri about some Allied servicemen
Idelinzo Ferri claims he helped allied prisoners of war from September 1943 to January 1944. He gave them food and provided shelter in his house. One morning, while his wife was away, she was recaptured by fascist militiamen and German soldiers who…

Statement of Giselda Dei about some Allied servicemen
Giselda Dei claims she helped Thomas S Jones (2937096) from England, Davis Douglas (2939468) from Scotland, James Hosie (260489) from Scotland, Job Kerrigan (3856100) from England, and T Turner (3975664) from England. She hid them and provided food,…

Statement of Luigi Barni about David Douglas, J F Kerrigan, and J R Lunt
Luigi Barni claims he helped David Douglas (3927706) from Glasgow, J F Kerrigan (3586100) from England and J R Lunt. From November 1943 to August 1944, he and his family brought them food, clothes and pocket money. Notes that J F Kerrigan remained…

Statement of Narciso Poli about some Allied servicemen
Narciso Poli claims he helped some Allied servicemen providing clothes and food.

Copy of the statement of gratitude from H R Alexander to Narciso Poli
Field Marshall H R Alexander thanks Narciso Poli for the help given to Allied Soldiers of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Statement of Bruno Parenti about David Pord
While living as an evacuee in Settimo Spampani’s house near Pistoia, Bruno Parenti helped Royal Air Force sergeant David Pord, who escaped from the Laterina camp in the vicinity of Arezzo. From November 1943 to September 1944, Settimo and Bruno…

Certificate issued to Bruno Parenti
Cesare Andreini, on behalf of the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, declares that Bruno Parenti joined the Resistance serving in the Torbecchia squad. He acted as liaison officer and never collaborated with the German army.

Copy of the statement of gratitude from H R Alexander to Bruno Parenti
H R Alexander, Field Marshall Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean Theatre, thanks Bruno Parenti for the help given to Allied Soldiers.

Statement of Giuseppe Baccarini about Harold Hummer
Giuseppe Baccarini claims he helped Lieutenant Harold Hummer (817018), of the United States Air Force, who was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire. Giuseppe helped him while he was in the village of Valdibure, near Pistoia. For this deed he…

Statement of Luigina Dolfi about some Allied servicemen
Luigina Dolfi claims she helped five Allied servicemen from September to October 1943. After the Armistice, some of them escaped from a camp in Pistoia and were given shelter at his house. When the situation took a turn for worse, they where moved to…

Statement of Loris Baroncelli about G Tony and B H
Loris Baroncelli claims he helped G Tony and B H. He gave them clothes and helped them to go a place of safety in the mountains near Momigno and Femminamorta, in the province of Pistoia.

Statement of Ardelio Meucci about some Allied servicemen
Ardelio Meucci claims he helped some allied prisoners of war from 11 September to 20 November 1943. When he came to known that five men where hiding in the woods near his house, he brought food, clothes and cigarettes. On 20 November he learned that…

Statement of Rachele Melani about some Allied servicemen
Rachele Melani claims she helped Tommy and Tony, two English prisoners of war hide in the woods. She gave them food, clothes and cigarettes.

Statement of Olga Ferroni about some Allied servicemen
Olga Ferroni claims she helped two English prisoner of war, John and David. Firstly, they hid them in her house, then in the woods. She gave them food, clothes and cigarettes.

Statement of Isolina Luconi about some Allied servicemen
Isolina Luconi claims she helped four English prisoners of war: David, George, John, and Richard. She brought them food at first in the Fornacione camp, and then in the woods.

Statement of Emo Luconi about some Allied prisoners
Emo Luconi claims he helped four Allied servicemen with food and clothes after they escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Pistoia. Three had to run away soon after, while John remained with him for a longer period.

Statement of Sergio Bartani about Jas Kelly, Joseph Lacy, and Norman Collier
Sergio Bartani claims he helped some Allied escapees: Jas Kelly (England), Corporal Joseph Kelly (United States), Sergeant Norman Collier (166762, England), and others. He quotes the filing reference of the certificates of thankfulness issued to him…

Statement of Otello Mazzoni about G F A Restovich
Otello Mazzoni claims he helped, from 8 September 1943 to 15 March 1944, the English Guardsman G F A Restovich (2658237), giving him clothes and food. Then, the servicemen tried to cross the front in Arezzo, after issuing a declaration about…

Statement of Narciso Michelozzi about some Allied prisoners
Narciso Michelozzi claims he helped seven English escapees. From September 1943 to September 1944 he hid them providing food and clothes. For his efforts, he received a certificate of thankfulness.

Statement of Amos Nesi about some Allied servicemen
Amos Nesi claims he helped Sergeant Kirkwood (292858), Guardsman T Hall (2663672), Guardsman D Jarvis (266100), and Corporal R P Polhill (60198), from 1 July 1943 to 20 November 1943. They lived in his house for a few days, then they hid in the…

Statement of Alvaro Gori about some Allied servicemen
Alvaro Gori claims he helped, from 1 November 1943 to April 1944, two English escapees. They hid in a hut in the woods and Alvaro brought them food, clothes, cigarettes and pocket money.
View all 246 items

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