About the Trust

The Monte San Martino Trust, which was founded in 1989, provides around thirty study bursaries in England each year for young Italians, in grateful recognition of their countrymen’s bravery and generosity in aiding escaped Allied prisoners during the Second World War. Up to 50,000 PoWs got away from their prison camps after the Armistice, in September 1943, and headed for freedom.

For some, the journey took many months, through the Italian mountains in the depths of winter, and they depended entirely on local people (who were risking their lives to help) for food and shelter. Around 11000 PoWs made it home in time to re-join the fight against Nazi oppression.

“The courage of those Italians who were ready to risk their lives to help British soldiers in danger is a glowing example of the moral strength that allowed Italy to redeem itself from the tragedy of the Second World War.” – Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy.”

The Trust has also created an extensive online archive of escapers’ stories, and of those who helped them, as a living memorial to the helpers, and so that more may learn of their bravery.

We believe that these stories will stand for all time as a moving example of the power of the human spirit to withstand oppression, and of extraordinary kindness to strangers who were in need.

Donate and support us

The Trust is entirely dependent upon the generosity of the public, and of its supporters, many of them the sons and daughters of escapers, and is run by volunteers.

If you would like to make a donation, please go to our JustGiving page. Alternatively, if you would like to give by cheque, or in any other way, please write to our Hon. Treasurer: Christopher Woodhead, Follyfield House, St Mary’s Walk, North Aston, Oxfordshire OX25 6AA.

Your generous support, however large or small, will be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to remember the Trust in your Will, to receive an online copy of our annual newsletter, or to volunteer your help in any way, please email info@msmtrust.org.uk.

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