A warm return for POW artefact

On POW Ramiro Giannotti’s return to Italy it was a maroon blanket given to him in Cowra that kept him warm on nights travelling at sea.

Seventy years later his son Luciano has brought it to Cowra hoping the town will preserve the soldier’s memory in a collection of Italian POW artefacts.

The blanket, which matched the colour of prisoners’ uniforms, lay at his Tuscan home but Luciano said his father would have been happier to keep it in Cowra.

“I feel so moved. When I talk about my father like this I get teary,” he said after presenting it to Mayor Bill West.

Ramiro Giannotti arrived at Cowra’s POW camp in 1944 after he was captured in North Africa.

Cowra Breakout Association president Lawrance Ryan said it was the first artefact owned by an Italian POW to return to the shire.

“It gives us great pleasure to have it back here,” he said.

Mayor West told Luciano and his wife Maria Cowra looks forward to caring for it.

“Our relationship with out Italian friends and Italian history in relation to the POW camp is very important,” he said. 

PIECE OF HISTORY: Cowra-Italy Friendship Association president Maria Bell, Maria and Luciano Giannotti, and Mayor Bill West with Ramiro Giannotti's POW blanket.

PIECE OF HISTORY: Cowra-Italy Friendship Association president Maria Bell, Maria and Luciano Giannotti, and Mayor Bill West with Ramiro Giannotti's POW blanket.