March 5th 2009
An anniversary is soon. Sometime in
March of 1954 a man was buried in Nairobi Kenya. It was a
military funeral, where "honour for the dead and the majesty of death
itself, are mingled in solemn simplicity."
According to the English he was wounded. His comrades remained with him until a
second burst of gunfire killed him. His comrades then retreated in good
order taking their weapons with them. Later the Home Guard engaged in
a killing frenzy during which seventy people died.
Some say he was buried without his
head. But the English tend to keep such things under
The pictures on this page reflect the name he adopted while
an insurgent in Northern Italy
during the Second World War. He called himself Giovanni
Puccini. His leader was a Frenchman called Raoul. His good
friend was a Ukrainian called Marco.
Even though he was gone when I was something like
two years old, I have always missed him.