Brookwood Italian Military Cemetery
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Italian cemetery was originally part of the American cemetery. When released it was used for Italian prisoners of war who died in the UK. It is maintained by the CWGC on behalf of its sister organisation the Commissariato Generale Per Le Onoranze Ai Caduti Di Guerra. There are 346 Italian graves in total.
There were 2 Prisoner Of War camps in the UK in 1939 rising to 600 in 1948. The number of prisoners increased rapidly upon the counter invasion of France and after the Axis defeats in Africa when Italian prisoners began arriving in the UK.
Many PsOW ended up in Canada, the USA and allied countries. Of those in the UK an estimated 22,000 were engaged in construction and 169,000 in agriculture.
Eventually over 150,000 Italians were processed as PsOW.
In 2002 English Heritage designated Harperley Camp 93 at Weardale in County Durham as a historic monument. The first of its kind. This act symbolised interest in the overlooked impact of PsOW in post-war Britain. 25,000 PsOW of all nationalities elected to remain in Britain rather than be repatriated.
In 2005 Italian Government Minister Tremaglia visited the Cemetery to pay homage to the Italian PsOW who died in Britain. He stated that too many people had never had the opportunity to visit the graves of their loved ones and called on the UK Italian Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona to help trace the families of the fallen soldiers.
A commemoration ceremony in Nov 2007 was attended by Italian MP Picchi.
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