Alan Fitzgerald’s book The Italian Farming Soldiers Prisoners of War in Australia 1941-1947 was the first publication in Australia about Italian prisoners of war. It was published in 1981 and it is a book I continue to refer to. There is specific information about the journey of Lieutenant Arnaldo Gatti and his son Luciano Gatti together with the “great” escapee Lieutenant Edgardo Simoni.
Bill Bunbury published Rabbits and Spaghetti: Captives and Comrades Australians, Italians and the War in 1995. It is specifically about Western Australia: Italian internees, Italian prisoners of war and Australian POWs in Italy.
In 2006 Biagio Di Ferdinando published his autobiography Odyssey. Biagio had returned to Australia post WW2.
Haywire (2006: Hay Prisoner of War and Internment Camps) and A Town at War (Graham Apthorpe 2008: Cowra Prisoner of War and Internment Camps) are comprehensive histories of the multi-layered nature of the camps accommodating both prisoners of war and Australian and international internees.
In Italy, Evandro Dell’ Amico published two books: L’Uomo Tornato Da Lontano in 2016 and Il Viaggio Australie in 2018.
Bocco… Mio Padre Carlo Vannuci was published by his son Enrico Vannucci.
Echoes of Italian Voices, Family Histories of Queensland’s Granite Belt by Francesco and Morewenna Arcidiacona presents information on the Italian POWs working on the Stanthorpe district farms during WW2 as well as family stories for those Italian POWs who returned to settle in the district post war.
Darren Arnott from Melbourne published No Regard for the Truth in 2019. An expose into the fatal shooting of Rodolfo Bartoli by Captain Waterston of Rowville Hostel.
A recent Australian publication A Cage in the Bush (2022) by Ernie Polis centres on Marrinup Camp in Western Australia, home to German and Italian prisoners of war.
Very importantly, families in Italy are self-publishing books about their fathers and grandfathers.
Every man has a story to tell and it is heartwarming to know that sons, daughters and grandchildren are acknowledging the individual journeys.
It is vital to remember that while these men were soldiers, airmen, marines and prisoners, they were also husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.