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British soldier's descendants meet families who saved him

British soldier's descendants meet families who saved him

Italian families hid, protected WWII prisoner of war Dennis Fox

ROME, 23 April 2024, 13:49

ANSA English Desk



The descendants of a British soldier this week met members of the Italian families that saved him after he escaped from a prison camp during World War II.
    Dennis Hutton Fox of the Coldstream Guards was brought to Italy after being taken prisoner by Italian-German forces in Libya.
    He fled from a prison camp at Sforzacosta, in the province of Macerata, and after days of walking, arrived at Monte di Rosara, near Ascoli Piceno.
    There he was hidden and protected at great personal risk by three Italian families between the autumn of 1943 and the summer 1944.
    Hutton Fox's two daughters and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were in Ascoli on Sunday to meet the descendants of the people who saved him and visit the places where he took refuge, including the forests of Monte di Rosara and the San Giorgio monastery.
    They managed to make contact with each other via Facebook.
    Among the people who showed the Hutton Fox group around were siblings Emidio and Lianna Tassi, who are now in their 90s but were children at the time and helped bring food and water to the soldier.
    "It was mostly us who brought him everything," they said.
    "The reason is that the German's paid less attention to us.
    "Our parents got us to take turns, when they were doing things like taking the goats out to pasture, to go to the caves where Dennis was hiding.
    "We'd take him food like fried eggs and fruit, as well as water and everything else he needed to survive".
    Lianna Tassi added that, when things were quiet, "he would come to the monastery and go up to our home.
    "I was almost 10, he'd pick me up and sit me on the fireplace," she said.
    "Then, with the other children, he'd teach us the numbers in English.
    "I learned to count up to 50!" Hutton Fox's daughters, Margaret Last and Sheila Ableman, said it was a "dream to be here".
    "Three generations were born from him and, without the courage of the families of Mattia Antonucci, Michele Tassi and Emidio Tassi, probably none of us would be here today," they said "We want to say thank you from the heart!".


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