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Date: January 3rd 1942
Stuart Cross

Sgt. S.M. Cross
Saturday 3rd Jan 1942

Dear Mother,

I guess this has come as a big shock to you, it was to us anyway. The whole crew were captured and none of us were injured. I’m not going to write about what happened as that might give them some information that they would like to know. I also do not want you to write about it when you write to me. I will tell you this much, we came down and were captured near Syracuse in Southern Sicily on Sunday 28th Dec 1941.

We were kept in Syracuse for a couple of days and then we were sent to Rome and we are to stay here for about 15 days. Then we shall be sent to a camp. You will have to wait until I get to this camp before I can give you an address where you can send your letters.

We are being treated very well. We get enough food to eat and it is not too bad. We get plenty of spaghetti and you know I never was very fond of that. Still I am getting used to it now. We also get 2 oranges every day which is very good.

There is only one thing, I am getting bored stiff as we have nothing to do. All we can do is read and sleep. I have been spending most of the day in bed because it has been so cold. It has been a bit warmer these last couple of days and we have been allowed to go into the garden and walk about for as long as we like. We all have separate rooms and for some reason we are not allowed to talk to one another here. I think we are in quarantine or something. We are allowed to talk to our guards though. You should hear our conversation, it is a mixture of English, French and Italian. I think I shall study Italian as long as I am in this country. Maybe I shall be able to speak it by the time the war is over.

Did you tell the people I knew in Perth that I was a prisoner. I’ll bet the folks in the office got a shock. I do not suppose that you will have had word yet that I am a prisoner. I hope you do not have to wait long as I know you will be worrying about me. Let me know how long it was before you knew.

Well Mother I never thought I would end up like this. But don’t you worry yourself, I shall be O.K. I shall tell you all about what happened when I get home and I sure hope that day will not be too far away. I shall close now but will write again soon.

Love to everyone,

P.S. Keep your chin up, Mum.

[postscript added to top of first page:]
[?] you [send?] [?] photos to the people in Perth that I told you about.

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