HOOD, Sgt James 5951812 MM

'(1) After the Armistice with Italy had been signed the Senior British Officer of the camp advised P/W to remain there, but did not actively prevent their escaping. There was a mass breakout by some French Foreign Legion troops, who were fired on by Italian guards, and a certain number of British P/W escaped during the confusion. The majority, however, remained in camp and were captured by the Germans when they took over. 'A number of sub-working camps were attached to Camp 82 and most of the P/W in them seem to have had little difficulty in getting away after the Armistice. I recommend the following other ranks for the awards shown, brief particulars have been given in the enclosures stated opposite their names:-

a) Recommendation for MM 5951812 Sgt Hood, James 16 DLI, 46 Div

'After his capture at SED JANANE [sic] on 17 Feb 43, [typing error for 27th] Hood was sent via Capua to Laterina (Camp 82). 'Entrained for GERMANY on 17 September 43, Hood and two others jumped from the train north of Florence, after another P/W had managed to unfasten one of the doors. Reaching PISTOIA, they stayed with two New Zealand officers until 1 Nov, and then moved to FIRENZOULA. Following two unsuccessful attempts to reach Allied lines, HOOD returned to BALSORANO, but at the end of March he made another effort, this time reaching Torrice. On 31 May 44 he met advancing British forces in this area.'

HALL, WS Cpl Jack MM 4696086

'On 1st September 1944, an assault section of the Pioneer Platoon of 16th Bn The Durham Light Infantry, commanded by Corporal Hall, were ordered to gap a minefield in the FOGLIA valley. The minefield was covered by enemy machine-gun fire and had a tank blown up in it, which was drawing enemy artillery fire. Corporal Hall carried out a reconnaissance of the minefield, with complete disregard for personal safety. He then led his section forward and was twice driven back, one of the section being wounded. Corporal Hall made a third attempt covered by smoke and succeeded in reaching and eventually gapping the minefield. 'The following day Corporal Hall rescued two wounded men from a minefield which was under enemy small arms fire.

'Corporal Hall showed fine devotation [sic] to duty on both these occasions. I strongly recommend that he be awarded an immediate Military Medal.' Recommended by Lieut Col DHC Worrall MC, Commanding 16th Bn The Durham Light Infantry.

PEARSON, WS Lt Arthur 301498 MC

'On 3rd September 1944, Lieut Pearson was commanding the Carrier Platoon of The 16 Bn The Durham Light Infantry. The Carrier Platoon, supported by a squadron of tanks were ordered to advance down the road SALUDECIO-MORCIANO. During the advance two tanks were hit by an anti-tank gun firing from a ridge 1,000 yards to their left. 'Lieut Pearson advanced with the Carrier Platoon under cover of smoke to the enemy positions which were found to be strongly held. Leaving one section to cover the advance, he led the remainder of the Platoon in an assault on the enemy positions. The attack was successful the anti-tank gun, a Mark IV tank and 30 prisoners of war were captured. The speed with which the attack went in prevented further casualties to the tanks and enabled them to get forward.

'The Carrier Platoon were counter-attacked and driven off part of the feature. As soon as the tanks came round Lieut Pearson, supported by the tanks, led another assault on the position which which had been recaptured by the enemy, taking a further twenty prisoners. The capture of this ridge enabled the advance to continue.The dash and determination shown by Lieut Pearson was an inspiration to those under his command.

'I strongly recommend that he be awarded an immediate Military Cross.' Recommended by Lieut Col DHC Worrall MC, Commanding 16th Bn The Durham Light Infantry.


Cpl J Hall MM 16th DLI
Captain A Pearson MC

Lt Arthur Pearson MC, first left, with Captain Gordon Harris and an unidentified officer of another regiment. Greece, early 1945. Photograph (Click to enlarge) courtesy of Gordon Harris.
Sgt James Hood MM and Sgt D Feasey

Sgt James Hood, marked above as ‘Jock’, as an escaped POW in Italy in 1943-44. Click on the image for more information.