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IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group raised £1,824.02 from 56 supporters


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Closed 07/10/2023

raised of £3,000 target by 56 supporters

    Weʼve raised £1,824 to honour the memory of Francesco D'Inverno and all victims of the Arandora Star Tragedy.

    Glasgow, Scotland
    Funded on Saturday, 7th October 2023

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    On 20 August 1940, the body of an unknown man was found by a nine year old boy on the rocky shore at Gamesloup, near Lendalfoot, South Ayrshire, Scotland. Two days later the unidentified body was buried in a plain black coffin, in the presence of the local parish priest, at Doune Cemetery, Girvan, South Ayrshire.

    He was buried in an unmarked grave in an area set aside for common burials.

    We, the Italian Garden Improvement Group (IGIG) based in Glasgow, recently discovered the identity of the man in the unmarked grave. Following additional research by the Girvan and District Great War Project (GADGWP), the precise location of the grave has been pinpointed and we now know the grave contains the sole remains of Mr Francesco D'Inverno, born in Villa Latina, Lazio, Italy in 1901.


    We have established that Francesco was living in London during the 1930s, worked at Selsdon House Hotel and had married Ginevera Tasselli in April 1939.

    Sadly, the marriage was to be brief.

    Francesco, like many other Italians living in Britain, was arrested as an "enemy alien" following Italy's entry into the 2nd World War in June 1940. He was detained as an "internee" and sent to the notorious Warth Mills Internment Camp in Bury, Lancashire. From there, he was transferred to Liverpool where he was selected for deportation to an internment camp in Canada for the duration of the war.

    Francesco was assigned to travel on the converted cruise ship Arandora Star. However, on the morning of 2 July 1940 the Arandora Star was sunk by a torpedo fired from the German submarine U-47, around 75 miles off the northwest coast of Ireland.

    Over 800 men lost their lives, the majority of which were interned Italian civilians. Francesco is the only known victim of the sinking to have been washed ashore on the Scottish mainland and recent research by Dr Terri Colpi confirms he is one of only 22 Italians to be formally identified.


    We are hoping to trace any of Francesco's living relatives and we are following leads in the UK, Italy and USA.

    On 2nd July this year, probably for the first time in over 80 years, flowers were placed on Francesco's unmarked grave by Ritchie and Lorna Conaghan of the GADGWP. Ritchie and Lorna have also made contact with the then 9 year old evacuee from Rutherglen who found Francesco in 1940. For over 80 years he wondered about the man he found on the shore and now, aged 92, the mystery has been solved.

    We believe it is important to both honour the memory of Francesco D'Inverno permanently and to maintain awareness of the Arandora Star tragedy by erecting a suitably inscribed gravestone at Doune Cemetery.

    We are working together with South Ayrshire Council and the Scottish charity Italian Scotland to make this happen but additional support is required.

    We are therefore seeking donations in support of our aim to buy a gravestone for Francesco and our target is to raise £5,000.

    Any donations in excess of our target will be used to maintain both Francesco's grave and the Arandora Star Memorial at the Italian Garden , next to St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow which honours all victims of the Arandora Star tragedy.

    Your support will help ensure Francesco and all other victims are never forgotten.

    Thank you.

    Italian Garden Improvement Group (IGIG)

    Mr Francesco D'Inverno ... image credit The Tasselli Family



    • IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group3 months ago
      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      3 months ago

      We did it !

      Update from the Page owner

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    • IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group9 months ago
      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      9 months ago

      Dear friends ... Francesco's headstone will be unveiled at his grave in Girvan on 17 April 2024... more details to follow. IGIG

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    • IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group10 months ago
      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

      10 months ago

      Italian Scotland has confirmed receipt of £1757.09. This represents £1824.02 from 56 donations, minus £66.93 which Just Giving deduct to cover processing costs. This provides a final opportuntity to thank all our supporters for their kindness and genorosity. We can now purchase a "suitably inscribed gravestone" as planned. The Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh described this as an "admirable initiative" ; it would not have been possible without your help. Grazie mille a tutti ! (Future updates via Facebook on Arandora Star page).

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    1 year ago

    IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 4/21/2024 15.31



    • Anonymous


      Oct 6, 2023

    • Franco Barbato

      Franco Barbato

      Oct 6, 2023

      Tragedy to a final resting place


    • Neil Turnbull

      Neil Turnbull

      Oct 5, 2023

      I have D’Invernos in my family tree. I might not be related to Francesco but they migrated to the same part of London and may have known each other. I was happy to visit today and leave flowers.


    • Ann & Len

      Ann & Len

      Oct 4, 2023


    • Premier


      Oct 4, 2023

      Donations from the staff and customers of Premier Store Girvan from Thursday 28th September to Tuesday 3rd October.


    • Charlotte & Roger

      Charlotte & Roger

      Oct 3, 2023

      A big thank you to everyone that has worked so hard to make this possible and to everyone that has donated x


    • Anonymous


      Sep 28, 2023


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    IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

    IGIG - Italian Garden Improvement Group

    Glasgow, Scotland

    We are a voluntary group working to maintain and improve the Italian Memorial Garden, next to St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow. The Garden contains the memorial to all the victims of the Arandora Star tragedy and the names of the Scottish based Italians who died on 2 July 1940.

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