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L/Cpl. Geoffrey Hyde

British Army 4th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment


My Dad, Geoff Hyde served in the 4th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment from February 1940. He has documented his experiences in a War Diary which he compiled shortly before his death in January 2009.

My Dad was captured during the battle for Tobruk in June 1942. He was wounded as a result of an argument with a German guard during a move from a POW camp in Benghazi to a camp in Tripoli and ended up in a military hospital in Caserta. He always said he had good memories of the way the Italian military treated the wounded and POWs. When his condition improved he was sent to a POW camp PG60 near Capua and then to one known as PG70 near to Fermo in a small town called Valtenna. The camp was across the road from a small chemical plant which is still there. When Mussolini surrendered they were all transferred to camps in Germany and he went to Chemnitz and eventually escaped from a cross country march as the Allied forces advanced on the Germans in April 1945 and met up with a group of American forces who he had a hard time persuading to accept he was British.

During his time in Camp PG70 he was involved in the production of a Camp 'magazine' called Lager Life. I have almost the full set of copies of this. Fortunately, he took a Kodak Brownie camera with him when he was posted overseas and somehow this made its way back to his parents home when he was hospitalised in Cairo during the breakout from Tobruk in 1941.

A photo of a group in Stalag 4F Camp PG70 my Dad Geoff Hyde is on the extreme right back row

The map he used during his escape from the Germans.

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