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“When you walk in peaceful lanes so green – remember us – and think what might have been”

We do remember them.


Veterans of the Italian Campaign, allied families and supporters!


  1. Robert hopkins

    My uncle Alexander Hopkins served with the Scots Guards and was killed in July 1944-he is buried in Florence CWG cemetry.
    Does anyone have any knowledge of the Scots Guards in Italy.

  2. Roger Freeman


    I am the nephew of a British soldier William (Bert) Goodwin who served in the Royal Artillery in North Africa and Italy during WW2. My Uncle held the Africa and Italy Star medals.

    Sadly my Uncle died last year at his home in Cambridgeshire, England and I attended his funeral there in January 2018. I myself was born in Cambridgeshire but immigrated with my family to Australia in 1988. I did however keep close connections with my Uncle and visited him many times in England since we moved to Australia.

    My Uncle left a very detailed dairy of his life in the army in Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Italy from 1940 up until his demob in Austria in early 1946. His diary is to be published as a book in England later this year.
    During his time in Italy his unit the 118 Bty 30th Regiment Lt AA Royal Artillery was attached to the 10th Indian Division where he befriended an Indian soldier of the 3/5 Mahrattas, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. The soldiers name was (Niak) Yeshwant Ghadge and he subsequently was awarded the VC.
    My Uncle and Yeshwant Ghadge continued their friendship after meeting at Monte Cassino. They then saw one another again several times as the 8th Army and 10th Indian Div advance continued North along the Tiber River Valley.

    As part of the 8th Army advance up the Tiber Valley during June/July 1944 my Uncle was attached to the 10th Indian Division as an artillery spotter, he had had radio and morse training earlier in Egypt.
    After his attachment he was carrying the Type 18 field radio set on his back most of the time spotting for the Mahrattas to call up artillery support shoots when required.
    After passing through Assisi and Umbertide they found themselves just south of Citta di Castello near Montone.
    After Montone was taken by the 1st Batt Kings Own on the 6th July the 3/5 Mahrattas advanced across the ridges through Mt Cucco to the River Lana gorge, supported by the 8th Manchesters on their right.
    A unit of the Mahrattas eventually reached an old deserted farmhouse known as Morlupo on the south side of the gorge, this included Niak Yeshwant Ghadge and my Uncle as their artillery spotter.
    At dawn on the 7th/8th July Yeshwant Ghadge and his section of sepoys bid farewell to my Uncle and proceeded down into the river gorge with the aim of taking another old farmhouse on the north side of the gorge which had been observed to hold a German mountain unit.
    Just 30 minutes later my Uncle observed through binoculars the charge of Yeshwant Ghadge’s section on a German machine gun position located just below the farmhouse.
    The action is well gazetted in the official VC citation whereupon most of the brave Indian soldiers were killed in the assault and Yeshwant Ghadge went on to kill the German machine gun crew single handed only to be shot twice, in the chest and back, by two separate German snipers (My Uncle had told me that German machine gun positions were nearly always covered by at least two snipers).

    My Uncle describes all this in detail in his diary. He goes on to note his frustration in not being able to bring down an artillery support shoot for the Mahrattas as the Type 18 set failed to work in the River Lana gorge. He also said that the action was so close to the old farmhouse that any shoot would probably have killed the Mahrattas as well.

    Yeshwant Ghadge and his comrades have no known grave. Yeshwant Ghadge is only acknowledged at the CWGC at Cassino on the list of the missing.
    My Uncle always believed that Yeshwant Ghadge and his comrades (and possibly the Germans to) were buried near the old farmhouse by either a unit of the 3/18 Gurkha Rifles, the 8th Manchesters or Kings Own who all came through the area position after them later that day as they continued advancing towards Citta di Castello.

    My Uncle continued for many years to try and trace the grave location near the farmhouse without success visiting Citta di Castello and the area several times over the years.
    The only lead of any significance he spoke to me about was to be told by the elderly son of a farmer in the 1970’s, who had kept sheep on the same mountainside as the old farmhouse, that his father had found a body of a soldier buried when he was digging a culvert after the war in 1948/49, There was obvious reticence from the farmer to say any more as he feared the local authorities would in some way blame him for it not being reported at the time. The farmer went on to say that he thought the body was that of an Indian soldier by an ‘armband’ and his British style helmet. Unfortunately none of this can be verified now.

    In July 1994 at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Citta di Castello my Uncle was welcomed by the mayoress and awarded an Italian civil award for his efforts and connections with the town. On that trip he was accompanied by the Bristol documentary film producer of ICON Films.

    My Uncle also spent many years fighting for Yeshwant Ghadge’s widow, Mrs Laxmibhal Ghadge, to receive a full army pension back in India appropriate for a VC award.
    At the time prime minister John Major had announced that VC pension awards were to be increased by 100 pounds. My Uncle continued to fight the MOD for several years over this only finally to gain a rather small one off payment for Mrs Ghadge and a letter of apology from John Major, a rather sad outcome I thought for the remaining family of such a brave man. They had no children.

    Since my Uncle died I have continued in my own research in trying to find out more information as to where Yeshwant Ghadge’s grave may be. I visit Citta di Castello regularly and will be doing so again this coming European summer to continue my search. I am seventy five years old now this year and admit that I am getting a bit long in the tooth for trudging over the Umbrian hillsides.

    In the continued hope of obtaining the least little bit of relevant information I wondered if any of your members who have, or had, relatives serving with either the Kings Own or 8th Manchesters in Italy during June/July 1944 have ever been told, or may even have seen mentioned in a dairy, anything to do with the action on the 7th/8th July by the 3/5 Mahrattas at or near Morlupo above the River Lana gorge ?.

    My Best Regards,

    Roger H Freeman.

    7 Semmens Road
    McLaren Vale
    South Australia 5171.

    1. Nigel Chipperfield

      Dear Mr Freeman,

      I have just read your account of your Uncle’s service in Italy.

      My wife’s grandfather was killed in Italy on 01/07/44 while serving in the same unit as your uncle.

      I wondered whether the aforementioned book had yet been published?

      Kind regards,

      Nigel Chipperfield, Adelaide, South Australia.

      1. Roger Freeman

        Unfortunately I have only just seen your response to my mail in 2019. I am now back in the UK for a few weeks again searching at the National Archives for relevant documents to my Uncles service in Italy with the 30th LAA Regiment RA. Prior to this during June I was in Italy for 3-weeks and visited several CWGC Cemetery’s locating the friends of my Uncle who were killed in 1944. I also was assisting a local Italian Historical Group in Citta di Castello in arranging the erection of a memorial to all those soldiers killed in the Upper Tiber Valley in June-Aug 1944. The book in question was published back in 2019.
        I will be back home in McLaren Vale South Australia in August.

  3. Duncan machell

    Hello I am the son of a Royal engineer who served in Italy 43 45 . I would like to trace his records And route through Italy. I would be very thankful for any help .

  4. Duncan machell

    I have been reading more comments and would like to add I have my fathers service number and his Italy star would be very thankful for any help.

  5. John Rye

    Salerno talk 9th Sept
    Location & time?
    Can I attend?

  6. Colin Meanwell

    Trying to trace my Grandfather Harry Meanwell! RASC I’ve been told he served in Italy during the war. Tried the usual websites, military records and the such like with no luck. Any information would be much appreciated

    1. colin Pheasey

      you need to apply to Glasgow for all his records as I did. it will take a little time but it is well worth the effort. all the information will be included and you can start to link things is on Gov web site search for records. I have been looking at my fathers records for the past 9 years and have a large collection of information. War records of each regiment are available if you dig hard enough. My fathers were in The Royal Artillery in London and I live in Manchester. we had to travel to London.Contact Glasgow as a start.

  7. Jan Lancaster

    I visited the National Memorial Arboretum today and was disappointed to see the Italy Star association board is very faded and just on a bit of card. Are there plans to make a lasting memorial there ?

    1. Robin HollambyRobin Hollamby

      Dear Jan,
      Thank you for visiting our web site.
      I am a little confused by your comment.
      If you scroll down to near the bottom of the welcome page you will find several photographs which were take in May this year of our shiny black memorial.
      Did you happen to take a picture of what you were talking about?
      You can contact me directly from

      Robin Hollamby. National Vice Chairman.

  8. Tony MarsdenTony Marsden

    I made an enquiry on your website as a guest and got a reply next day! Fabulous! I had to register to reply which I did but now it says no replies on this thread??


    Dear Mr De Planto,

    I write regarding my father Gurbachan Singh. Unfortunately he passed, before I got the opportunity to ask him details about his service. This much I do know, he was awarded the Italy Star and was stationed in Italy from 1945 to 1946. He served with the British Indian Army and I’ve tried to decipher information from an old army photo, without success.

    I therefore write to ask if you have old photos of British Indian Soldiers that were stationed there and awarded the medal. Alternatively could you point me in the direction of where I can obtain such pictures and information.


    Ms G Mann

  10. Ruth Alston

    I have just discovered you. My father fought with the 56th Division, and was at Salerno.
    1. Please could tell me what the Association does?
    2. I would be interested in visiting Salerno etc. when the pandemic is better under control Could you please send me any details?

    Thank you so much.

Comments are closed.