Janice Joyce (nee Pownall) has a keepsake, from the time that Italian prisoners of war worked on her father’s property Mahoon out Monto way.
QG Spoon: Daily Reminder of Monto Italian POWs
(from the collection of Janice Joyce (nee Pownall))
“Ring barking was the main work that the Italians did. They would work out on the property at a camp site as the work was a distance away from the house. After the men moved on, Dad went out to the spot where their camp kitchen had been and found a tablespoon with QG engraved on it. I still have it and it is used every day in my kitchen! Isn’t that lovely?” (Memories from Mahoon)
The Italian POWs were most resourceful and Alan Fitzgerald in The Italian Farming Soldiers wrote:
“The Italians, like prisoners everywhere did not pass up an opportunity. When nine were admitted to the Hay detention barracks from Yanco they were found to possess towels, pillowslips and tumblers bearing the New South Wales Railways brand.”
One wonders how many ‘interesting’ objects like government branded items made their way back to Italy.