Knutsford's Prince of Innocence | Knutsford Times

Knutsford’s Prince of Innocence

By on June 27, 2012


Few men have survived seventy years to write a first-­‐hand account of the brutality of the Second World War.

Maurice Gorham Nash has never forgotten July 1944 when, in a remote area of Tuscany, he stumbled on the immediate aftermath of the massacres of 187 Italian citizens, all victims of shocking reprisals by German forces.

A half-­‐century later he set out to investigate what largely remained one of the most moving, untold atrocities of the war in Italy. The task was enormous since many documents, even at this late date, remained ‘secret’.

Undeterred he pressed on, his research returning him to Italy and, in the Piazza IV Novembre of Castelnuovo de Sabbioni, he stood before a shrine erected where the victims of the massacre had been assembled, shot and then incinerated – ‘I Massacrati Di Ieri Sono Gl’Immortali Di Oggi’. (The Massacred of Yesterday are the Immortal of Today.)

“The Price of Innocence” is astonishing in that it incorporates not only the author’s own testimony and those of the Italian communities, but also extensive declassified interrogations he was eventually able to unearth from the British Special Investigations Branch inquiry carried out in the months following the massacres.

Maurice Gorham Nash, now aged eight-­‐nine, was a young R.E.M.E sergeant with the British 8th Army during the Italian campaign (September 1943 – May 1945) and “The Price of Innocence” additionally catalogues some of the major battles, including Cassino, the Gothic line in the northern Apennines, and the massacre of 335 Italians in the Ardeatine Caves. He was demobbed with the rank of Warrant Officer in 1946.

The Price of Innocence:
ISBN: 978 0 949001 44 3
Published by C.C.Publishing (Chester)
Softback: 314 pages, including 80+ colour & mono illustrations £14.95

About Maurice Nash

Born Reading, Berkshire on the 29th May, 1923. His education was received in Reading at Katesgrove and George Palmer Schools, at the end of which he embarked on an apprenticeship in the electrical department of a local engineering firm.

Joined Army in 1941 and saw active service in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, North Africa, Italy and Austria. Demobilised 1946 from Royal Corps of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with the rank of Warrant Officer.

In 1947 commenced a four years’ course of combined academic studies and practical training which led his becoming eligible for membership of the major engineering institutions. This course encompassed full-­‐time attendance at technical institutes in London and South Yorkshire, together with a graduate apprenticeship in electricity generation with the Southern Division of the then British Electricity Authority.

Moved to the North West of England in 1951, progressing over some eight years through a series of appointments in the electricity generation, atomic energy, heavy chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.

In the mid-­‐1950s granted corporate membership of both Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Fuel (now the Energy Institute).

Between 1956 and 1968 taught, on a part-­‐time basis, Mathematics and Electrical Power Engineering to Higher National Certificate students at Liverpool College of Technology (now John Moores University).

Served as a governor of John Hamilton High School, Liverpool from 1961 to 1966.

Employed from 1959 by Distillers (Biochemicals) Ltd., a company acquired in 1963 by Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis. Worked at the Speke, Liverpool, factory for the remainder of his professional career, latterly managing all project engineering at the site. Took early retirement in 1982.

Now eighty-­‐nine and living in Knutsford, Cheshire, he is a keen walker, reader and prolific letter-­‐writer. He is also a great lover of music, in particular the works of Puccini, Lehár, Verdi, Donizetti and Gilbert & Sullivan.

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