Peter Chapman, King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Peter Chapman, of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was reported postwar to the British graves research unit in the area as having been killed by Italian Fascists on 6 January 1945. The Graves Concentration Report Form below gives the detail that the local information was supplied by a Rossini Simeone and adds his address.

beard and maddock

The following information was forwarded by Lorenzo Saggioro on 28 November 2019 (Jennie Mack Gray translation):

Born in London in 1922, at the age of 17 Peter joined the Royal Fusiliers Regiment. He took part in the North Africa campaign and was one of the many British soldiers captured in its disastrous early stages. He was imprisoned in Italy, and in 1943, following the collapse of the Fascist regime, managed to escape from prison camp and enlisted in the partisan brigade “Pasubio”. He became well-known for his abilities, and when this partisan body was dissolved, he managed to find refuge in Bonavigo.

Here he organized another group of partisans. He was known as “London” for his English origins and was very skilful with weapons. His activities were known to the Fascists and the German occupiers, and a bounty was put on his head for 30,000 lire, but Peter always managed to escape, protected by many people in the country.

His ability to link together the various groups of partisans and his passing-on of vital information on German troop movements greatly helped the Allies, with whom he was in frequent radio contact.

However, once it was obvious that the war was coming to an end, and it having been recognised that his presence was a focal point for the local resistance, he was betrayed and killed on 6 January 1945.

He is remembered as a person of great ability, but at the same time, of profound humility and humanity (AA.VV. VENTO SULLURA PIANURA – 1987).

In Caselle di Pressana, Verona, there is a small memorial stone that marks the spot where he was executed:

On 6 January 1945, dying for freedom, he closed his legendary day, PETER CHAPMAN, an English-partisan Italian soldier

Peter Chapman memorial
peter chapman memorial site