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Sono onorato di aver saputo dell’esistenza di questa Associazione che ricorda le tristi vicende della Seconda guerra mondiale. Un grazie a tutti coloro che parteciparono a quelle azioni. In particolare a Harry Shindler che entrò a Roma per primo.
My father, Frank Leyland Powell, 1919 to 1990, served with the Royal Signals through North Africa and then into Italy. He was at Monte casino. His two brothers also served elsewhere in the Signals.
My father never talked much about the campaigns but rather more refelcted on the lifelong friendship he made, the values and ethics he learned from others as well as plain growing up!
My father came from Prescot, now a part of Merseyside. He wokred all his life for British Insulated Callendars Cables. It seems that all Prescot men were taken into the Signals due to their telephonic skills.
At my father’s funeral, I was privileged to meet several of his close wartime friends and learn more about them all.
On behalf of my late father, I would like to wish your association well for the future.
My Dad, John(Jack)Henry Twells was in the Royal Corps of Signals and served in the Western desert and Italy. I am interested in following his ‘lot’ and their history during the war. Is there a book you might recommend?
Hello Julia, I hope that we can help you find the information you are looking for. If you go to our web page and click on the ‘Publications’ button in the column on the right click on ‘Recommended Book Titles’ there are a number of books covering both Italy and North Africa. Also if you could fill out the request on the ‘Lost Trails’ page with as much information as you can and what you are looking to find out I can then upload it to the main web site and hopefully someone will be able to feed back the some of the details you are seeking. I hope this helps. Robin
Hi. My Grandad served in Italy and was also in the Royal Signals. My Grandad is now 93 and still here. His name is Ronald K Suttle.
Hello Trevor, Thankyou for your comments. You would be most welcome to join the Association if you wanted, just down load the application form from the link on the web site. Like you my father never talked much about his experiences during the war. We do have a ‘Lost Trails’ page and if you submit a request we can post it on that page and someone may be able to provide you with a bit more information about your fathers war in Italy. Robin
I have enjoyed your web site and the articles and stories contained. My father was a casualty in September 1944 so I never knew him. He is buried in Coriano Ridge (north of Rome). I have read many books about the so called forgotten army etc. One part of the story about the invasion and fighting in Italy interests me very much.
After the capture of Monte Casino the German armies on the west of Italy retreated north.
The 5th Army, after the breakout from Anzio, were in a position to advance eastwards and so cut off the retreating army of Kesselring. However Lt General Mark W. Clark, who commanded, the mainly American, 5th army, knew the date set for the invasion of Normandy on 6th June. He knew that Normandy would be headline news. So, as I have read, he ordered the 5th army, minus British units, to turn around. They walked unopposed into Rome on 4th June. Clark got his headlines and his picture by some steps. The German army escaped north and many more battles had to be fought north of Rome.
Please see my post below.
Jimmy, I consider Mark Clark to have been a self-serving showman and the idiot of the Italian campaign. He made three unforgivable decisions. (1) At the Salerno landings he refused to allow the American beaches to be shelled from the sea prior to the landing. As a result, the US sector was almost defeated and the entire landing jeapordised. (2) On January 20th 1944 he ordered the US 36 (Texas) Divn to cross the R Rapido, a narrow but fast flowing, deep watercourse, against the prepared defensive positions of the town of Sant Angelo near Cassino. There was a massive loss of life and a total failure of the crossing which was re-ordered on the following day with similar results. (After the war he was taken before a Congressional Hearing by members of the 36th Div but – not surprisingly – was exonerated.) Then (3) as you say, at the Anzio breakout he ordered a left turn towards Rome, against Alexander’s orders, and allowed the German 14th, I think, Army to avoid capture in the Valmontone Gap making it available for action further north in later months.
Hallo Mr Wright. I must take issue with you when you say that the 5th Army was “mainly American”. In fact, it was made up of one American and one British Corps. It had the British X Corps and the U.S. VI Corps under its command. My father was a medic in X Corps (a territorial unit loosely based on the Sherwood Foresters – hence its badge of an oak tree) However, I do agree with you about Mark Clark. My understanding – certainly from my father – was that his ‘dash for Rome’ was very much abhorred. Later in the Italy campaign, X corps became part of the 8th Army and ended up in Austria.
Dear Linda, I’m sure you will have copies of your father’s service records by now. Most of the personnel who landed at Salerno arrived via North Africa. My late father A. W. ‘Bill’ Berrill RAOC =was a beach master at Salerno. There are some very detailed and interesting articles on the Internet.
Best wishes – Doreen
My Grandfather and his twin brother both served at Anzio. As a young boy my Grandpa would recite his stories to us. One that stands out was that the American commanders has specifically requested a battle hardened British army. Although the Americans led the campaign and it was called the US 5th army half of it was made up of British and commonwealth soldiers.
The casualty rates at Anzio were very high and therefore, Britain and the Commonwealth countries that served in this campaign should not be forgotten.
I have been to Anzio and Monte Cassino and have seen for myself just how tragic these battle sites were for all involved.
My father who passed away in 1992, served in Italy for a short period approx, 1month I remember him telling me he was in Salerno but not much more as I think he found it difficult to talk about. But I would like to know if he was eligible for the Italy Star he was wounded severely and spent a long time in hospital he was in Italy from I think 13/09/1943–11/10/1943, his name was Noel Pritchard and he was in the Sherwood Foresters with the 5th battalion.
Many thanks Linda
If you resubmit all of the information that you do know about your father and what you would like to fid out using the ‘Lost Trails’ button on our web site I can upload your questions and hopefully some one will be able to help fill in some of the gaps for you.
If you do not have them you can apply to the Army records for your fathers military records, there is a charge for this and it takes a few weeks but it could provide some more information not just about your fathers overseas service but what else he did and where he went. This link will give you more help on how to apply for the records https://www.gov.uk/guidance/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
Check out this web site http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/medals/italy-star/ it sets out the requirements for eligibility amongst other things.
Finally I would hope that you may consider becoming a member of our association, a downloadable application form is available from the bottom of the contact us page.
Thank you so much for your help, I made a mistake on the Italy star he already had that its the Africa star I was meant to be looking for(put it down to age) but I have looked on forces war records and have just sent for my dads service records. So hopefully I will soon have a story to tell. I will keep in touch
Once again many thanks
I am wondering if anybody knows anything about the 2nd SAS Regiment and the Special Raiding Squadron during Operation Husky, Narcissus and Avalanche. I am asking about this because my Great Grandfather was an MI6 Field Operative from 1942-1954 and during this period he served with those regiments during those operations. During this period he was known as Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Bennett DSO* OBE DSC.
Any help would be appreciated.
Anybody out there know of Sgt Paddy Kiernan, Royal Engineers in WW” Italy?
Hello evryone ,
I was suggested to enter this in this group since I am carrying out a research concerning the British soldiers who took part in the Italian campaign .
The aim of my work is to collect as many diaries, accounts and impressions as possible in order to reflect upon their attitudes towards Italy and fascism.
Thank you very much for adding me and thanks in advance to those who’ll reply.
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