Rosa and Luigi Pinchiaroli

Luigi Pinchiaroli

Parma – At Sea
1894 – 1940
Nationality: Italian

Luigi’s Early Life

Luigi Pinchiaroli was born in Boschetto in the province of Parma on 1 December 1894. The eldest of seven children born to Stefano Pinchiaroli and Luigia Baduini, he had a busy home life. Concerned about the lack of opportunities in Boschetto, Luigi’s parents decided to send him to live with an uncle in America. Luigi left Boschetto for the first time in 1906, bound for America. He was 11 years old.

Luigi managed to get to France and set sail from Le Havre on the SS La Bretagne. His money and papers were stolen on board so he was not allowed to disembark in New York. On the 8 October 1906, Luigi was deported back to Italy.

Luigi’s Journey

Luigi managed to scrape together a living in Parma and eventually served in the First World War when Italy was allied with Britain. He was captured in Austria and held as a prisoner of war. After the war, he married Rosa Signorastri and the couple emigrated to Wales.

Luigi’s Internment

Luigi worked as an ice cream vendor. He went on to open his own business, Park Café in Pontypridd, and he and Rosa had four daughters.

It was while running his business and raising a family that Italy declared war on Britain. Amid fevered anti-Italian riots, the British government moved to arrest and intern all Italian men.

Aged 45, Luigi was sent to Warth Mills. He managed to get two letters back to his wife and daughters in Wales, sending them his love and telling them he would be home soon. The second and last of these letters was sent on 25 June 1940.

On 1 July 1940, Luigi was amongst several hundred Italians called to be transported by ship. Luigi boarded the SS Arandora Star unaware that he was being taken to Canada. The next morning, the ship was hit by a German torpedo. When the rescue vessel reached Scotland, Luigi was not among the survivors.

Luigi lost his life on the SS Arandora Star. He left behind his wife, Rosa, and their four young daughters.

Stefano Paolini presents his talk, ‘The Tragedy of the SS Arandora Star’, at The Fusilier Museum, Bury on Saturday 11 August, 2018. For more information, visit the Events page.

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Hellmuth Weissenborn

Leipzig — London

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