Reply To: The Eyes and Ears of the Regiment 67 Regt. RA

David Hartridge

Here is another update following an incredible journey this last 4 months learning so much about my Uncle John’s participation in the Gothic Line campaign with the 67th Field Regiment which has just culminated in an amazing trip back to Faenza to visit his grave in the War Cemetery there. We were there exactly 75 years to the day: 13th October 1944, albeit it was a Sunday this time, not a Friday!
Chris Harris has been fantastic in putting together booklets of information and a suggested Battlefield Tour which we did on the Saturday from Borgo San Lorenzo to Faenza via Marradi and Palazzuolo. I contacted the local information centre and was put in touch with two local guides who spent the day with us. They were so knowledgeable.
Not only did we travel the Arrow Route but we also visited the Farmhouse at Badia Si Susinana where the shell landed on the window sill of Uncle John’s bedroom and virtually killed him outright. It was an emotional trip and then we had a few hours in the cemetery on Sunday, which is a beautiful peaceful place. We left a glass poppy and a plaque at his graveside.
On the way back to Bologna we visited Argenta Gap War Cemetery too and paid our respects to Major David Shepherd MC who is buried there. He was Uncle John’s Battery Commander and shared the same room as Uncle John in the farmhouse. He was called out of the bedroom for a telephone call minutes before the shell landed. He wrote to my grandparents informing them of Uncle John’s death.
Our duty has been done… a big “Must Do” ticked off in my life…I’m indebted to this Forum for setting me off on such an incredible journey…Thank You…