Moruzzi & Co restaurant, Neath

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Moruzzi & Co restaurant, Neath

This restaurant was founded by descendants of businessman Ernesto Moruzzi, who drowned during the Second World War while being deported because of his Italian ancestry.

Ernesto and his wife Maria moved to Wales c.1910 from Bardi, Italy. Initially they ran a tobacconist’s shop in Ogmore Vale. Later they established the Cosy Café in Neath. They had three sons.

Ernesto was arrested soon after Italy declared in June 1940 that it would fight alongside Germany in the Second World War. The UK authorities feared that Italian civilians in Britain could secretly help the enemy. Many Italian men were quickly interned.

Soon after his arrest, Ernesto was one of 1,200 Italian and German internees and prisoners of war who left Liverpool on the cruise liner Arandora Star, bound for Canada. Also on board were the ship’s regular crew and 400 troops to guard the prisoners.

The ship had only reached the north-west coast of Ireland when it was sunk by a U-boat on 2 July 1940. More than 800 of the people on board perished, including Ernesto. His body was found later, clad in a lifejacket. He was given a Roman Catholic burial in Ireland.

Morruzi & Co occupies a building which was a garage after the war. Cars such as MGs were sold here, and there were petrol pumps outside. Later it was a KwikFit car servicing centre. The Morruzi family initially ran a clothing business here, before opening the restaurant.

Postcode: SA11 1RW    View Location Map

Website of Moruzzi & Co (Facebook)