The Monte San Martino Trust


Keith Killby points to a breach in the wall at Servigliano PoW camp in le Marche,  where he was imprisoned. On 14th September 1943, many of the camp’s prisoners escaped through this hole. To read about Killby’s wartime experiences, go to Escape Stories/In Combat, Unarmed

The Monte San Martino Trust was founded in 1989 by J. Keith Killby, a former prisoner of war in Italy, together with other veterans of the Second World War. It awards English-language study bursaries to Italians, aged 18 to 25, in recognition of the courage and sacrifice of the Italian country people who rescued thousands of escaping Allied PoWs after the Armistice in 1943. The Trust is a registered charity, number 1113897, and is supported by families of former PoWs, many of whom keep in touch with Italian families who gave refuge to the escapers.

The bursaries are granted for four weeks’ study at language schools in Oxford and London. The students come from schools in Italian regions where prisoners were on the run. The Trust also supports Freedom Trail walks in Italy, such as the annual Tenna Valley Trail in the Marche, north-east Italy, co-hosted with the WW11 Escape Lines Memorial Society. The Trust holds an annual Fontanellato lunch.

Keith Killby has received the awards of OBE and, from the Italian presidency, Cavaliere Ufficiale. Vanni Treves, chairman of the Trust’s Appeal, and Sir Nicholas Young, MSMT chairman, have also been presented with the honour of Cavaliere Ufficiale. Antonio Millozzi, the Trust’s organiser within Italy, has received an honorary MBE.

Nick pins up a notice thanking the local people for the help given to his father

Nick Young, chairman of MSMT, and his wife Helen are retracing the escape route down Italy taken by his father Leslie in 1943. It’s a journey redolent with memories of the past and studded with new discoveries.

Read Nick’s colourful Travel Blog.

(Stage 2 of the Travel Blog can be found through the Archive section).

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Contact the Monte San Martino Trust at