Italian Prisoner of War Football Team, Isle of Man

Rose Filippi
IMAGE ID: MS-33-1

Year Taken: 1942

When Mussolini declared allegiance with Hitler in 1941, Churchill ordered British troops to 'collar the lot', meaning all men living in the UK of Italian descent were declared as enemy aliens, rounded up and interned in prisoner of war camps.
This was a crucial and painful aspect of the long story of Italian's in Scotland, and one that will be remembered most painfully through the tragedy of the Arandora Star, a ship carrying prisoners of war from the UK to Canada that was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland. Hundreds of innocent lives were lost and members of the Italian community in Scotland still feel the pain of losing relatives in this tragic event.

The men in this image are Italian men interned at the prisoner of war camp in the Isle of Man. Most will have migrated from Italy in the earlier part of the twentieth century, some, as my grandfather (top row, third from right), came as young boys and grew up in Scotland.

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