Interned in the Fort Revere in the South of France (near Nice) were over two hundred British and Allied servicemen, the majority of whom were soldiers of the 51st Highland Division, with about twenty RAF aircrew. On the afternoon of 5th September 1942 over fifty members of this group, known as Detachment W, escaped from the Fort.
Two items, a phone call record on September 6th 1942 with list of escaped POWs’ ID numbers, and secondly a telegram dated September 7th 1942 with detailed information on the escapees.
Item #1 Phone log
‘TELEPHONE’, sent ‘CLEAR’, ‘NORMAL’ priority, addressed to ‘COMMANDER W DETACHMENT FORT DE LA REVERE via NICE’
Received: 6/9 at 11 H 30.
“Search for British internees…(IDs)...escaped Fort de la Revere on the 5th of September around 19 H 30”
List of 58 ID numbers.
Pinhole. Slight yellowing.
16 x 24.5 cm
Item #2 Telegram
‘TELEGRAPH’, sent ‘CLEAR’, ‘NORMAL’ priority, addressed to ‘INTERIOR POLICE JUDICIARY TO GOVERNOR GENERAL ALGERIA PREFECTS INTENDANTS…’
Other indications of services accompanying telegram ‘NIMES DE VICHY…’
Received 7/9/42 8 AM
“Actively searching British nationals, hereafter designated COOK Georges born 2/10/18 height 1,68, clear brown eyes, large forehead, small nose, tattooing on front left arm – DONNELLY Robert born 13/9/20 height 1,72, red hair, green eyes, narrow forehead -...(long list of escaped British POWs)… rigorously proceed with arresting as well as all people found in their company or giving them refuge. Advise urgently Inspector General 7th Section Vichy…”
Long 3-page telegram.
Small hole. Horizontal and vertical folds. Yellowed.
45.5 x 24.5 cm