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Monte Grappa: a boy named Peter Pan.

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Monte Grappa: a boy named Peter Pan.

Postby Francesco Baracca » 03 Sep 2010, 23:18

This is the story of a “boy-soldier” whose bones lie on our mountains.

The extraordinary coincidences with the tale by a Scotsman James Barrie will soon become a book thanks to the interest of Ferdinando Celi (Vicenza - Italia).

Into the north section of the Ossuary there’s the Austro-Hungarian graveyard and it is here that, since 1935, a very curious, inexplicable and fascinating event: has been taking place for the last 70 years. Every day, unknown hands have been posing field-flowers, mountain stones and little shells, on grave number 107.

In that grave lies the body of a soldier, whose name is PETER PAN.

A few years ago, Ferdinando Celi, from Pove del Grappa, became interested into this story and managed to find many similarities between Monte Grappa’s Peter Pan and the fairytale hero.

Beginning from the name.

Soldier Peter belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire; he was born on August, 21 ag 1897 in Ruszkabanya-Krassòszoreny, Hungary, and died in battle on September, 19 th 1918 during an attack in Col Caprile.

Another coincidence: just like Barrie’s character, Hungarian Peter had lived in a sort of Wonderland, a village that didn’t exist; so it’s useless to try to find it on the map, just like Wonderland.

The mystery of this story made Fernando Celi even keener to know more about the Hungarian Pan and to try to find the unpronounceable place where he was born: Ruszkabanya-Krassòszoreny.

It wasn’t simple, but eventually Celi discovered that that little village is today called

“Rusca Montana”. He also received a letter from the Mayor of that town, doctor Dorin Ecobici who confirmed that the soldier Peter Pan was indeed born in their village Rusca Montana.

Celi then organized a trip to that distant village and he made many friends who, together with the collaboration of various local institutions, helped set up the Monte Grappa Museum.

This relationship, born from both curiosity and coincidences became even stronger when a square was named Monte Grappa’s Square in the (now) Romanian village and the re-naming of the road that leads to the house of the soldier: “Peter Pan Road”.

Now Grave 107 lies on Monte Grappa, where every day wild-flowers, mountain stones and little shells, appear, like magic.

Nobody has ever seen the person who comes to Peter’s grave every day but it is this compassionate gesture that has given life to a new tale: the one of a soldier, buried in the Austro-Hungarian section of the Ossuary of Monte Grappa, who arrived there from distant Romania.

In these mountains and valleys there is still a young man, frozen in time whose life was ended by fate on September 19 th 1918.

Peter Pan was only 21.


Graf van Peter Pan.


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