Seadog Blog

A reunion 74 years overdue

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Remember Jimmy and Silvo from episode two of WWII’s Great Escapes?

Silvio Alboni was just 13 years old when he found three prisoners of war outside a neighbour’s barn. Silvio was an orphan, he didn’t go to school, seldom wore shoes and had little food – but he wanted to help.  Silvio gave the escapees food, shelter and clothing, and remembers one man, Jimmy, fondly. Jimmy was Silvio’s only friend, so after news that the Germans planned to create a large garrison in the town, Silvio led Jimmy and the other escapees to the foot of the mountains over which they could escape, and had to say goodbye.

74 years later, following the broadcast of WWII’s Great Escapes, Jimmy’s son John got in touch with us…

“[My] Dad was called Jim or Jimmy and his mates were William and Joseph. I realise there were a number of escapees and it could be pure coincidence but I wonder if he could be the Jim Silvio Alboni remembers in your film? Would be nice to thank Mr Albino and his family if it was my dad he befriended.

It wasn’t a coincidence, and John and his family were recently able to travel to Italy in order to meet Silvio, and thank him for helping Jimmy, their father and grandfather.

Silvio was delighted to meet Jimmy’s son (me) and grandsons. And we were delighted to meet Silvio. It was thanks to the programme that we were able to go and meet Silvio and his family and thank him for everything he had done.