Entries by James Holland

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

NARA, College Park, 12 November, 2005 Another day at NARA.   Found some really interesting stuff in the OSS files, but still no mention of the Stella Rossa.  Also looked at the 88th Division files and spent some time upstairs going through some of the photographs they have for Italy.

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

NARA, College Park, 11 November, 2005 Veteran’s Day in the US, Armistice Day at home.  All day at NARA.  I was hoping to find references in the OSS files to the Stella Rossa Partisans based on Monte Sole.  It was supposedly the OSS who made contact with the Stella Rossa in the spring of 1944 […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

College Park, 10 November 2005 Went straight to NARA (the National Archives) in the morning.  As usual with anywhere official in America, it takes twenty minutes just to get through security.  On the one hand, NARA is brilliant. The facilities are good and they have huge and fast photocopying machines and allow digital photography.  On […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Washington DC, 9 November, 2005 Talked to Bill most of the morning.  An hour or so before lunch, his friend and fellow Okinawa veteran, Dick Whitaker, turned up.  Like Bill, he was incredibly frank and both had incredible memories.  [Their interview is in the Oral History Archive].  Around midday, we headed off to the Citadel, […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Charleston, 8 November, 2005 Having only just come back from Italy, I’m off again, this time to the US.   Work is building up.  I need to keep going with the interviews for Italy and really start to get going on the archives.  Sometimes it feels a bit like a chicken and egg scenario: what I […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Salo, 4 November, 2005 Up early again, this time heading towards Lake Garda.  Just south of the southern end of the lake lies the small town of  Ponti sul Mincio.  A couple of kilometres out of town, down a narrow track is Piccola Caprera, a lovely farmhouse and garden, given over to former members of […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Pavia, November 3, 2005  Up and away fairly early to see a number of Partisans in Piacenza.  Not only has Sir Stephen Hastings died, so too has Muro, while Bruno Gandolfi is very ill, so it was a different group of ex-Partisans that we met this time.  Again, they were very interesting.  One had been […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Pavia, November 2, 2005 We didn’t bother driving all the way to Rome last night as it was dark and wet but this morning I completely miscalculated how long it would take us to get to Rome, where we due to interview General di Castiglione.  Halfway there, I got a text message from James Walker […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Bolseno, 1 November, 2005 Having finished and signed off my latest novel, it is time once more to concentrate on the Italy book and make sure I get the right interviewees in Italy.  Getting the interviews done always takes priority over archival research because you simply never know how long these people are going to […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

11 July, 2005 I’ve been despairing about how to find someone to help me with Italian and German translation.  Professional translation services are simply not practical, and furthermore are far too expensive.  What I need is someone who is bright, and so who will catch on quickly; it would be helpful if they are also […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Montepulciano, May 15-21, 2005 I’ve realised that I really do need to try and learn Italian – otherwise it’s going to cost a fortune in translation fees. It’s probably unrealistic to expect to be fluent in the time I’ve got to work on this book – so that means I’m still going to need help […]

Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

February 21, 2005 Just received an invitation to Sir Stephen Hastings’ memorial service.  I hadn’t even realised he’d died and feel completely stunned.  It’s an occupational hazard, I suppose, but it’s very sad that I become real friends with some of these people and then suddenly it’s all over.  Depressing.