Captain John Gerrard Kerins

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3320/6

 

Name: P 86248 Capt. John Gerrard Kerins.

Unit: Royal Engineers (Movement Transportation), Middle East Command.

Captured: Tobruk, 21st June 1942.

Left: Algiers, 20th May 1944.

Arrived: Glasgow, 1st June 1944.

Date of Birth: 1st April 1909.

Army Service: Since 1st May 1939.

Peacetime Profession: Railways.

Private Address: 22, Grandison Road, Clapham, London, S.W.11.

 

1. CAPTURE.

 

At Tobruk, 21 Jun 42.

 

2. CAMPS IN WHICH IMPRISONED.

 

Campo 21 (CHIETI),       5 Aug 42 - 4 Aug 43.

Campo 19 (BOLOGNA), 4 Aug 43 - 9 Sep 43.

 

3. ATTEMPTED ESCAPES.

 

Nil.

 

4. ESCAPE.

 

The events at BOLOGNA after the signature of the Armistice, including the attempt led by Brigadier MOUNTAIN to break out of the camp at 0430 hrs on 9 Sep, are as described by Lieut. N.C. JOHNSON, 2 Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers (S/P.G.(It) 1468).

 

When the Germans opened fire with a machine gun and herded Brigadier MOUNTAIN and most of the officers back into the camp I continued and ran into a wood. The Germans surrounded the wood and I, with several others, was recaptured at about 0800 hrs. The Germans mounted guard over us with tommy guns, and whilst they were beating the woods to round up further officers, I managed to get away. I was fired at but not hit.

 

I walked to MEDICINA (ITALY, 1:250,000, Sheet 19, M.14), which I reached at 1600 hrs (9 Sep). I intended to head towards RAVENNA (M 53) and try to pick up a boat on the Adriatic coast.

 

At MEDICINA I got into touch with a farmer who offered me rest and food in return for work. I accepted the offer and on 11 Sep was approached by an Italian who put me in touch with an organisation.

 

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