Monday, November 29, 2010


Regular readers of this blog will know that I follow the Arandora Star Campaign with interest, not least because 53 of those who perished in the 1940 tragedy were Welsh Italians and I was pleased to be able to report that a memorial to these men had been unveiled in Wales in July this year.

Now a play has been written about the disaster and here is the article I wrote about this for Italy Magazine last week:

New Play About Arandora Star Tragedy

Italy Magazine followed the lead-up, this year, to the seventieth anniversary of the Arandora Star tragedy, in which 486 British Italian internees were drowned. Rounded up by the British government without consideration for their families, these respectable men who had made their lives in Britain were regarded as a security threat and were treated cruelly by their guards.

On July 1st 1940, 734 of them were put aboard the Arandora Star, which left Liverpool with 1,864 passengers and crew, bound for Canada. On July 2nd she was torpedoed.

Now the tragedy has been turned into a play by Alfo Bernebei, an Italian who has been living in Britain for 40 years, reports the Telegraph. “The Tailor at the Bottom of the Sea” tells the story of a real-life character, anti-fascist campaigner Decio Anzani, and a fictional British camp commander. Mr Anzani died in the tragedy.

The play will open in Jesi [Marche] on 4th December and later Mr Bernebei hopes that it will be performed in Britain.

The Arandora Star tragedy remains one of the most ignominious episodes in British war history and the campaign for a government apology continues.


Gledwood said...

did it take my comment or lose it? so typical

apart from the boat issue I want to kidnap Simi, I need a golden furry dog to soothe my acheing soul

ps have you had trouble with rude people or spammers? I only set moderation to come on after 3 days, then when a reply comes to an old post I know about it

James Higham said...

Interesting concept, the Welsh Italian.

Rosaria Williams said...

What a terrible incident! I knew nothing of this; now that a play is being produced, perhaps more of this story will surface.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Gleds. As you see, it took it! Simi is flattered but is not willing to be kidnapped! No, no trouble. Hi, James. There's a fair-sized Welsh-Italian community. Hi, lakeviewer. Yes, terrible. It makes me ashamed to be British.

jams o donnell said...

It was an appalling incident. That and the Dunera were stains on Britain


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