2018 marks the centenary of the end of the Great War, and numerous events have been held around the UK over the course of the year, particularly in places that are emblematic of the war, to commemorate the historic events that shaped the lives of past generations and to keep alive memories that inevitably fade with the passing of the years.
The Embassy of Italy in London held two major events. The first, a seminar entitled “Italy and Great Britain together in the First World War”, took place at the Italian Cultural Institute in London on 19 October and examined collaboration between the two countries in the final stage of the war. The Italian defence attaché, Gen. B. Giovanni Gagliano, gave an opening address, which was followed by a discussion between Professor John Gooch and Captain Michael Drewitt, who spoke about the strong connection that was created between Italy and the UK thanks to collaboration between the two countries armed forces. The event was also attended by delegates from the UK branch of the Italian Association of Alpine soldiers, which this year celebrates its 90th anniversary.
The second event, on 6 November, consisted of two photographic exhibitions: a preview of a series of pieces by Rory Lewis, a renowned British portrait artist specialising in military subjects, who recently carried out a project in Italy, and a set of photographs, displayed earlier this year at the Army and Navy Club on Pall Mall, entitled “Storming the skis. The saga of the Italian front: unconventional aspects of a war”, supported by the municipality of Vittorio Veneto in collaboration with the Italian army’s historical office. The event was also attended by representatives of the British Ministry of Defence, defence attachés from various diplomatic missions in London, and members of the Italian armed forces posted in the UK.