Mystery: Son of POW looks for father’s local ‘family’

Look familiar? Can you identify someone from this cryptic Christmas postcard and message sent to Italy at the end of the war.
Look familiar? Can you identify someone from this cryptic Christmas postcard and message sent to Italy at the end of the war.

It’s a story of friendship and faithfulness across cultural divides dating back 70 years.

And locals can solve the mystery and help reunite a “family” created in Cowra during the dark days of World War II.

It is possible the family were not actually from Cowra, but from another central west town that hosted Italian prisoners during WWII, 

All you have to do is to identify someone from a cryptic Christmas postcard sent to Italy at the end of the war.

Cowra Breakout Association was recently contacted by Evandro Dell 'Amico from Massa in Italy, who’s father Bruno Dell 'Amico was an Italian POW at Cowra from 1942–46.

Dell 'Amico Snr received a postcard at Christmas in 1946 from his Australian host “family” with words that appear to read:

“To Bruno, Wishing you a Merry Christmas from Pat, Mary, and the Boys. Patrick 6 years, Eris, 5 years, Liam 4 years, 6th December, 1946.”

Evandro Dell 'Amico younger now wants to try and find any “relatives” of his Australian host family.

Evandro also wants to come to Australia to meet the family who were so kind to his father during his internment.

“During the war, it was common for Italian prisoners to form strong bonds with the families on the farms on which they worked,” Harvey Nicholson from Cowra Breakout Association explained.

“Evandro believes that his father and the Australian family did maintain contact for some time after the war, but that it eventually ended,” he added.

Research by the Breakout Association has revealed that Bruno Dell'Amico was involved in building the famous stone hut on the camp site and also in constructing a theatre so that the POWs could perform plays and other shows.

“Mr Dell'Amico senior had been an apprentice electrician before the war prior to being enlisted in the Italian Army, which had forced conscription at the time,” Harvey said.

“We’re very keen to help the younger Dell 'Amico in his endeavours and would appreciate any help from locals who can identify anyone on the original postcard,” he concluded.

Anyone who can shed some light on the name of this family or any relatives, can contact Harvey on 0437 163 853, or email: cowrabreakout1944@gmail.com

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