Here I wish to create a gallery of photographs and memorabilia of the Zonderwater era. I invite you to contribute anything of interest related to this time, so that we may share and above all, remember. Kindly note that these contributions have been kindly submitted by families who need to be respected, therefore copyright laws would apply.
This beautiful watercolour, part of my personal collection was painted by Adelio Zeelie, during his time as a POW at Zonderwater. Not much is known of this artist who chose to remain in South Africa after the war, settling in the Cape. His paintings have become very valuable and collectable over time.

Livio Morganti POW at Zonderwater
Pictures courtesy of the Morganti family
"This is where I spent the best years of my youth & deprived of freedom."
Francesco Gianquinto
Livio Morganti
Francesco Gianquinto (second left)
Francesco was with the 116 Infantry (Marmarica), stationed in Tobruk. Captured early in the war Francesco was shipped with many others to South Africa and spent time in the POW camp in Pietermaritzburg. His daily duties were varied; admin work being one, assigning fellow prisoners to certain duties. This in turn brought him rewards such as extra bread and much sought after cigarettes.
Later Francesco was transferred to St Elmo's schools, for the mentally handicapped, on the South Coast of Natal, doing maintenance work.
Today Franco lives with his family in the USA and I am grateful to his son Tony for sending me such historical material.

The Cover of the Booklet printed and titled 'In Attesa' (In Waiting)
POW Camp 4 Pietermaritzburg

The Camp's Band
One of the many and regular games of soccer
Verdinelli in Action
Roberto Verdinellei, from Rome had made a name for himself in the region of Lazio. With 103 fights under his belt, most of which were victorious, his career was interrupted when called up. As a POW, Roberto resumed his love for boxing and started a gym, training and organizing bouts.

Mountain Rise Cemetery, Pietermaritzburg- Italian section.
8 graves:
Pvt. Marino Giovanni; Colle Sannita
Pvt. Lotti Ennio; Udine
Pvt. Petrocca Giuseppe; Pettilia Policastro
Artilleryman; Montanaro Antonio di Francesco; Napoli
Driver; Scalise Domenico di Giuseppe; Gimigliano
Artillery Sgt. Major Pomin Luigi di Angelo; Masi
Sgt. Vescovi Cleto di Gregorio; Longhirano
Pvt. Cognetti Felice di Domenico; Corato, Prov. di Bari

The Church at Pietermaritzburg, constructed by the Italian POW's of Camp 4
The Apostolic Delegate Speaks to the POW's at the Inauguration of the Church.
Francesco is seen in this picture by the pointed marker.
On the 18th March, the Natal Witness and the Natal Daily carried this pictures showing tradesmen busy with the final touches to the church, prior to the inauguration. The following day, The Natal Mercury carried the photograph of Monsignor Gijlswijk, Apostolic Delegate to South Africa speaking to the POW's.

"'This church was constructed voluntarily by the prisoners of war of Italy in Pietermaritzburg, with material recovered from a quarry close by…..
'This construction has been well finished and is gracious; also perfect in architectural design….which is in keeping with this inauguration ceremony."

Sgt. Pastacaldi took it upon himself to develop the athletic arena and names such as Prati, Borelli, Gallo, Paglioni, Cereda, Meroli, R Marino, Agostinelli, Ferrigno, Nelli, Verdinelli, Castellan, Sciarretta Castaglioni and other excelled in this field.
High Jump, Prati seen in action.

Sergeant Raoul Ghelarducci takes credit for launching the sport of tennis in camp 4, Pietermaritzburg. A keen tennis player himself, he organized many a tournament. One most memorable which took place during the period of Easter, 44. A total of 28 participants entered with Serale coming out the victor and presented with a silver trophy donated by Major Gasperini.
Fiasconaro, Mascazzini, Ali Pedrelli and Persichini in a scene of 'Una piu Due' (One plus Two)
The Infirmary at Camp 4
The Post Office
This lidded container fashioned from a 2 shells by an Italian POW. The lid has inset in the centre fitted with an old Abyssinian coin of 1930's vintage with a diameter of 40mm. The base also has a coin inset at the bottom, this being a fascist Italian Vittorio Emanuelle coin with a 23mm diameter. This piece forms a part of my personal collection.
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POW at Zonderwater, transferred to work on a farm somewhere in South Africa in 1945. Daniela kindly sent me these pictures of her father. Together with Alfio are a few of his co-prisoners as well as the owners and family of the farm. Perhaps someone will be able to shed more light on these historic pictures
Alfio at Zonderwater
A portrait of Daniela's mother, signed and dated 20/01/1943. Done on a simple piece of paper by one of the many talented artists of Zonderwater, this one, like Alfio, from Block 5.
Prigioniero di guerra a Zonderwater, trasferito a lavorare in una fattoria da qualche parte in Sud Africa nel 1945. Daniela mi ha gentilmente inviato queste foto di suo padre. Insieme con Alfio sono alcuni dei suoi co-detenuti, nonché i proprietari e la famiglia della fattoria. Forse qualcuno sarà in grado di gettare più luce su queste immagini storiche
Un ritratto della madre di Daniela, firmata e datata 20/01/1943. Fatto su un semplice pezzo di carta da uno dei tanti artisti di talento di Zonderwater, questo, come Alfio, da Block 5.