La Guerra di Pietro

Di Monica De Ambrosis

La Guerra Di Pietro è un riconteggio ben studiato e ben documentato
delle esperienze di guerra del padre dell'autrice.
Pieno di immagini personali e storiche, discorsi memorabili, poesie personali e testi di canzoni.
L'autore la conduce attraverso gli anni di Pietro in Nord Africa, la prigionia a Zonderwater, la sua sopravvivenza sul naufragio della Express of Canada e dei restanti anni di prigionia in Inghilterra.
Il suo ritorno definitivo in patria e il difficile compito di raccogliere i pezzi della sua vita, completano questo eccellente pezzo di lettura. Per tutti gli appassionati
della storia di guerra.
Monica De Ambrosis può essere contattata a

monicadeam@tiscali.it

A pair of miniature shoes, measuring 4.5cm in length, moulded and crafted solely from rationed bread by a POW at Zonderwater. These form part of my personal collection.
Italians, who had made a life for themselves in South Africa prior to the outbreak of WW2, took great interest in the prisoners at Zonderwater. Regular visits to the camp were made, taking them parcels of food, art supplies and literature; bonds were formed and the prisoners reciprocated as best they could. These three artworks, painted by POW's were gifts to Anna's family. As she was little back then, she does not remember the artists, but still treasures these works; thank you Anna for your contribution.
Anna
Anna's Mum
Home
francoforleo@gmail.com
Prezzo euro10
Published by the Senior Italian Committee - July 1944 and reprinted by Tiger Press (Pty) Ltd Johannesburg- October 1998
Pictures reproduced from this book are with courtesy from the Ex POW Committee and are subject to copyright laws.
LONGARATO VITTORIO (1917-1994) nato a Gambellara (Vicenza)
Bersagliere, 8° Reggimento, 12° battaglione - 6° compagnia - Divisione Ariete -
Matricola da soldato: "1917 - 470=(62)=C."
Ferito in combattimento nel fatto d'arme "Quota 186 Capuzzo - passo Halfaia, Sollum" il 15/5/1941 "Operazione Brevity" e dichiarato disperso. Ricoverato all'Ospedale Generale n. 19 di Geneifa il 23/5/41. Trasferito al Campo di internamento N. 306 Geneifa il 25/7/41. Trasferito a Suez 29/8/41 e imbarcato sulla nave per Durban.
Tornò a casa con una valigia di latta piena di libri (pesantissima) della biblioteca del campo e una di cartone con i suoi ricordi, pochi indumenti, una coperta e il banjo-mandolino che si costruì con mezzi di fortuna trovati nel campo. Era iscritto all'Associazione Zonderwater Block - Sezione Veneta di Verona che ora non c'è più.
Lui non parlava volentieri della guerra, tanto meno della prigionia, solo mezze parole che noi figli abbiamo cercato di mettere insieme nel tempo.
Sto ricostruendo il periodo trascorso a Zonderwater dalle lettere che mio padre scrisse durante i sei anni di prigionia. La prima da ZW è del 30/9/41. Fu assegnato al blocco 3 campo 11. Nel 1942 era al blocco 7 campo 25, nel 1944 blocco 7 campo 28. Nel 1946 blocco 6 campo 23 e blocco 3 campo 10.. A fine novembre 1946 fu trasferito a Pietermaritzburg in attesa della nave per il rimpatrio. Imbarcato a Durban il 10/1/47 sulla nave Taos Victory. Arrivato al Centro alloggio di Napoli il 31/1/47.


Longarato VITTORIO (1917-1994) was born in Gambellara (Vicenza) Bersagliere of the 8 th Regiment, 12th Battalion, 6th company - Ariete Division - Serial no's: "1917-470 = (62) = C." Wounded in combat close to Halfaia, Sollum" on 15/5/1941 during "Operation Brevity" and was declared missing. He was later admitted to General Hospital No. 19 Geneifa on the 23/5/41. Transferred to the internment camp No. 306 Geneifa on 25/7/41. Transferred to Suez 29/8/41 and shipped to Durban. He returned home with a heavy suitcase made from tin, full of books taken from the camp library and a cardboard box full of his memories. A few clothes, a blanket and the banjo-mandolin, which he made with makeshift material found in the field. He joined the Zonderwater Block Association - The Venetian sector, of Verona, which now no longer exists. Vittorio did not like talking of the war, much less his imprisonment, only a few words here and there which we children tried to piece together over time. I'm reconstructing his time in Zonderwater the letters my father wrote during his six years in prison. The first is from the 30/9/41 ZW. He was assigned to block 3, camp 11. In 1942 he was moved to Block 7, camp 25. Then in 1944, Block 7, camp 28. In 1946, Block 6 and camps 23, 3 and 10 .. At the end of November 1946 he was transferred to Pietermaritzburg which was the transit camp, awaiting repatriation. He boarded the Taos Victory in Durban on 10/1/47 and arrived in Naples on the 31/1/47.


The tin suitcase which Vittorio constructed filled with the memorabilia which he brought back with him after his time at Zonderwater. Also his hand made banjo, impeccably made and preserved after all these years. All this with courtesy and thanks to his daughter Elisa Longarato
La valigia di latta che Vittorio costrui, pieno di ricordi che ha portato con sé dopo il suo tempo a Zonderwater. Anche il suo banjo, meticolosa fatta a mano e ben conservato dopo tutti questi anni. Tutto questo con cortesia e grazie a sua figlia Elisa Longarato
Armistice agreement which he did not sign
Accordo di armistizio
Non firmò la cooperazione
Boredom
Making Bricks
Funeral
Roll Call
Hospital
Ambulance Service
New Arrivals
Camp Overview
Cemetery
Lone Bugler
Two brother seperated by the winds of war and reunited as POW's at Zonderwater
Francesco was born on the 18th November 1909 and did his military training in Tripoli in and around 1937. In 1939 he became a licensed driver of military vehicles in Libya. Captured in Libya in 1941, he was taken to Zonderwater where he worked as a driver to the South African Captain of Italian decent, Captain Tosi. Francesco was known to be a bit of a wheeler dealer and capitalising on his duties as a driver was able so smuggle in contraband for resale. Not much is known of Brother Giuseppe, but judging by the pictures, he was close to Brother Francesco and a keen participant.
All this with thanks and courtesy of Francesco's son, Peter Ulgheri

Brothers, Francesco centre back with the dark jersey and his brother Giuseppe to the left.
Francesco sitting top back on the truck
Giuseppe, centre.
Giuseppe and Francesco to the right of the drag artist.
All pictures taken at Zonderwater during the periods 1941-1944
Recently I had a hit on my website where two sisters, recognised their father in one of the pictures on these pages. This really encouraged me to keep the memory of Zonderwater alive. In this section, I am posting pictures found, without identification, in the hope that someone may shed some light on these.
A Sergeant of Infantry, he was taken prisoner the 3.1.1941 at Bardia (Libya, at the border with Egypt) during the first British offensive (Operation "Compass ''). After a few months in a POW camp in Egypt, he was sent to South Africa as POW 188351; he was interned at Zonderwater Camp (Transvaal) the 2.6.1941. "

Recentemente ho avuto una ricerca sul mio sito dove due sorelle, hanno riconosciuto il padre in una delle immagini su queste pagine. Questo davvero mi ha incoraggiato a mantenere la memoria di Zonderwater vivo. In questa sezione, sto mettendo foto trovate, senza identificazione, nella speranza che qualcuno possa scrivere qualcosa su di queste.
Michele Carnevale, ( with cue ) identified by daughters Leonora and Claudia
A List of clothing issued by the POW camp Zonderwater
E' interessante come costruì il banjo-mandolino. "Il banjo-mandolino non è più stato suonato da anni. Mio padre lo suonò fino alla sua scomparsa nel 1994. Sicuramente ha bisogno di una manutenzione e di una accordatura. Mio padre lo costruì con i seguenti materiali:La struttura in legno (manico, fondo e fasce): con il legno di una panca del campo (lui diceva che aveva quasi rischiato "casetta rossa"), i trucioli furono smaltiti un poco alla volta nelle latrine. La parte superiore della cassa armonica: lavorò la pelle di un coniglio, barattata con un esterno per delle sigarette. (La pelle fu poi sostituita in Italia quando si ruppe)La fascia a forma di corona in metallo: ottenuta dalla fusione della ghiera di una bomba (tiene in tensione la pelle)Ponticello dove sono ancorate le corde: con il dorso di un pettine (non si vede perché coperto dalla parte in alluminio ottenuta da una gavetta).Tastiera: con dei mezzi bottoni in madreperla.Le corde: 4 doppie corde (sol-re-la-mi) ottenute da fili metallici sfilati dai cavi dei freni per le motociclette e lavorati per dare la giusta intonazione delle note (per esempio, per le note basse, aumentando il calibro della corda attorcigliando intorno alla stessa altri fili (poi, in Italia sono state sostituite con corde vere).I fori intorno alla struttura di legno e sulla corona di metallo sono stati fatti per dare alla cassa armonica la giusta intonazione di un banjo-mandolino.Meccaniche di regolazione della tensione delle corde (in parte sostituite) e altri particolari, non ricordo come sono stati fatti.
It is interesting to know how the banjo-mandolin was constructed; an instrument which my father played for many years, up until his death in 1994. and now definitely needs maintenance and tuning. My father built it with the following materials: the wooden frame (neck, back and sides) from a wooden bench in the camp (he told us that he risked time in the "Little Red House" DB, Detention Barracks for breaking up camp property), the remains were disposed of over time in the latrines. The soundboard was made from the skin of a rabbit, bartered for cigarettes. (The skin was later replaced in Italy after it broke). The strip-shaped metal ring, this was obtained from a defused bomb (this holds the tension of the skin). The strings are anchored on the bridge with the back of a comb (you cannot see this because it is covered by the aluminium part made from a tin.). The keyboard with media buttons are of mother of pearl .The strings: 4 double strings (sol-re-la-I) obtained from wires from the brake cables of motorcycles and worked to obtain the right pitch of every note (for example, for the low notes, increasing the size of the cord by twisting it around other wires (once back in Italy these were replaced with real strings). The holes around the wooden structure and metal crowns were made to give the right intonation, sound box of a banjo-mandolin. The mechanics and string adjustment for tension (partly replaced) and other details, I cannot remember how these were made.


POW 37824
A ship constructed in aluminum by POW Sebastiano Campisi during his time at Zonderwater. Picture courtesy of Maria Campisi


Express of Canada
Diario di Guerra e di Prigionia
The wartime memoirs of Bruno Bonzi can be ordered through Enzo Bonzi (son of the author) through FaceBook or email.
Enzo Bonzi runs a very successful Zonderwater Group with a great following.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/392896788312/
anabasi@email.it

Le memorie di guerra di Bruno Bonzi possono essere ordinati tramite Enzo Bonzi (figlio dell'autore) tramite Facebook o email.
Enzo Bonzi gestisce un gruppo di grande successo Zonderwater con un grande seguito.
http://www.facebook.com/ #! / groups/392896788312 /
anabasi@email.it
Liveri Giuseppe, fallen soldier, Abyssinia 1941
This Memorial Medal is available in Italy through Enzo Bonzi.
Page 3
Page 3
Questa medaglia commemorativa è disponibile in Italia attraverso Enzo Bonzi.