Following several months of talks between Dunbar and the Italian town of Narni, two representatives of Dunbar and District Twinning Association recently visited Narni to participate in a special remembrance event.
The ceremony was held to mark 70 years since liberation of the town on June 13, 1944, by troops from the 2nd Lothian and Borders Horse Yeomanry who were based in Dunbar at the time.
Dunbar resident Alison Tossell and local community councillor, Alberto Massimo travelled to Italy at the invitation of Narni’s Mayor, Dr Francesco de Rebotti to attend a ceremony held in Narni’s Town Hall on June 13.
The following day, Dr Massimo also attended a further service at a second world war battle site near to Narni and held to commemorate lives lost during the final weeks of conflict to liberate Italy from Nazi occupation.
In addition to presenting a formal history of his own family’s military involvement in the liberation struggle, Dr Massimo took personal messages of remembrance from veterans of the Lothian and Borders Horse regiment who had fought in Italy 70 years ago. This included one from Lt Col Allan Waterston MC, TD, who sadly died in Edinburgh at the age of 92 on June 21 just a week after the event in Narni.
Reporting back to the Dunbar Twinning Association last week, Alison said “We were both honoured to have attended the remembrance events which are of great importance to those whose families were so affected by fascism and occupation during the second world war. Our presence was highly appreciated by officials and residents alike in Narni”.
Alison went on to describe exchanges of civic gifts between Dunbar and Narni and other aspects of her mission to progress discussions towards possible formal twinning between the two towns. Chairman of the Dunbar twinning group, Richard Smeed thanked Alison and Alberto for representing Dunbar in Narni and East Lothian Council for contributing to the cost of travel for the visit.