About us

At its height over 1100 members worldwide have acknowledged that its veterans were the first Allied forces to land in Europe since the Second World War began. Currently there are now only three branches in the UK, plus one in New Zealand and we have a resident veteran representative in Italy, Mr Harry Shindler, MBE. Harry was awarded the MBE for his services in promoting public awareness of the part our veterans played in the Italian campaigns.

The Association continues now in a much smaller form. It has been active at events throughout each year of its existence. Every May saw its annual reunion weekend in Sussex. The weekend included its Annual General Meeting, then on Sunday a service of remembrance and thanksgiving was held in Chichester cathedral followed by a parade through its city centre. The weekend was rounded off with a special dinner attended by civic and military guests, representing allied forces from as far afield as Poland, Canada and New Zealand. The Association continues as the only one nationally active in events throughout the year.

Each year on 10th July, a service of dedication and remembrance has been held at the Association’s national memorial in Westgate Gardens, Canterbury, Kent. That date specifically commemorates the anniversary of Allied troops landing in Sicily.

Association representatives attend the annual Field of Remembrance service outside Westminster Abbey, as well as the Remembrance Sunday service and parade at the Cenotaph. The Association has also been privileged on several occasions to have been invited to parade its National standard at the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of members of the Royal family. This takes place on the evening before the Cenotaph parade.

Members currently receive a quarterly magazine which keeps them informed of the various key events the Association is involved in, as well as trips that are arranged from time to time. The magazine also contains accounts of campaign experiences and recollections from veteran members, in addition to photographs and humorous anecdotes.

There is a sizeable plot within the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire, which was dedicated to the Association in 2001; it is delineated as the outline of Sicily and mainland Italy, and populated throughout with pine trees, amongst which markers pinpoint the many battle sites of the campaign, so familiar to veterans. Overlooking this maturing plot, being re-dedicated in September 2016, is a beautifully engraved polished granite memorial, together with commemorative benches nearby. Together these are visible reminders of the geographical scope and human cost of the Allies’ gargantuan struggle, from Sicily and Salerno to Trieste.

When the Association reaches a point where it is no longer financially viable to continue, our website will continue into the future. We are uploading as much factual history to enable future generations to read the truths behind our veterans’ hard-fought battles and journeys through Italy.

The Association’s epitaph – “Let us remember our comrades in the air, on the seas, in those valleys and on those mountains. When you walk in peaceful lanes so green, remember us and think what might have been” is powerfully emotive for surviving veterans and families. It is very fitting therefore, that we should seek to take the Association forward as far into the future as we can, never forgetting the reasons why we enjoy the freedoms we have today.

71 Comments

  1. Frank de Planta

    Marion.

    You need his Service Record which will give you a detailed breakdown of where and with whom he served during his time in the Army. Go to http://www.gov.uk and find the Search box. In the Search box enter ‘How do I obtain a Service Record?’

    Follow the instructions. Easy.

    When you have the Service Record, I would be happy to decipher it for you.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  2. Fred Worthy

    Hi, my dear dad was taken as a POW at the landings in Salerno 9/9/1943 on the first day, he ended up for the duration in Stalag V111B but, I have never be able to find out where he was taken to before this in Italy, all I know is that he was initially taken to a camp in Okri Italy, and I’m not sure about that. Is there somewhere that have Italian POW records.

    Reply
  3. Frank devPlanta

    Fred.

    What Regiment was he in when he was captured. My money is on either 6 GREN GDS, 8 R FUSILIERS or 9 R FUSILIERS.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  4. Gary Tankard

    Frank,

    5492295 A/Cpl. F.C. Worthy was with 5 Hants.

    Regards,
    Gary.

    Reply
  5. Frank de Planta

    Fred.

    I have the 5 Hampshires story at Salerno if you want to read it.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  6. Denis Keenan

    My Father,William Keenan,Army number 3662403, landed at Salerno with 6 Battallion South lincolnshire Regiment on
    9/9/1943,and was injured on 11/9/1943.He was repatriated,via Algiers to UK January 1944 and discharged unfit in April 1944.
    I would like to know what company he was in, so as to be able to possibly trace his progress frm Algiers to Salerno and back again!
    And of course anything at all of interest.
    Thanks to anyone who may be able to help.

    Reply
  7. Frank de Planta

    Dennis.

    The chances of identifying your father’s Company is very, very slim. The War Diaries have quite a lot of detail on Officers but almost nothing on Other Ranks. You might try the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment’s history which is available for £10 from http://www.naval-military-press.com.

    Not sure where you got the ‘South Lincolnshire’ bit from.

    6 LINCOLNS were in 138 Infantry Brigade who were themselves part of 46 Infantry Division.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  8. Raniero Pedica

    Buongiorno, HELP !!!!
    in base ad un certificato di benemerenza del governo inglese e americano e relativa documentazione in mio possesso sto cercando informazioni dati, notizie, foto e familiari riguardanti due militari inglesi, forse fuggiti dal treno bombardato ad Allerona il 28 gennaio 1944 e rifugiati, sino alla liberazione in una grotta di Grotte Santo Stefano, provincia di Viterbo.
    I loro nomi e N° di Matricola sono:
    Alfred William Thomas Neale matr. 5503942 probabilmente del Reggimento Reale dell’Amphshire
    P. Hayler matr. 5512938 del Reggimento Reale dell’Amphshire la sua residenza era al 9 lynton road oakland Park Petersfield Hampshire.
    li sto cercando x conto di mio zio novantenne che desidera sapere qualcosa di quei militari che ha aiutato a sopravvivere.
    nel biglietto che il soldato NEALE ha lasciato a zio è scritto “queste persone ci hanno dato cibo ogni qual volta ne avevamo bisogno”.
    Grazie a tutti x l’eventuale disponibilità
    Raniero Pedica

    Reply
  9. Frank de Planta

    Raniero.

    Vai su http://www.ww2talk.com e chiedi esattamente le stesse informazioni. Gli esperti di quel sito web, ne sono molto fiducioso, saranno in grado di aiutarti.

    Saluti

    Frank

    Reply
    1. Raniero

      Grazie Frank, quindi occorre registrarsi, pagare una quota x le ricerche è poi si possono ottenere dei dati? i tempi sono lunghi x ottenere ciò? Ti sono infinitamente grato x le informazioni e i contatti utili che potrai fornirmi.
      Raniero Pedica

      Reply
      1. Frank de Planta

        Raniero.

        No, su http://www.ww2talk.com tutti sono amici e condividono gratuitamente le informazioni che hanno.

        Saluti

        Frank

        Reply
  10. Gary Tankard

    Frank/Raniero,

    Both of these soldiers served with 5th Battalion Hampshire and were captured in Tunisia. They were reported as no longer being prisoners of war in July 1944.

    Regards,
    Gary.

    Reply
    1. Raniero

      grazie Gary per le tue informazioni che cercherò di approfondire. Mi domando come siano poi finiti sino alla loro liberazione (10 giugno 1944) in una grotta di Grotte S. Stefano in provincia di Viterbo -Italia. Deduco ciò da alcuni libri che testimoniano in quel luogo la loro presenza, aiutati da gente del posto. il loro nome, infatti, è in un certificato di benemerenza americano e inglese, per averli aiutati.Sono infinitamente grato a te e a qualunque altra persona che mi può aiutare in questa ricerca. Gary non parlo inglese e x questa ricerca inglese mi sta aiutando mia figlia, qualsiasi traccia mi puoi indicare sarà per me preziosa.
      Raniero

      Reply

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