Brothers Marino and Mario Casadei arrived from India into Melbourne Australia on the General William Mitchell 13th February 1945.
Marino and Mario Casadei in a prisoner of war camp India (photo courtesy of Matteo Casadio)
The group of 2076 Italian prisoners of war on the General William Mitchell were the last group to be transported from India to Australia. The men were sent in all directions for farm work; as far away as Queensland and Western Australia.
From the group, 875 were sent to Cowra Camp. An unknown number did not go to farms but remained at Cowra Camp. Among the Cowra group were Marino and Mario Casadei, agriculturalists from Ravenna and Carlo Gulminelli, a clerk from Mezzano [ Ravenna].
About ten years ago Graham Apthorpe from Cowra sent the photo below of Carlo in his artist’s workspace at Cowra Camp to Matteo Casadio.
Carlo Gulminelli painted a portrait of Matteo’s grandfather Marino Casadei in September 1946. Marino’s portrait is sitting on the table, second from the left. Marino took home his portrait: an original by Gulminelli.
Carlo Gulminelli Cowra 1946 (photo courtesy of Matteo Casadio)
Matteo explains that the family name is Casadio but the surname was registered as CASADEI for Mario and Marino in the Australian records.
Portrait of Marino Casadei painted by Gulminelli (photo courtesy of Matteo Casadio)
Marino’s grandson Matteo has recently made contact with Carlo’s son. Carlo Gulminelli continued to paint in Italy all his life. Carlo Gulminelli has become an important painter, his paintings are well rated and appreciated in artistic circles. Please clink on the following line for more information about Carlo Gulminelli : Patrimimonio Culturale dell’Emilia Romagna
BUT questions remain:
Who are the other men that Carlo painted?
Does your family have a portrait painted by Gulminelli?