In World War II some Italians were captured in North Africa.
Some of them were sent to Arlesey Prisoner of War Camp near the old cement works.
This is the story of my dad’s friend and sargeant Raffaele Buonogurio.
Don’t forget the Italians hanged Mussolini for siding with Adolph Hitler and even in the 1956 when I went there on holiday , the Germans were very unpopular because their soldiers stole all the poor locals food when the were stationed in Italy leaving them with no thing to eat at all.Even my grandmother was forced at gunpoint to kill all their chickens and cook them for the German soldiers. Every single one of the chickens. They took everything off them. In an old letter I have my nonno says then the Americans came they weren’t as cruel as the Germans but were always drunk.
Those Italians who were helping the British war effort were allowed out and they both met Arlesey women and fell in love.
After the war finished and they were repatriated , but it was one hell of a job to get back to England.
My dad had to have a job to go to , somewhere to live , and a professional person to vouch for him and if necessary the money to send him home if he couldn’t support himself.
Reverend Bevan was that man , he gave him a room at the old vicarage , and got him a job at City Field Farm with Mr Rawlins. And was his guarantor.
There were over 100 love letters that my mum had kept , that is how long there were kept apart.
Arlesey Old vicarage photo.
Because Cynthia Musk was having so much trouble getting Raffaele back in England she decided to go and live in Naples with him. It was so hot over there and the food was that different to ours that she couldn’t settle . So she persevered and eventually got him back to England in 1947. 2 years later , my dad didn’t get over here until 1948. Some of dads letters were sent from an English prisoner of War Camp in 1946. So it even took time to get sent back to Italy. I saw in one of Cynthia’s letters that Ralph had been promoted to being in charge of a Camp.
This is the letter Cynthia had published in The People national paper.
I met Cynthia in Morrisons a few weeks ago and she is still able to go shopping on her own. Raffaele died a long time ago.
Raffaele Buonagurio and Cynthia Musk 1947
- Arlesey old Vicarage
- Arlesey old vicarage photo
- british war effort
- Camp leader
- city field farm
- cycled 60 miles a day to see me
- Cynthia Musk
- flashing white teeth
- good job
- my dear Italian sargeant
- newmarket POW camp
- Ralph promoted
- rev jbj bevan
- reverend bevan
- terribly upset
- The People
- transit camp