Andrea Favatella had c. 3 years in India. As many families have found, information on these ‘India’ years is difficult to locate.
For some Italians sent to Australia, depending upon the version of A.A. Form A111, that is used, the From whom received section will provide the details of the previous camp the Italian prisoner of war was at: Andrea’s last India Camp is No. 5 (Bangalore).
Favatella Andrea (NAA: MP1103/2)
The ICRC audio-visual resources offers a glimpse of Bangalore Camp 5 as seen below:
1943 View between the barracks of a wing in Camp 5 Bangalore (ICRC V-P-HIST-03469-36)
Amongst Andrea’s collection of books he returned to Italy with, is a copy of Breve Raccolta di Preghiere per I Prigionieri di guerra italiani in India. A special thank you to Nino Favatella for sharing a photograph of his father’s prayer book.
Religion was important to the Italian prisoners as is highlighted by the art work produced with religious images, the prayer cards the Italians kept, and the prayer and mass books prepared specifically for Italian prisoners of war in Egypt and Palestine, India and Australia.
Andrea Favatella’s Prayer Book from India
(photo courtesy of Nino Favatella)
Religious devotion is also illustrated with the chapels constructed within the prisoner of war camps. The chapel below was built at Camp 5 Bangalore.
Exterior of the Chapel at Bangalore Camp 5 1943 (ICRC V-P-HIST-E-0420-7)
Connecting Italian families to this history is difficult after the passing of 75 years.
William Shakespeare wrote: “There is a history in all men’s lives.”
Equally important: there is a history in every item your grandfathers and fathers brought home to Italy.