- PG 41, Montalbo during the Second World War -
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PG 41, Montalbo
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Those known to have been held in or employed at
PG 41, Montalbo
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Randles Paul John Leonard. Pte This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Pte Paul John Leonard Randles Umvoti RiflesPaul Randles(19), former Head Boy of Hilton College, volunteered to fight for the Mother country. The Randles family had come from Shropshire and his mother's (Tweedie) from Peebles.
He was sent to Egypt for army training. Fighting in the desert war in North Africa Private Randles was taken prisoner at the fall of Tobruk in July 1942. He was taken to Italy where he was held prisoner in Montalbo (PG41) in September 1942. In March 1943 he was transferred to another camp, Fontanelatto (PG49).
On 9th September 1943 he was one of the 536 prisoners released by the Camp Commandant. He and his compatriots made their way south through the Apennine Mountains with the aim of joining the Allies. They covered 700km on foot. He was sheltered by a family called Vincenzo in San Donato in Frosinone. He was recaptured by Germans while attempting to cross to the Allied lines. He was entrained to Germany where he saw out the war in POW Camp Stalag VIIa, near Mooseburg northeast of Munich.
Having survived the war Paul studied Law and became senior partner at Randles Davis and Wood in Pietermaritzburg, Natal. Paul played rugby and cricket for Natal and got a trial as wicketkeeper for the Springboks.
While under the protection of the Vincenzo family he was invited to attend the christening of their youngest child. He made too merry after the service and slipped out of the haystack where he had been hiding and landed at the feet of a German officer. Quick thinking Ma Vincenzo took off her belt and scolded him shouting "Off to your room now and sleep it off - the young today just do not know how to behave". The officer roared with laughter and suspected nothing.Alexander Irvine-Fortescue
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