A peace postcard for that was painted by an ANZAC stretcher-bearer who served at the Battle of the Somme has been reprinted for the Centenary of the Armistice.
The original postcards were a fund raiser sold during World War One to support displaced adults and children.
The artwork was painted by the Italian/Australian artist Ernesto Genoni (1885-1974). He called his painting 'Guerra alla Guerra' - War on War.
Ernesto was an Italian, so, by rights, he should not have been accepted as a volunteer into the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), 16th Battalion. He was also a pacifist. He states that: “I enlisted to serve in the medical corps and not as a fighter”. After a few weeks training in Australia he was shipped to Egypt and then the Western Front in 1916.
Ernesto served as a stretcher bearer in the Battles of the Somme and Pozières. He described it as “The nightmare”. In a surprise development, Ernesto was conscripted off the battlefield into the Italian Army. But in Italy, Ernesto refused to take the oath of allegiance. The next years were spent appearing before military tribunals, in military prison, and serving as a medical orderly in the Military Hospital in Verona.
Ernesto’s sister, Rosa Genoni, was active in the peace movement. She was responsible for the distribution of the ’Guerra alla Guerra’ postcards. Rosa represented Italy at the Women’s Peace Congress at the Hague in 1915 and she was a founding member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
Ernesto survived the war and he pioneered organic farming in Australia.
Copies of this postcard reprinted for 'Armistice 1918-2018' are available FREE from Dr John Paull (please state a mailing address and quantity requested for teachers or groups) in an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paull, J. (2014). Ernesto Genoni: Australia's pioneer of biodynamic agriculture. Journal of Organics, 1(1), 57-81.
Paull, J. (2018). The Women Who Tried to Stop the Great War: The International Congress of Women at The Hague 1915. In A. H. Campbell (Ed.), Global Leadership Initiatives for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (pp. 249-266). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.