Sunday, 20 March 2016

“To our Italian comrades 1915-1918”

I have decided to explore the contribution made to the Great War here in Manchester by the Italian community who lived in Ancoats.

Now I have written about Little Italy but never really focused on the role played by the community in that conflict.

It was prompted  by my friend Sally’s picture of the memorial “To our Italian comrades 1915-1918” which has been reset in front of the Cenotaph at the new site by the west entrance to the Town Hall.

I had already come across this picture of a young man in uniform in 1922 outside Nazaren Bella’s Ice Cream Shop on Jersey Street and now it is time to begin the search for the story.

The starting point will be the excellent book written by Anthony Rea which “paints a picture of Little Italy through [the] anecdotes of its colourful inhabitants [and which] was first published in 1988, at a time when Ancoats had become virtually forgotten.”

But there will be much more.

*Manchester's Little Italy, Anthony Rea, 1988, Neil Richardson

Pictures; Memorial “To our Italian comrades, from the collection of Sally Dervan, 2014, and outside Nazaren Bella’s Ice Cream Shop on Jersey Street, 1922, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

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