Carpane – 75th Anniversary of the Grappa Massacres

Not for Ourselves, but for Others

Created with Sketch.

The two small wooden crosses next to the Legion Wreath were laid on behalf of the Kinnear Family.

Operation Piave

In the period of the 20th to the 29th September 1944 a number of massacres and reprisals (Operation Piave) took place in the Grappa region of Italy when the Axis forces attempted to quell the partisan activity.

Although the total number has never been ascertained, it is calculated that over 300 people were murdered and an unknown number deported.

In the town of Carpane a court of sorts convened and passed judgement on captured partisans.

On the 21st September an unknown young Italian was shot.

On the 23rd September Giuseppe Mocellin and Luigi Ferraris were shot.

On the 24th Virgilio Versa, Filippo Bianchin, Pietro Boaria, Federico Fiorese, Matteo Gheno, Alfredo Tosin and Antonio Bellò, and two allied prisoners were shot.

On the same day, David Baillie, J.L.S. Fourie and Gear Munsiff Dar are shot in Campo Solagna (Monte Grappa).

On Tuesday 26th September in the (now) Avenue of Martyrs in the town of Bassano del Grappa 31 partisans were hanged from trees and left for the inhabitants to see.

26th September 1944
4th October 2019

In the afternoon of the same day another group of partisans were shot in Carpane. These men were second-lieutenant Angelo Alberto Bosio, second-lieutenant Angelo Valle and 14 Allied soldiers, one of who remains unidentified.

Roll of Honour – Allied Soldiers

These names are listed on the roadside memorial in Carpane.

CHAMBERS, A. G.

BUSH, F

MIRAMAT, S

SMITH, A. M.

DUNNE, W. G.

KINNEAR, R S
Rank:Gunner
Service No:53513
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:27
Regiment/Service:South African Artillery
Grave Reference I. A. 8.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of William J. and Susan Kinnear; husband of Adelaide R. H. Kinnear, of Durban, Natal, South Africa.

KINNEAR, W J 
Rank: Private
Service No:27529
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:29
Regiment/Service:Transvaal Scottish, S.A. Forces 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference I. A. 10.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of William J. and Francina S. Kinnear; husband of Maria E. Kinnear, of Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa.

BUYS, S
Rank:Signaller
Service No:117010
Date of Death:Between 26/09/1944 and 27/09/1944
Regiment/Service:South African Corps of Signals
Grave Reference I. B. 2.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY

KING, C N
Rank:Lance Corporal
Service No:12225
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Regiment/Service:Die Middelandse Regiment, S.A. Forces
Grave Reference I. A. 14.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY

CHAMBERS, F E
Rank:Private
Service No:93978
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:24
Regiment/Service:Natal Mounted Rifles, S.A. Forces
Grave Reference Coll. grave I. B. 3-8.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Arthur W. and Cornelia M. Chambers, of Durban, Natal, South Africa.

CRONJE, L N
Rank:Lance Bombardier
Service No:105306
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:21
Regiment/Service:South African Artillery
Grave Reference Coll. grave I. B. 3-8.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Cronje, of Ficksburg, Orange Free State. South Africa.

FLACK, B R
Rank:Gunner
Service No:144020V
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:32
Regiment/Service:South African Artillery 2 Field Regt.
Grave Reference Coll. grave I. B. 3-8.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Brian V. H. and Maude E. Flack, of Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa.

HORNE, C. H.

WHEELWRIGHT, D D
Rank: Corporal
Service No:11607
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Age:41
Regiment/Service:Kaffrarian Rifles, S.A. Forces
Grave Reference I. A. 9.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Guy and Lilian Wheelwright; husband of Viola Wheelwright, of Lusikisiki, Cape Province, South Africa.


BOTES, A
Rank: Private
Service No:28077
Date of Death:27/09/1944
Regiment/Service: Rand Light Infantry, S.A.
Grave Reference I. B. 1.
Cemetery PADUA WAR CEMETERY

AN UNIDENTIFIED ALLIED SOLDIER

Gianna Giglioli, the wife of Angelo Vale refused to be sent to work in Germany and demanded she share her husband’s fate.

The Axis obliged and shot her too. 

Angelo Vale and his wife, Gianna Giglioli and child.

When her body was examined she was found to be four months pregnant.


Every year the inhabitants of the region hold a memorial service to commemorate this event.

It was only in 2008 that an Italian researcher, Sonia Residori, managed to uncover the identities of the Allied soldiers.

During research into the Italian Campaign the Regional Chair of the SAL, Cameron Kinnear, noted that two of these soldiers were named Kinnear, and he started corresponding with Sonia Residori.

As a result an invitation was extended to Lgr Kinnear and his wife to attend the 75th Anniversary of the massacres, to be held on the 5th October 2019.

It must be noted that the Kinnears were very warmly welcomed and treated exceptionally well during their stay in the region.

After a church service led by a senior church official from the region, short ceremonies were held at the main memorial and at the spots were the shootings took place. The entire town and the main road through the area was stopped, and the attendees progressed to the various spots in a sombre yet fraternal mood.

At the spot where the Allied soldiers were shot Lgr Kinnear laid not only a wreath from the SAL, but also small crosses were laid for the two Kinnears.

After the wreath laying services were completed, a local hall was filled to overflowing to hear the speeches presented by Mayor Ferazzoli, the Researcher Sonia Residori and Cameron Kinnear, Regional Chair of the SAL England and Europe.

All of the surrounding towns were represented by their Mayors in support of the Mayor of Valbretta / Carpane, Luca Ferazzoli.

The parade was led by Ottorino Bombieri, Chair of the National Partisans Association (ANPI) with support from the Chair of the National Association of Combatants and Veterans of Valbretta, Ermanno Bombieri and the President of the ANPI of Bassano, Gianandrea Borsato. Representatives of the Services were also present.

Lgr Kinnear was ably assisted by Prof Paola Fachinello who kindly provided translations.

Link to Carpane Roll of Honour

Media


This article includes information obtained from the Research and Articles compiled by Sonia Residori.

She has not only compiled detailed records of these events, pursued and enabled the identification of the South African soldiers, but was also involved in the tracking down of the German Officer in charge of the Bassano del Grappa “Avenue of Martyrs” executions, Karl Franz Tausch.

Sonia Residori – Tireless Researcher.
“I am very proud to carry on the values of resistance and anti-fascism. My cousin was killed by the Germans in Marostica, near Bassano del Grappa. He was a partisan. An uncle – for me as father – was a military man and was deported and spent two years in a concentration camp in Germany and suffered hunger and beatings. For me it is a duty to remember all those men who have been killed because I was born free! Your presence today was important: you reaffirmed the fraternity, today as yesterday.”