- P.G. 136, Bologna during the Second World War -
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P.G. 136, Bologna
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Those known to have been held in or employed at
P.G. 136, Bologna
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
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Major J. Hughes MC 6th Btn. Green HowardsIn 1942, Major J Hughes had been a Company Commander in the 6th Green Howards, first under Lt Col 'Ted' Cooke-Collis and later, when 'Red Ted' was promoted to Brigadier to Command 69th Brigade, under Major T M S Roberts. On 26th June 1942 whilst moving to a new position to hold Mersah Matruh, the Battalion was attacked by a large force of German Stuka aircraft. The Commanding Officer was severely wounded.
The Command of 6th Battalion then devolved onto Major J L Hughes MC. After digging in for the night a large column of some 2,000 enemy vehicles were seen moving to the south east of their position, Cooke-Collis issued orders for his Brigade to attack this column. The Battalion was by that time down to only two companies, each with a few anti-tank guns, and Battalion Headquarters.
Even so, they launched an attack at the enemy sustaining heavy casualties in doing so. A fierce fire-fight ensued before three enemy tanks appeared on the scene spraying the Green Howards position with continuous machine gun fire. The legendary 'Red Ted' appeared on the scene in his carrier, charging through the position and firing his Bren gun at point blank range at the enemy. His carrier received a direct hit but somehow he and his driver survived, although both were wounded.
In the meanwhile, my father was severely wounded in the stomach. He probably owed his life to his batman who, although ordered to save himself, refused to leave my father. He bandaged his wounds and kept him alive until daybreak when he attracted the enemy's attention and secured proper medical services for my father. After a painful truck journey to the rear. Major Hughes was placed in an Italian POW Camp at Benghazi, before being flown to Italy. He recovered from his wounds and managed to make two escape attempts from POW Camp. Eventually he did escape from PG 136 close to Bologna and make his way to Switzerland. He eventually got back to the UK where he ended the war commanding an Officer Cadet Training UnitTrevor Hughes
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