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36 Comments

  1. Vittorio Viscardi

    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.

    Reply
  2. Trevor Powell

    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.

    Reply
    1. Julia Emerson

      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?
      Many thanks
      Julia

      Reply
      1. Robin HollambyRobin Hollamby

        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

        Reply
      2. Karl Lawrence

        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.

        Reply
    2. Robin HollambyRobin Hollamby

      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

      Reply
    3. Karl Lawrence

      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.

      Reply
  3. Jimmy Wright

    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.

    Reply
    1. Frank Wilson

      Please see my post below.

      Reply
    2. Robert Hanson

      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.

      Reply
  4. Frank Wilson

    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.

    Reply
    1. Doreen Hansen

      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

      Reply
    2. Joe

      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.

      Reply
  5. Linda

    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

    Reply
    1. Robin HollambyRobin Hollamby

      Hi 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.
      Robin

      Reply
      1. Linda Armin

        Dear Robin

        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
        Linda

        Reply
  6. Mitchell

    Hello,

    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.

    Regards, Mitchell

    Reply
  7. mskiernan5155

    Anybody out there know of Sgt Paddy Kiernan, Royal Engineers in WW” Italy?

    Reply
  8. Mara Piconi

    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.

    Reply
  9. Janet Barkway

    I am in possession of a hard backed book that belonged to my late father ( The York’s and lancs ) I believe were referred to as the Young and Lovely’s

    ‘ a diary of events
    The York and Lancaster regiment during the campaign in N. Africa and Italy .
    Taken from a diary compiled by Major R. elmhurst
    It includes maps and a roll of honour .
    My father served in Italy .

    Reply
  10. Frank de Planta

    Janet.

    I would very much like to see that book. I am interested in 1 Y&L’s activities on the Garigliano crossing operations on 17-18 Jan 44 and then what they got up to whilst at Anzio.

    Could I ask you to get hold of me through my website at http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  11. Janet Barkway

    Hello Frank

    My wife Janet is having trouble getting a message to you via your website so please can you contact her direct on janetseaside@hotmail.com she can then send you photographs of the book if you so wish.
    Best Regards
    Edward

    Reply
  12. Frank de Planta

    Edward.

    Janet has reached me. Thank you so much.

    I had not seen that book before.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  13. Peter Leedale

    My late father, John Leedale was in the Royal Artillery, he served in North Africa and then in the Italian Campaign. He was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of Monte Casino and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp until he was repatriated by the Americans. He lived in Blackpool.

    Reply
  14. Frank de Planta

    Peter.

    Do you know specifically which Regiment in the Royal Artillery he was in when he was captured? The majority of the Royal Artillery manned the guns a few miles back but small numbers were up with the infantry units controlling the fire of those guns. I suspect that he was one of these men.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  15. Rosemarie kibble

    My father Charlie Corden was in the RASC. He was in Italy and in October 1944 they received a commendation for their work involving a mule train.
    I am going to apply for his service record. We know nothing about this part of his life as he never spoke about it.
    Any knowledge would be much appreciated.

    Reply
  16. Frank de Planta

    Rosemarie.

    Please share his Service Record when you get. I am very keen on mules in Italy, and it would be good to know where he was operating in Italy.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
  17. Lee RedgriftLee Redgrift

    Hi, My Grandfather was posted from 1st HAA England to Sicily in Aug 1943. He was transferred to X(4) RATD February 1945, Then the following month he was transferred to X(4) A.
    He later signed up after being awarded his Italy star to draft RAJPN India.
    The reason why i’m here for any help is that i cannot find any mention of the X list, RATD RAJPN abbreviations even through military websites. Can anyone help piece my Grandads service please..

    Reply
    1. Frank de Planta

      Lee.

      If you go to http://www.ww2talk.com, one of the experts on the site will explain all three to you.

      If I recall, there is a whole thread devoted to decyphering Service Records.

      Regards

      Frank

      Reply
  18. Julia

    Hi my grandad Ronald whittle (2720644) Irish guards was in North Africa and Italy 10.05.43 – 04.02.44 and then POW in Germany Leipzig I think he was captured in Anzio (05.02.44 -15.05.45 ) . I am interested to know how he was captured – also no idea why he joined the Irish guards as is from West Yorkshire – was there a recruitment drive – mainly interested to see what articles there are about how he was captured etc . My dad is 70 and my grandad is dead – I never met him – he had stomach complications they said this was because at the end of the war the POW were left with no food – not sure if this is true or how bad this was – can you help thanks

    Reply
    1. Frank de Planta

      Julia.

      Get me through my website http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk and I will give you what I have on 1 IG at Anzio. Your grandfather was fortunate to survive because 1 IG got brutalised in an attack towards Campoleone on 29-30 Jan 44 and most of the Battalion was destroyed.

      If he was captured on 5 Feb 44, it was when the German were counter-attacking the area around Aprilia.

      Regards

      Frank

      Reply
  19. Paul Goddard

    Hi all , I have got many years remembered my mums cousin who died during the campaigns.
    He was trooper Bertie Coote from Luton of the north Irish horse and who died 5 aug 1944.

    Regards
    Paul

    Reply
  20. Frank de Planta

    Paul.

    You should get in touch with the North Irish Horse Association. I guided members of the Association at Cassino last year where we looked in detail at the NIH’s attack on the Hitler Line in support of 2 Canadian Indian Brigade.

    They were absolutely delightful.

    Regards

    Frank

    Reply
    1. Paul Goddard

      Frank
      Thanks for the info, I’ll contact them and start my journey with you and the remaining few

      Paul

      Reply
  21. Nigel Church

    My father served in Italy with the middlesex regiment. He rarely spoke of his experience, but did talk about fighting around the Factory. I would like to know where the Factory is

    Reply
  22. Frank de Planta

    Nigel.

    2/7 Middx Regt were the Machine Gun Battalion for 1 Infantry Division at Anzio. They had a Company of Vickers Machine Guns, a Company of 4.2 inch Mortars and a company of 20mm or 37mm Oerlikon (cannot remember exactly which calibre) anti-aircraft guns.

    The Factory was the soldiers’ word for Aprilia. It was one of five model Fascist towns built by Mussolini. It is just north of Anzio.

    Get in touch with me via http://www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk and I will put you in touch with a whizz on 2/7 Middx Regt.

    Regasrds

    Frank

    Reply

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