Italian Prisoners of War and Internees in India
You may be surprised to learn that there are documents about Italians in the India Office Records. Family, military, and social historians will find much of interest in the records of Italian prisoners and internees held in India during the Second World War.
A two-volume alphabetical list of Italian prisoners of war can be found in the India Office Military Department files, compiled from card indexes and nominal rolls prepared in the camps on or about 24 March 1942. It was an attempt to combine into a single register the names of all Italian prisoners of war other than merchant seamen who were held in India on that date, or who had previously died in India.
On each page the entries are listed by surname, first name, rank, “M. E. number”, corps, and camp number. The figures in the last column denote the number of the camp in which the prisoner is held. Where there is more than one figure, the first shows his location on 24 March 1942, and the last represents the latest information which could be included in the list. Owing to extensive transfers, this is not always up to date. The information following on from the camp numbers, e.g. R.28.4.45, indicates the man's release date.
Second World War Italian Propaganda poster ©De Agostini Images Online
Another useful file from the Public and Judicial Department of the India Office Records is entitled 'Internees: release and repatriation of Italian and other foreign internees in India'. This has detailed information of Italian internees including names, addresses, occupations, and next of kin, covering the period September 1943 - July 1948. These files are a boon for those trying to trace their Italian heritage. I used them in a presentation given to the Anglo-Italian Family History Society in autumn 2012.
Asian & African Studies Reference Services
IOR/L/MIL/5/1069 Italian POWs surnames A - I
IOR/L/MIL/5/1070 Italian POWs surnames J - Z
IOR/L/PJ/8/35 Internees: release and repatriation of Italian and other foreign internees in India 1943-1948