He had been sleeping on deck. It has been suggested that the lifeboats had been deliberately holed by the British shooting into them, to render them useless for escape. Bertoia simply remembers his lifeboat lurching, "because it hadn't been looked after for many years, but, anyway, we landed on the sea and did our best to row away from the ship.
I can still remember the terrible sight of all the wee heads bobbing up and down, and we saw the ship go under and all was quiet. Men were crying for help, although you couldn't do very much. However, the drifting, overcrowded lifeboats were spotted by a British Sunderland flying boat and they were soon picked up by a Canadian destroyer. According to Blue Star Line figures, of the 1, people on board the Arandora star died, including Italians, Germans, as well as 37 of their guards, the ship's captain, EW Moulton, and 12 officers.
While a few of these "enemy aliens" would have been hard-line fascist sympathisers, most of them had no such allegiances; indeed, some had family members fighting in the British forces, while others had been active anti-fascist campaigners. They were taken to Greenock, where there was a roll-call from the none-too-accurate list of the prisoners.
I just broke down. They weren't allowed to get in touch with their families, but were promptly dispatched back to Liverpool where, unbelievably, they were put on board another vessel, bound this time for Australia. The Dunera earned much infamy of its own due to the appalling way the internees were treated and also the degree of looting of their possessions by their military guard.
And to cap it all, says Bertoia, just a few days out from Liverpool, "bang! We were all thinking this would be the Arandora Star all over again, and you can imagine how we were terrified. However, the torpedo appeared not to have done any serious damage, because the vessel sailed on, to South Africa and then Australia, where Bertoia and his fellows were interned north of Melbourne for the rest of the war. Some of the Dunera's officers were later courtmartialled for their ill-treatment of their charges and these abuses, as well as the Arandora Star tragedy, did something to bring about an end to mass internment in Britain by Bertoia is characteristically offhand about his own treatment on the voyage to Australia.
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This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Remembering the victims of the Arandora Star. The arrangement was created by T. There is also a Via Arandora Star in Parma. Numerous bodies were found on the Scottish island of Colonsay. A memorial was unveiled on Colonsay on 2 July , the 65th anniversary of the tragedy, at the cliff where the body of Giuseppe Delgrosso was found.
It was relocated to the Pier Head in front of the old Mersey Docks and Harbour Board building after building work was finished. In , the 69th anniversary of the sinking, the Mayor of Middlesbrough unveiled a memorial in the town hall commemorating the town's 13 interned Italians held in cells there prior to deportation and death on the Arandora Star ' s final voyage. Archbishop Mario Conti said at the time he hoped the monument would be a "fitting symbol" of the friendship between Scotland and Italy. The wreckage of one of the lifeboats remains visible at Knockvologan beach on the Ross of Mull , largely buried but with its iron suspension hooks still above the sand.
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The Colonsay Connection". The Colonsay Website.
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Arandora Star Disaster | Documentary Idea
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