Welcome to the Amedeo Guillet website

Posted: 12th January 2012 by sebastianokelly in Fascist Italy

This website is dedicated to Amedeo Guillet (1909-2010) and has been created by his biographer and friend Sebastian O’Kelly.

The site is for all admirers of that extraordinary, kind and giving man, and for those who are curious about his achievements.

Amedeo was almost certainly the last man alive to have led cavalry in war, and certainly the last to lead a cavalry charge against the British army.

That action on January 21 1941 at Keru on the Eritrean Lowlands remained, for those who witnessed it, the most vivid memory of the entire war. It is recorded in numerous memoires, and in both British and Italian military archives.

Amedeo’s guerrilla war that followed the general surrender of Italian East Africa, in which he was assisted by his beautiful, gun-totting lover Khadija, is less well documented. He fought on to tie down as many British soldiers as he could in order to help the Italian cause in the Libyan desert, at that point reinforced by Rommel and the Afrika Korps.

In spite of my efforts at balance, the Italian press insist on referring to Amedeo as “Italy’s Lawrence of Arabia”, and, in fact, the Rizzoli paperback of my book does exactly the same thing on the cover blurb.

Italy’s Amedeo Guillet is quite sufficient, I would have thought.

Readers are warmly invited to leave posts on the website and to upload photographs that they feel are relevant.

E cari lettori italiani sono pregati di lasciare commenti anche in italiano, come vogliono.

The photographs on this site were found by the author in dusty old photo albums at Amedeo’s house in Kentstown, Co Meath, Ireland.

The coloured photographs of Eritrea were taken in March 2000 either by the author or by Rosangela Barone, the former director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin.

All those who loved Amedeo owe Rosangela a huge debt of gratitude in caring for him during the last ten years of his life, and for ensuring that he could die peacefully and at home in Rome in June 2010, aged 101.

Sebastian O’Kelly

  1. What an interesting read – I recommend you pick up this book when you get the chance.

  2. Issayas says:

    Great blog! Interesting history. I’ve a blog and I would like to interview you about your book. It is a blog on Eritrean history and culture.

  3. Piero Pompili says:

    Grazie per aver ricordato un nostro grande uomo e soldato.
    thanks for your work on this great hero.

  4. Giorgio Negrini says:

    ringrazio, come hanno già fatto altri, di aver ricordato con una eccellente biografia un grande italiano e un grande ufficiale di cavalleria

  5. Lorenzo says:

    Thank for your dedication to remembering the life and the feats of a great man. Bravery and honour deserve always respect and the fond memory of the posterity.
    Eterno Onore al Comandante Diavolo !!!

  6. davide says:

    Un sincero grazie per aver ricordato Amedeo, grande Uomo e grande Soldato!
    Una storia affascinante e straordinaria, purtroppo poco conosciuta in Italia.

    • admin says:

      Caro Davide, Tante grazie per aver lasciato un messaggio sul site dedicato ad Amedeo Guillet.
      Sebastian O’Kelly

  7. Nerio says:

    Una storia da film, immortale, da far studiare nelle scuole..beato chi lo ha conosciuto…mi commuovo ogni volta che rivedo il documentario fatto dalla Rai…
    la sua casa in Irlanda è visitabile?esiste un museo con tutti i suoi cimeli?

  8. Eliza says:

    Thank you for putting this online. I was pregnant with triplets when I saw the RAI documentary. I decided to name one of my boys after him and after they were all born, sent a photo to the great man himself. He replied with such a beautiful note, in his own cursive, confirming his kindness and grace.

  9. John O'Brien says:

    E’ un vero peccato ,che questo uomo, un vero eroe ed essempio per tutti, non e’ piu’ conosciuto non solo in Italia, ma in tutto il mondo, non solamente per la sua vita quasi incredibile, ma per i suoi valori, la sua fedelita’ ai principi piu’ importanti che dovrebbero guidare le vite di tutti e per l’umanita’, dignita’ e rispetto che mostrava a tutti, dal alto ai piu’ bassi attori in ogni storia, di cui ha visuto cosi’ tanti.
    This man is sadly little known not only in Italy, but in the entire world. He was a heroic and immensley talented person, yet he always carried himself humbly, courageously, fathfully to his values and to the highest standards men can display. He was before his time and one can only hope that Italy can find his likes, even in a small way, in opening new dialogue with Africa as we look to a new, humane, respectful and equal partnership with all the peoples of that continent.

  10. John O'Brien says:

    I note with regret that we do not have many comments here in recent times, apart from my own. I arrived at knowledge of Amedeo’s life just recently and fortuitiously, through meeting Rosangela Barone through mutual friends, shortly before her own passing. I missed so much in not meeting her earlier. I am far from a spring chicken myself, I might add. But spurred by the gift of the two amazing volumes of “La mia Tela Yemeinita” I have launched myself into an exacting and very rewarding study of his amazing lives, his values, his humanity and the powerful examples he offers us all on how to “be”, how to meet challenges, how to treat others with respect and justice and how to at least know what may be possible, in the right circumstances, though we will probably never see his like again !!

    But we should all try to keep the memory and lessons of this important life alive and discussed, for at least another 101 years !! I will happily respond to any suggestions, ideas, challenges or questions. I believe that we will always need exemplars like Amedeo to enlighten us on the pathways to peace and greater respect and justice for all.

    For instance, I would dearly love to discuss a man like Amedeo’s take on the horrors of America’s and Israel’s attempted on-going genocide in Palestine and perhaps ask him why the Irish are so attuned to the suffering of the Palestinians and remain so immune to the ubiquitous lies and propoganda used with such success by American and Israeli Zionists to cover their vile crimes against humanity and pollute the great humanity that one finds in Judaism when the racist doctrine of Zionism is rejected, as it should always be.