Amedeo Guillet Obituary





Amedeo Guillet, who died on June 16 aged 101, was the Italian officer who led the last cavalry charge faced by the British Army.

Amedeo Guillet was born in Piacenza on February 7 1909 to a Savoyard-Piedmontese family of the minor aristocracy which for generations had served the dukes of Savoy, who later became the kings of Italy.

He spent most of his childhood in the south – he remembered the Austrian biplane bombing of Bari during the First World War – then followed family tradition and joined the army.

Guillet excelled as a horseman and was selected for the Italian eventing team to go to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. But Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 interrupted his career as a competition rider. Instead, using family connections, he had himself transferred to the Spahys di Libya cavalry with which he fought repeated actions.

He also witnessed aerial gas attacks on Emperor Haile Selassie's lightly armed warriors, which appalled world opinion. In Guillet's view, gas was largely ineffectual against an unentrenched enemy which could flee, and he himself was fighting with horse, sword and pistol....



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