A Kind of Holiday

A film has been posted on youtube of great interest to historians and also to descendants of escaping prisoners of war, in particular PoWs who jumped from trains transporting them to Germany from camps in Italy after the Armistice in 1943.

It is an English version of a film recording the return to the Abruzzo in 2003 by Denys Simmons and George Hervey-Murray, who were held in a PoW camp at Sulmona. Entitled A Kind of Holiday, it was made by a professional director, Franco Taviani, and the Italian version has frequently been shown on Italian television.

The film tells how Hervey-Murray, Simmons and their companion Robert Curran jumped from a train taking Sulmona prisoners to internment in Germany after the Armistice in September 1943, when the Italians surrendered. They remained free for about six weeks until they were recaptured by the Germans and taken to Brunswick for the remainder of the war.

In the film, Hervey-Murray and Simmons retrace their escape and are reunited with Italian families who gave them shelter.

Denys Simmons returned to Rome after the war, worked with the Allied Screening Commission and married an Italian.

The Curran, Hervey-Murray and Simmons families are firm supporters of the Monte San Martino Trust, which remembers the three men with great pride.

The link to the youtube film is