Through Harvey's Eyes. Another Red Cross Volunteer Account

It is not out of the question that Italy might put up an embarassing show in the Great War Centenary timeframe (that's our fear, when we realize the poor coordination between the center and the local peripheral areas), nevertheless we keep on detecting positive signals coming from local contests, often managed on a voluntary basis and hardly ever coming out of big budgets: good exhibitions, nice ideas, interesting books, self-abnegation of enthusiasts and exciting projects about the Great War and the remembrance of casualties.

As for books, this time we wish to give evidence to the bilingual book (Italian and English) dedicated to the young Red Cross volunteer Harvey Williams. The link with the more famous "Hemingay affair" is immediate, also because of the places that shape the background of this book of memoirs and photos. The author was also a photographer, a good one, and we travel through his eyes the war locations of Casale sul Sile (behind the lines), Fossalta di Piave and Caposile. Harvey's ambulance moved in the area of Monastier, Meolo, Musile and Portegrandi (these places were mentioned many times in war bulletins). The result of Harvey's collateral work is a big amount of photos now available for researchers.

The book is also an interesting example of a collection first published on the web, eventually transformed into a traditional book. Harvey's nephew published the collection of pictures first on the web and only afterward a group of WWI Italian enthusiasts, maybe by serendipity and recognizing the places in the photographs, discovered the collection and proposed to Harvey's nephew to make a book out of it.

All the proceeds of the book are given to the Red Cross. Here the link to the publisher's site.