Ermanno Nicoletti and Agostino Marazzi were brought together by war.
Together they arrived in Australia on the Queen Mary 27th May 1941 and were transported by train to Hay Prisoner of War Camp.
While at Hay, Agostino Marazzi (standing 2nd left) is photographed beside Ermanno Nicoletti (standing 1st left).
Hay, NSW. 9 September 1943. Group of Italian prisoners of war (POW) interned at No. 6 POW Group. In this group are known to be: 45513 Francesco Del Viscio; 46331 Ermanno Nicoletti; 45852 Italo Gramiccia; 46320 Natale Nunziati; 46207 Valerio Mezzani 45498 Giovanni Di Pinto; 45496 Giuseppe Di Pilla; 46199 Agostino Marazzi; 46511 Alfonso Patrizi and 48922 Sergio Galazzi. Note: The number is an assigned POW number.
Not long after the photo was taken Ermanno Nicoletti was transferred to Cowra Camp and farm work in the Macksville district of New South Wales and Agostino Marazzi was transferred to Wayville South Australia and to farm work in the Mt Barker district.
But they stayed in contact.
Recently Amedeo obtained a copy of his father’s extra Australian file. Another connection between Agostino and Ermanno is realised.
On 12th February 1944, Agostino wrote a letter to Ermanno and a section of the letter was kept in his file. Agostino wrote, “Here I have found all that I desired; solitude a beautiful little house surrounded by trees and a splendid garden… the food is very good.”
Decades later in Italy Agostino Marazzi and Ermanno Nicoletti reconnect.
Agostino Marazzi and Ermanno Nicoletti (photo courtesy of Amedeo Marazzi)
Agostino shared with the Nicoletti family the memory of Ermanno Nicoletti’s kindness and concern for other Italian soldiers. Ermanno was a talented artist and he would exchange sketches for food and medicines for other prisoners.
Family celebrations brought the two families together. On the occasion of Amedeo Marazzi’s confirmation, Ermanno Nicoletti was his sponsor.
Ermanno and Amedeo (photo courtesy of Amedeo Marazzi)
Alessandra Nicoletti remembers that her nonno, Ermanno and Agostino were close friends. The Marazzi family attended the wedding of Ermanno’s daughter, while Ermanno and his wife Maria attended the wedding of Amedeo Marazzi, Agostino’s son.
Wedding of Maria Luisa and Amedeo Marazzi 8th June 1981.
Maria Luisa, Amedeo, Maria, Ermanno and Agostino. (photo courtesy of Amedeo Marazzi)
Seventy-five years later, the Marazzi and Nicoletti families continue to be connected to a shared history.
You have a deeper connection with people who you have shared experiences with and shared pain. Negash Ali