Italian Cloister Garden: a monument dedicated to the Italians in Scotland

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It was a great joy to have been at the dinner venue organised by the Caproni family at “La Terrazza” restaurant in Albiano (Barga) in the presence of the Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti and I was brought to tears, as I think many others there, when he spoke about his project to build a cloister garden memorial next to St. Andrew’s Cathedral to remember all the Italians that emigrated to Scotland and commemorate the terrible death of almost 500 Italians on the 2nd of July 1940 when the Arandora Star sank after being torpedoed.

I think we all have a family, relative or just a friend that we would like to remember who set out on that long and difficult journey to an unknown country and thanks to their dignity, respect and courage made it their home without never forgetting their origins.

I have my family that I would like to remember and for this reason I would like to give a small and modest contribution to this important project.

I would like to publish a collection of poems, short stories, memoirs, thoughts or just simple dedications written by those who experienced or witnessed this experience.

All the profits made from the sale of this publication would obviously be donated to the fund for the building of this memorial.

I would therefore be grateful if you could send me your manuscripts in Italian or English by email or by post indicating your name, address and telephone number so I can contact you prior to the publication.

Sonia Ercolini

Via del Merlo 5
55051 Barga (LU)

In early June 1940, immediately Italy entered the Second World War, all Italian male civilians between the ages of 18 and 70 years living in the UK were arrested by the police and military to be interned under instructions of the War Cabinet. Following a decision to transport a number of internees to Canada and Australia the liner “Arandora Star” left Liverpool for Canada carrying some 1,570 Italian, German and Jewish internees.
On the morning of 2nd July 1940, off the coast of Ireland, the Arandora Star was torpedoed and sank with the loss of nearly 700 lives – which included 446 Italian Nationals who had made their permanent home in the United Kingdom.

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