On 8 Sept British Ambassador to Italy Christopher Prentice will present Mr Antonio Millozzi with an Honorary MBE from the Queen.
Mr Millozzi is being given the award for his work for the Monte San Martino Trust.
The Trust was founded in 1989 by British veterans of the Italian liberation campaign in World War II as a permanent tribute to the courage and generosity of the Italian people who aided thousands of escaping allied prisoners of war after the Italian armistice in September 1943. Despite their poverty and the danger involved to themselves and their families, they gave food, clothing and shelter to the prisoners of war and guided many of them through the lines to safety. A number of them were shot as a result, and others had their houses burned to the ground.
The Trust takes its name from a village in the Marches Region which sheltered and saved a large number of Allied prisoners of war who were freed or escaped from their camps in the area. It awards study bursaries to young Italians from regions extending from the Veneto in the north down to the Abruzzi in the centre-south, where the front line remained for many months. Each bursary covers four weeks’ study and accommodation in Britain.
Signor Antonio Millozzi, who lives in the village, has been the Monte San Martino Trust representative in Italy since it was founded and has worked tirelessly, with no financial reward, for all these years both as the point of contact for Italian families seeking a bursary for their children and grandchildren and on other Italy-UK historical and cultural projects.
The date of the presentation of his award is particularly significant as it marks the 70th anniversary of the signature of the Armistice between Italy and the Allies, the event which made it possible for Allied prisoners of war to escape from their camps and re-join Allied lines, with the help of the local population.
The Council of Monte San Martino (Macerata) had already planned to hold a commemorative event on the 8th September, including the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the MSM Trust in the local Art Museum (Pinacoteca Civica) as a token of gratitude for the 460 study bursaries which have already been awarded to date. Some Trustees and Members of the Trust will also be there from the UK.
It was the ideal occasion for Mr Millozzi to receive his award and the Ambassador, Christopher Prentice, was delighted to agree to travel there and present it to him. As he said:
What a splendid idea – I could not think of a better way to celebrate the Armistice.