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.