Distant Hero's - SBS Film (FREE ADMISSION)

Distant Hero's - SBS Film (FREE ADMISSION)

WHEN: Saturday, 31 May 2014

TIME: G. (3.45pm to 4.05pm)

WHERE: Ryan’s Private Dining Room, Treasury Hotel 130 William Street, Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Brisbane

 

A Short documentary presented by SBS. On a foggy September day, in a windswept town tucked in the Italian Alps, two Australian women experience how their families’ sacrifice is still commemorated in a country once considered the enemy. 

For Kathy Hind and Anne Storm, the search for information on what happened to their family members, WWII airmen serving in Italy, has been a long process.

Kathy Hind’s uncle, Flight Sergeant Clarence William Lawton and Anne Storm’s father, Flight Officer Thomas Roberts Millar, were both killed whilst dropping supplies to Italian partisans in Northern Italy on October 12, 1944.

Their doomed mission was hampered by poor weather and of the 20 planes that set out, only 14 returned, with 48 men lost.

One of the planes, carrying Flight Sergeant Lawton, crashed in heavy fog on Monte Freidour – above the tiny Italian alpine town of Cantalupa.

The crash largely faded from the town’s memory until 50 years later when the Cantalupa Mayor chanced upon the still visible crash site and debris whilst on a mountain walk.

Since then, this tiny Italian village of just 2000 people has been holding a yearly commemorative service to honour the men who died on that mission.

In September 2013, 69 years after that fateful mission, Kathy Hind and Anne Storm travel to Cantalupa with SBS Radio’s Carlo Oreglia, to visit the site and attend the memorial honouring their uncle and father respectively, as well as the 46 other airmen who were lost that night.

The result is narrated on video and in two radio documentaries in English and Italian called‘Distant Heroes’, to be broadcast nationally on SBS.

For Kathy, the trip to Cantalupa brought a sense of closure, and gratefulness to the town’s people for recognising her uncle's sacrifice, saying “It’s quite amazing that so many people would care that much after almost 70 years, and overwhelming that they show such respect for the Allies at that time…it was very overwhelming.”

For Anne however, who has spent over a decade trying to find her father’s final resting place, the search is not over.

“I’ve written to villages and mayors of towns and diving companies…where the plane was…somebody might find it, but I haven’t had many replies, at least hopefully they’ve still got my name and address,” she said.

 

Times: 3.45pm to 4.05pm

 


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