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British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Evacuation of families

Hi I have just been back to Trieste for the first time in just over 60 years. I was born 1952 in Aldershot so can only have been around a year old when I was evacuated from Trieste with my mother. My Dad, S. Sgt. Green was in the RAMC. I am very hazy re the story and my parents have both sadly passed on. How can. I learn a little about what happened?

Re: Evacuation of families

Andrew, welcome. There are some photographs in the website album , "It's the leaving of Trieste... " If you type in "Evacuation" in the search box at the top of this page you'll find one thread with 10 posts concerning it. Please keep in touch[ we should be glad to hear anything you know about it.

Re: Evacuation of families

Andrew, there is only one problem about the photos on the website.

It is quite possible that they are from different times, as you can see Major General Winterton in several images, some in uniform and some in mufti.

It is my opinion that those of him in mufti are taken in October 1953, when most families were evacuated in some haste and the others were in October 1954 when the whole garrison moved out.

Although not general, some families with Trieste connections did move back during the intervening year. However, most were relocated to married quarters either in the UK or BAOR in 1953.

Re: Evacuation of families

Hi something that confuses me is the pictures show families leaving by train but mum always talked about us arriving home by ship and that arrival home was on pathe news.

Re: Evacuation of families

There is a photo of a ship leaving the port. It was posted anonymously and without explanation. That is why I asked for, "Information anyone?" Someone subsequently added a comment which can be seen, pointing out that there were no military uniforms and saying it was probably a ship for emigrants. to the new world. I agree with that view. There were many refugees in Trieste in the fifties who lived in the "D.P. Camps" (D.P. = displaced person).

The "ship" you mention may have been the ferry which met the Medloc train at Hook of Holland and took personnel to Harwich. There are photos of these in the album "The journey out to Trieste".

Re: Evacuation of families

This was the "Vienna", one of a small fleet which acted as ferries conveying troops and their families to the continent on their way to Germany, Austria, Italy and originally to the middle east.

Re: Evacuation of families

Thanks - Mum talked about arriving rather than leaving by boat so ferry to Harwich makes sense.

Re: Evacuation of families from Trieste 1953

Hi Andrew

I was 12yrs old when our family was evacuated from Trieste i 1953. According to my father, now deceased, families were given a choice of places to be sent to. I wanted to go to Hong Kong but had we opted for that location my father would have remained in Trieste and would have joined us later. Neither he nor my mother wanted that so they chose Germany.

American families were evacuated by ship but I was not aware of any British families who left Trieste by ship. There were five trains that left Trieste and headed for transit camps in Holland where, presumably, we were all assessed then sent to various bases in Germany. The journey took about 3 day I believe and there were armed guards on the trains.

Just prior to the evacuation I was at a boarding house (old hunting Schloss in the hills) just outside Klagenfurt. All children of secondary school age in Trieste and places in Austria such as Graz and Vienna, where there were no secondary schools, were sent to this boarding annex of the secondary school in Klagenfurt. It was during term time when we heard about the evacuation. All of us from Trieste were driven back to join our parents. I was met by an armed guard and a jeep covered in wire. Each family was allocated two rifle boxes and one bag each. We were living in the flat above the sailing club (my father was the secretary of the club as well as a teacher at the Primary school). We were taken to a hotel and were there for a few days before boarding army trucks wheich took us to the station.