Good to have you back. This photo is where it all began for me, below in the picture is my great grandfather Antonio Campagna on the right and my grandfather George Emidio Campagna, left.
This wedding photo is actually the wedding of my great grandfather with his son as his best man, unfortunately, my great grandfather died in 1985 and my grandfather died only four years later in 1989. I myself, was born in 1987 so didn’t really get the chance to know them, even so this photo has always been very important to me and started me on the way to finding out about my Italian heritage.
1960’S London, The Dapper Don’s.
My great grandfather arrived from Naples when he was 20 years old to work for his uncle Emilio Maselli, His uncle died young (which as i think about it is a bit alarming as I look through my notes there is a lot of young deaths) leaving a wife and six children, my great grandfather married his wife, he was 22 and she was 38. Antonio was a cafe proprietor; they had one child my Grandfather George Emidio Campagna pictured above.
Everyone in my family spoke of a town called Arpino, as there is a Santa di Arpino near Naples and my grandfather arrived from Naples we naturally thought that we came from Naples, this caused a lot of confusion in the tracing of the family as when we wrote to the comunes for paperwork about the family we received replies stating no knowledge of us.
After a bit more searching we found a town called Arpino in Frosinone, Lazio, we wrote to the comune and to our amazement received paperwork confirming that my grandfather was indeed from the town and also had 4 brothers and 2 sisters.
The confusion with Naples was because when their parents died my great grandfather and his younger brother Carlo was sent to live in Naples with their older brother Francesco. Once again, tragedy struck, as Francesco now the boy’s guardian was killed in a car crash and the two young boys were sent to live in an orphanage and grew up in Naples.
Since those early days things have been brighter and moving down through the generation we have had great pleasure in seeing in 2012 the great nephew Sam Budd of Maria Maselli become the Mayor of Spelthorne Staines in London and furthermore, my own father Barry Campagna the great, great grandson of Emidio become the current Mayor of Canvey Island in Essex our home town.
The Campagna’s 2018
Thanks for listening