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Monte Cassino Veterans of WW2 pay tribute at Picinisco

How proudly they marched, with heads held high - the Monte Cassino Veterans and local 'ex-combatanti' following the banner of the ' Commune Di Pidnisco', lead by 'Sindaco' (Mayor) Giancarlo Ferrara, with representatives of the village council, Police, Carabinieri and villagers, up the hill from piazza 'Ernesto Capocci' to the cenotaph on the 'montano'.

The local school children, dressed in white, wearing caps carrying the English and Italian colours and waving red, white and blue pom-poms, awaited their arrival.The children sang 'God Save The Queen', all four verses in English followed by the 'Italian National Anthem'. Giancarlo Ferrara presented his address in perfectly spoken English and then in Italian.

Wreaths and flowers were laid for the commune, and by Capt.CIIff Atkinson for the veterans in memory of those who died in the World Wars and the victims of the sinking of the Arandora Star. The bugler sounded the last post.

John Clarke, Hon. Sec. to the veterans, presented a cheque to the value of 1000 for the school. This was the opportunity for huge quantities of english sweets to be distributed to the children, and they responded with a tremendous chorus of "thank you".

The gathering dispersed to the meeting room where there was an array of local foods and wines prepared by the ladies of the villaqe.

This visit was special not only because it was the 60th. anniversary of the battle for Monte Cassino but it may also be the last of many visits. We were proud, yet again, to witness this celebration, another bond between the British Isles and our heritage Picinisco.

Roland Antonelli
June 2004

*pictures and text Roland Antonelli

Policeman with the banner showing the emblem of Picinisco*
Left to right:John Clarke Hon. Sec. to the veterans, local schoolteacher, chief of Carabinieri, and Mayor Giancarlo Ferrara*
The gathering at the cenotaph*
Wives of the veterans*

All text and images (unless marked *) Anthony Rea 2010
not to be used without permission. All rights reserved