Reply To: 57th Field Regt Royal Artillery

John FearonJohn Fearon

My late father was a Lance Bombardier in the 57th Field Regiment throughout the Italian Campaign. I have looked at the war diaries of the Regiment at the National Archives. After the Sicilian Campaign they landed at Catanzaro Marina in the toe of mainland Italy on 28/09/43. They then advanced with the 8th Army up the east coast of Italy including the battle of the River Sangro.
In February 1944 they were at Cassino. After the victory there they advanced east of Rome and at some point were transferred to support the American led 5th Army in the battles of the Gothic Line in central Italy.
They were therefore not at the landings at Salerno or Anzio. With regard to Yugoslavia I did not find any evidence of this but I did not manage to read all the files in the time I had (they are very bulky mainly full of indecipherable details of fire plans). However, my father did mention that toward the end of the campaign they were on standby to go to Yugoslavia but the move was cancelled. It may well be that a party was sent ahead to reconnoiter before the move was cancelled (it was standard practice to reconnoiter positions for the guns before they moved up).