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He motored me back to the Vippacco bridge at Rubbia. When next I heard of him it was a month later at the height of the Italian offensive. He had been severely wounded on the Bainsizza Plateau.
The British Red Cross did splendid work in Italy and made a big contribution to Anglo-Italian friendship and understanding. They began their operations in Italy in September 1915, and were thus the first Englishmen to “show the flag” on the Italian Front. Thousands of Italians will gratefully and affectionately remember them till the end of their lives. More even than the British fighting troops who came after them, the British Red Cross will remain a historic legend in Italy in the days to come.
A CEMETERY AT VERSA
I was at Versa, as I have already said, from the 2nd to the 10th of August, to supervise a party working on the hospital. I walked one evening down the village street, where in the light of the sunset an Italian military band was playing to a mixed crowd of soldiers and civilians. Just outside the village I came to the gates of a cemetery, where six tall cypresses stand like sentinels on guard over the graves of many hundreds of Italian dead. This was at first a civilian graveyard, but all the dead have Italian names, except one Kirschner, and even he was called Giuseppe and has an Italian inscription on his tombstone. For this is Italia Redenta, in this one little corner of which a great company of Italian youth have already laid down their lives. And now the graves, in long straight rows, have filled one newly added field, and begun to flow across a second, and soon from the Field Hospitals in the village more dead will come.