The organisers of an exhibition celebrating the wartime bonds forged between British soldiers and Italian civilians are trying to trace the relatives of a Hounslow serviceman.

Lance Corporal A Futerill is pictured looking on as a comrade, seated to his right on a jerry can, fiddles with a film reel in this black-and-white photo taken during the Second World War.

It is one of many images from the archives of the Imperial War Museum to be featured in an exhibition focusing on the friendships, and in many cases romances, which developed between Allied troops and civilians during the Italian Campaign of 1943-45.

Other than his name, all researchers from Accademia Apulia UK know about this soldier is that he used to live in Wellington Road South, Hounslow.

They are keen to speak to his friends or descendants, along with those of other soldiers featured in the exhibition, to help piece together more about their time in Italy for the 'Stories of Friendship' exhibition.

 

The photo display zooms in on the often life-long relationships which blossomed between British troops and locals in Puglia, known as the heel of Italy, during the conflict. Many soldiers went on to marry local women and start families both in the Mediterranean and back in Blighty.

Images of soldiers playing football with civilians, farming and learning how to make bread as they embrace the local culture and traditions are among the collection of 100 photos, compiled to celebrate the solidarity formed against a background of bloody combat.

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The photos were taken by official war photographers who travelled with the 8th Army and captured all aspects of the campaign, from the fighting, in which an estimated 110,000 troops from both sides are estimated to have lost their lives, to the socialising away from the front line.

The exhibition will also include photos of Jewish refugees, whose safe passage to Israel via Puglia was made possible by the British.

Accademia Apulia UK is a non-profit organisation based in London, which promotes social integration and human rights.

* Stories of Friendship will be on show at The Museum of the Order of St John, in Clerkenwell, from July 21 to August 30, and at Bexley Hall Place, in Kent, from September 14 this year to March 11, 2015. It will also travel to Italy from September this year.

* If you can shed any light on Mr Futerill's history, please email Angelo Iudice, of Accademia Apulia UK, at info@accademiapulia.org