Gravestone to Magré 1916 Victims of Militarism, 1920


This gravestone reads: Sacrificial victims of a bloodstained militarist whose heart was unmoved to pity by the tears of children, wives and relatives, nor by the prayers of the city, Bonomo Adalberto of Naples and Bianchi Antonio of Gallarate, heroic soldiers of Italy here fell, slight fault expiating with their lives, and here rest. In piteous memory of their execution, and perpetual execration of their assassin, the people of Magre` posit. 7 Nov. 1916.

This gravestone was laid by the Socialist administration of the Comune of Magre` near San Vito in 1920. It was destroyed by the military authorities a few days later as an offence to the dignity of the armed forces. The two men, the first a commended sergeant, had disobeyed a trivial order to return to their quarters when they were out socialising away from the front.Two locals who had been drinking with them later emigrated to Australia.

The General commanding their division was Andrea Graziani, who needed little encouragement to enforce the draconian disciplinary policies of Italian Commander in Chief Cadorna. He was to support fascism after demobilisation, like many in the military who felt that fascism alone really appreciated their war service. That this photograph is in the Fantin / Bortoloso collection strongly suggests that FG Fantin felt strongly about the incident and the issues it raised, and was close to the organisers of the postwar protest, although he was away doing military service at the time.

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