Invitation to Italy's WW2 conference
St Benedict’s Classics teacher Mr Shaun Hullis has been invited to deliver a lecture at a conference in Parma, northern Italy, to mark the 75th anniversary of Italy’s surrender in WW2.
The invitation has come from the Istituto della Resistenza e dell’Età Contemporanea Parma (ISREC), in association with the Monte San Martino Trust (a British organization fostering good relations between the two countries in commemoration of the help given to Allied POWs by Italians). The conference - Prisoners of war and prison camps for military allies in Italy (1940-45) - will be held in the former POW camp at Fontanellato at Rocca Sanvitale on Friday September 7th 2018. Many relatives of former prisoners of war will attend the conference and further events that weekend.
Mr Hullis will talk about an escape tunnel dug in the summer of 1943 from the prison camp PG29 Veano, near Piacenza. The building was a seminary which had been requisitioned by the authorities. Mr Hullis became a close friend of one of the men who escaped through the tunnel: he wrote his obituary for the Daily Telegraph, and published a book entitled Captains Courageous, in 2014.
“Some local historians in Piacenza, having read my book, have recently gained permission to conduct a survey with ground-penetrating radar to try to locate the tunnel, and they hope to send remote cameras down to see how much remains intact,” said Mr Hullis, who will be the only English lecturer at the conference. “This has all arisen out of my research into the war dead of the schools at which I have worked, the same impulse which has driven the St Benedict's War Memorial project. I am very grateful to the school for allowing me leave to travel to deliver this lecture.”
Link to the conference programme: