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World Association of International Studies

Post A British Cemetery in Alassio
Created by John Eipper on 08/20/16 5:58 AM

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A British Cemetery in Alassio (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 08/20/16 5:58 am)

Let me share this provocative but, finally, very politically correct post which should mostly interest our British WAISer friends.

Alassio, a small town close to the French border, in the early years of 20th century was a very exclusive resort where the British people would spend holidays. Some would settle there for good.

The local cemetery built a section dedicated to them. There you can find the tombs of several rather famous people, such as Clement Leslie Smith, John Safford Fisch, and most importantly the last of the Hambury family. This family is famous for having created the impressive "Giardini Botanici Hambury or Villa Hambury"; see Wikipedia.

Unfortunately the cemetery is now in poor condition and the local authorities do not have money to restore it. A cultural association "Il Domani," whose members include the lawyer Alessio Ghisolfi, is now trying to raise funds to bring the cemetery back to its original glory, probably with the help of a RAI-TV author Antonio Ricci, a local resident.

I wonder if some of our British WAISers may wish to contact the Mayor of Alassio, to put on some pressure and more importantly, to help get funds.

JE comments: Alassio is not terribly far (west) from Eugenio Battaglia's home base in Savona. There's a wistful coffee-table book to be written about expat cemeteries around the world. (We tend to pay more attention to military cemeteries in foreign lands--this one in the middle of a remote Polish woods is my "favorite," if you can say such a thing:  https://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&o=70920 ) Somehow, even though the Germans lost the war, the place is carefully maintained.

Eugenio--do you have any pictures of the Alassio cemetery?  I'll be pleased to post them.

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  • A German Military Cemetery in Poland (Edward Jajko, USA 08/21/16 4:52 AM)
    In the 2012 WAIS posting that JE linked at the end of his comment on Eugenio Battaglia's posting on the British cemetery in Alassio (20 August), he notes that the German war dead in the small WWI cemetery in Eastern Poland were in the 219. infantry regiment and the 19. jaeger battalion. John then wonders how one might research these units and find out why the Germans are buried there.

    The research can at the very least be begun on-line. Searching under "219. Infanterie-Regiment" and "19. Jagerbataillon," one can find much information. One item is a "Verlustliste" of the 19. Jagerbataillon that gives names of jaegers, place and date of birth, and place and date of death when known. For some the place of death was Wyznica, which is the name of a river in Eastern Poland that flows into the Wisla (aka Vistula) and lies south of Krasnik, site of the very early Austro-Hungarian victory over Russia. It is also the name of a town in the area, in Lublin Voivodeship, and site of battle. John might want to look up that web site and have a printout of its longer list with him on his next trip to Poland to match with the graves.

    It makes me sad to read up on these matters, no matter how interesting they may be. My maternal grandparents and all but their two oldest sons had to suffer through invasions and battles, including the nearby major Battle of Przemysl. The two oldest sons, my uncles Stanislaw and Jozef, had emigrated to the US before the Great War and volunteered for service in the AEF. The next two sons--there were eight in all and one daughter--Jan and Kazimierz were conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Galician forces. My father, Wladyslaw, followed them when he came of age. All survived the war, thank God, although the youngest son and the daughter died for reasons unknown. But beyond the harm to families (and others suffered more than mine), I am constantly appalled by the don't-give-a-damn attitude of the Grrman-speakers and the Russians who fight their wars on the lands of Poland, which has the misfortune of lying between them.

    JE comments:  If all goes according to plan, I'll be in Poland for a week in October, printout in hand.  The death dates of the graves in the Chruslanki cemetery are July 1915.  The Battle of Krasnik proper took place in August 1914, and involved Austro-Hungarian imperial troops, not Germans.

    Here, once again, is the original 2012 posting:


    Ed:  could it be that your aunt and uncle died in the Influenza pandemic of 1918?  The erroneously named "Spanish Flu" killed more people than the Great War itself.

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  • Salviamo l'English Cemetery (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 09/01/16 5:04 AM)

    Following up on the Cemetery of Alassio (see my post of August 20th), please see the Facebook page "Salviamo l'English Cemetery di Alassio."

    JE comments:  I'm dreadful with Facebook--can you send the link, Eugenio?  I Googled Salviamo l'English Cemetery Facebook and got nothing.  However, I did find this article from La Stampa, which leads with a photo of Alassio's "tombe e lapidi" in disrepair:



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