Monday, 6 November 2017

Peace outlasts Withdrawal

In October 1943, an Italian Prisoner of War travelled from Bhopal to Australia courtesy of the British Army. He spent most of the next three years at the Cowra Prisoner of War camp. 
Cowra, NSW. 6 February 1944. Group of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) interned at No. 12 POW Group. Shown here are: 55622 Pietro Gargano (tallest); 56000 Umberto Marangoni; 56376 Goffredi Faielli; 56412 Arturo Tempesti; 56359 Alessandro Rospi; 56504 Mario Ferrugini?; 56256 Luigi Margrini; 55608 Renato Guidotti; 56038 Antonio Panico; 56145 Giovanni De Rosa; 56507 Francesco Telese; 56397 Gabriele Sparago.
In October 1946, Pietro Gargano escaped from the camp and eloped to Sydney with his fiancee. They married on 4 November and several days later he gave himself up, wanting to be seen to observe the laws of his host country.
Italian Escapee Married Here (1947, January 14).
Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW : 1908; 1941 - 1954), p. 1.
It was the opening gambit in a campaign to remain in Australia, and while it did not initially succeed, eventually the outcome was secured.

To make sure that the Italian Prisoners of War were repatriated, the Australian Army assigned the 22nd Garrison Battalion to escort them out of the country. On the Otranto, which sailed from Sydney on 8 January 1947, Corporal Pietro Gargano returned to Italy under the guard of Sargeant John Schuberth.
Sgt John F G Schuberth, 22nd Garrison Battalion, Cowra
Seventy years later, while investigating his grandfather's war service, James Wall researched the ship and discovered some of the "passengers" were repatriated to Europe. Further sleuthing revealed a possible connection. 

Not long after, Pietro's son Peter met John's grandson James for the first time:
Protagonists overcome Warfare
descendants James and Peter
3 November 2017
Dickson, ACT

More on the life of -

No comments:

Post a Comment