India: Camp at Yol

Yol Prisoner of War Camp was situated at the base of the Himalaya Mountains.  It housed Italian prisoners of war in four camps: Group V – YOL: Camps 25 to 28. It had its own currency.


Yol Italian Prisoner of War Landscape Group V

Details of the camps are in the following article: Yol: Once a haven for prisoners of war

Lido Saltamartini was a resident of Yol Camp.  He made a camera and took photos of the camp which are featured in his book: 10,000 in Himalaya 1941-1947

Further information on Yol can be read at:

La storia dei diecimila soldati italiani prigionieri in India(take the time to read the comments at the bottom of the article)

and in Angela Giannitrapani’s book: Quando Cadra La Neve a Yol:

Cosa può mai spingere due uomini anziani a lasciare l’Italia per raggiungere un villaggio remoto alle falde dell’Himalaya? “Quando cadrà la neve a Yol”, nell’eco di una predizione, lo rivela. Racconta del viaggio che porta sulle orme che gli stessi protagonisti lasciarono cinquant’anni prima e che ora, ultra settantenni, ripercorrono. È un viaggio del tutto differente da quello del passato quando, prigionieri degli inglesi durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, attraversarono quasi tutta l’India da sud a nord per raggiungere il campo di prigionia al quale erano stati destinati. Ora lo fanno da uomini liberi, ma devono ancora affrontare conti in sospeso e incontrare fantasmi sepolti nella memoria.

Quando Cadra La Neve a yol

As a tribute to the Italian prisoners who had been held captive at Yol, is this beautiful memorial:

Yol Monument 2Yol Monument

Yol Memorial to Italian Prisoners of War

(photos from Twitter: hpatil@himan127)


A list of Italian Prisoners of War who were sent to Yol can be found in an article by Giovanni Marizza: ALCUNI PRIGIONIERI ITALIANI IN INDIA

Further articles by Marizza: 2a Parte and 3a Parte

9 thoughts on “India: Camp at Yol

  1. James Purves

    My father was a British anesthesiologist at the camp. I have a book he recorded every operation in, names reasons times ect….
    Also have beautiful photographs of the camp staff, huts ect.Father saved the life of an Italian officer, they became friends for life.
    I should have searched before about this POW camp.


    1. JoanneinTownsville Post author

      James, this is wonderful. It is never too late to start the research. I know of many Italian families whose fathers or grandfathers were at Yol. Are you ready to share this information to a wider audience? As a collaboration: you write an article and I will put it up on the website. Is it possible to transcribe the ‘theatre records’ and put into an alphabetical list? My email address is :


  2. Stefano

    Hi James
    This a FANTASTIC news! My grandfather, Giuseppe Reppucci was detained at Yol until September 14th 1944, and I believe he had some sort of surgery due to a issue with his leg. If you could find and share any information I would be really appreciative.

    Many Thanks



    1. James Purves.

      Hello Stefan,
      I will get the book out and search for a name. Father suffered from the same thing as all Doctors, his writing was not easy to read.
      I just got my first Covid Vaccine shot and it has been effecting me for a week now, been dizzy and having balance problems. Going into see my Doctor on Monday but I will find the book and try and help you.
      I was in your beautiful country again two years ago and can not wait to get back there again with my cameras.


    2. James Purves.

      Hello Stefano,
      I found one of fathers books, he left YOL in July 1944 and went to Malaya, Java and even worked on a Hospital ship HMHS Karapara. I thought he noted names but no, Dates, reason for surgery, what he used and the duration of the surgery. I need to find his YOL book but it will be the same, meaning no names. It’s been 17 years since I looked at this stuff.
      Just sent Joanne some images of the Doctors lives at YOL, certainly did not look like a World War was in progress. Hopefully she can post the images, I am not computer savvy but I am sure she is.


  3. Stefano

    Hi James,
    I hope your COVID vaccine shot went well, I had my second one on Saturday and I felt little funny afterwords. I wanted to thank you for taking time and checking your father’sbook, please keep me posted if anything comes up.
    Keep in touch!

    Grazie Mille



      1. James Purves.

        Hello Gracie Mille,
        Well I am over the first vaccine shot but not looking forward to the second shot next week. I will be getting prepared for a more serious react, just in case. Need to get another spare bottle of Campari in for some stiffer Negroni’s !!!!!
        Thank you for your kind words,


  4. James Purves.

    Stefano, my iPad copy post added the “GRACIE MILLE” as another type error. I hate this Apple spelling and posting but I suppose if I checked before I copied and posted, I would spot the errors !!!
    Incidentally I am cooking spaghetti alle vongole for dinner tonight….
    Ciao again,



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