"Bora da, rwyn gobethio bod mae
I gyd mewn iechyd da"

Sunday, May 13, 2007


As I mentioned in an earlier diary, a very pleasant Italian prisoner of war (POW) stayed with us during the Second World War.

His name was Dominica Petrela, but we called him 'Domin'.

My father applied for an Italian POW to assist help him on our farm in 1942. My father made it clear we needed a farmer. We were told that Domin was a farmer. However, it soon because clear that he was a market gardener, and how no idea how to milk our cows or plough the fields!

In his spare time, Domin fenced off a little piece of land in which he grew many delicious vegetables. As we were on very strict rations during the the dark war-time days these were very welcome. We obtained a civilian suit for Domin which was more suitable than his khaki suit, with its big red patch on the back and two red patches on each leg.

As Domin was a POW someone had to be with him at all times and usually that person was me. I really enjoyed Domin's company so I didn't mind that at all. We cycled many miles together. Domin would cut young willow branches from which he made lovely baskets, some square and some round.

The war ended in 1945 and Domin received some very sad news from home. His father had died and this made Domin very sad. However, his girlfriend Francessa was still waiting for him at their home just north of Rome.

As he was leaving us, Domin said to me, 'Glyn, you have always been very kind to me and I will write to you after I return home'. I was very disappointed as he never did.

I taught Domin some English words and he taught me some Italian words. These came in very useful many years later when I was confined to Holywell Cottage Hospital. The nurses were begging, "Does anyone speak Italian, please?". As no-one else could help I replied that I could speak just a little Italian. (It's amazing - almost all Italian words end with a vowel.) This made me remember my friend Domin again.

I often wonder what happened to him after he returned home.

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"Nos da rwyn gobeithio bod newch
chi gyd gall nosweth difyr"