Giuseppe Pierro a clerk from Rionero in Vulture (Potenza) died on 4th July 1945 at the 115 Heidelberg Military Hospital Victoria. As per requirements*, he was honourably buried at the Springvale War Cemetery.
He was the first Italian prisoner of war buried at this Commonwealth War Graves cemetery. His burial on 6th July 1945 was photographed by Henric Wingfiled Brammall.
Roman Catholic Chaplain JC English of the 115 Heidelberg Hospital lead the funeral cortege along the road to the cemetery and conducted the funeral service graveside. The funeral cortege consisted of a gun carriage carrying Giuseppe’s coffin. The coffin was covered by the Italian flag. The pall bearers were Italian prisoners of war.
A solemn procession which acknowledged the life and death of Giuseppe Pierro was dignified and honourable.
Giuseppe Pierro is now laid to rest in peace at the Ossario Murchison Cemetery Victoria.
The Ossario Murchison (photo courtesy of Alex Miles)
*The Geneva Convention requirements relating to the deaths of prisoners of war state:
DEATHS OF PRISONERS OF WAR
• The wills of prisoners of war shall be received and drawn up under the same conditions as for soldiers of the national armed forces.
• The same rules shall be followed as regards the documents relative to the certification of the death.
• The belligerents shall ensure that prisoners of war who have died in captivity are honourably buried, and that the graves bear the necessary indications and are treated with respect and suitably maintained.