The pupil translators

In 2013 the memoirs of Keith Killby, founder of the Monte San Martino Trust, were published, telling the story of his time as a World War 11 soldier and prisoner of war. It was clearly a book that should be accessible to Italians, as well as to British readers, and Antonio Millozzi, the Trust’s Administrator within Italy, soon enrolled Laura Strappa, a teacher, to undertake the translation. Laura tells here how she achieved it – with the enthusiastic help of her pupils at the Liceo Classico, Annibal Caro, at Fermo in the Marche. The book’s Italian title is ‘In Guerra, Disarmato’.

Educating about peace, the development of a sense of belonging to one world,

Laura Strappa

curiosity for different people, languages and cultures, the will to use the chances of life, especially the very hard ones, as opportunities to change perspectives and enlarge experience, responsibility for one’s own actions and their consequences – these have always been present in my daily work as a teacher. I have always been convinced that at school we communicate to the students a vision, an experience of life, besides the subject we teach. And maybe (maybe) the students are looking for that essentially.

That is why I found really exciting the proposal that Antonio Millozzi, the MSMT’s organiser in Italy, made, in 2013, of translating into Italian the memoir by Keith Killby, In Combat, Unarmed, with one of my classes.

I had already had several contacts with the Monte San Martino Trust: a couple of my students had had a scholarship to study English from the Trust, and I had taken part in a Monte San Martino Freedom Trail from Servigliano. So I was really enthusiastic about the idea of making the students know Keith Killby through his own words.

I proposed the translation to Class II D of Liceo Classico “Annibal Caro” in Fermo (year 2013-2014). I gave each student a few pages and a deadline. Not all the students gave me back their work, but most of them did. They are Lucia Bibini, Ludovica Censi, Leonardo D’Errico, Francesca Granatelli, Alessio Monaldi, Ludovica Natale, Chiara Ramadori, Livio Santarelli, Giada Serafini, Anna Tassetti, Cecilia Valentini, Gloria Valentini and Luca Verdura. They did it in spite of their school homework, tests and revisions that are always very engaging, especially at the end of the school year.

The translators at Annibal Caro school in Fermo

I worked on the pages that had not been translated and revised the whole text. I am quite pleased with the result, although there might be some imperfections. I do hope the book will be read and diffused among Italian people, who may, in this way, get in touch with the witty, generous, open-minded Keith and appreciate what he has brought about, after his experience of war.

I am very grateful to him, the Monte San Martino Trust and Antonio Millozzi.

We presented the book on 14th November 2015, in the Casa della Memoria at Servigliano, reading extracts from it in the presence of the mayors of Monte San Martino and Servigliano. We plann to go to schools to have meetings with other students.