On 8th August 1945, Cafiero Veneri was sent to V26 Mornington Hostel [aka Fort Nepean and Portsea] to undertake maintenance and rehabilitation of the army facilities on Mornington Peninsula. His time there was short: 4 1/2 months.
On 23rd December 1945, Cafiero drowned while swimming off the Mornington Peninsula. His body was never recovered. Other Italian prisoners of war who died in Australia are laid to rest at The Ossario Murchison Victoria and they are remembered each year with an official service and ceremony on or around 11th November.
Other than a small newspaper article and the army records, there is no memory of Cafiero Veneri. His body was never recovered and any memory of him disappeared with the passing of those Australian and Italian soldiers who knew him:
Caught by undertow at Point Nepean while bathing early yesterday afternoon, Dafiero [Cafiero] Veneri, Italian P.O.W. interned at the local camp was carried out to sea. Attempts to rescue him were made by several eyewitnesses without success.
1945 ‘NEWS IN BRIEF’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 24 December, p. 3. , viewed 08 Jul 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205653216
From Porto Fuori (Ravenna) Cafiero Veneri was born on 25th August 1913 . His parents were Maria Fabbri and Alfredo Veneri. He served with the Fanteria [Infantry] 250 Legione CC NN and was captured on the Egyptian/Libyan border at Sidi el Barrani 11th December 1940. Sent to POW camps in India, he arrived in Melbourne Australia 26th April 1944 on the Mariposa. He spent almost 8 months at Murchison POW Camp before being sent to V18 King Lake Hostel. The 150 Italians at this hostel were involved in forestry work and woodcutting. V18 Hostel closed in July 1945 and Cafiero Veneri was then sent to V26 Mornington Hostel.
There is nothing more poignant than a signature. A recorded memory of Cafiero Veneri.
RICORDA CAFIERO VENERI