Old Photograph Statue Of St George Slaying The Dragon Orkney Scotland

Old photograph of the statue of St George slaying the Dragon by the Italian Chapel, Orkney Islands, Scotland. Completed by the Prisoners of War, the statue is constructed from concrete over a barbed wire armature. 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa during World War II, were brought to Orkney in 1942. They constructed the Churchill Barriers, four causeways created to block access to Scapa Flow. 200 of those prisoners were based at Camp 60 on Lamb Holm. In 1943, Major T P Buckland, Camp 60's new commandant, and Father Giacobazzi, the Camp's priest, agreed that a place of worship was required. The chapel was constructed from limited materials by the prisoners. Two Nissen huts were joined end-to-end. The corrugated interior was then covered with plasterboard and the altar and altar rail were constructed from concrete left over from work on the barriers. Most of the interior decoration was done by Domenico Chiocchetti, a POW from Moena. He painted the sanctuary end of the chapel and fellow-prisoners decorated the entire interior. They created a front facade out of concrete, concealing the shape of the hut and making the building look like a church. Chiocchetti remained on the island to finish the chapel, even when his fellow prisoners were released shortly before the end of the war.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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