Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio|
Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Ortona
Salerno War Cemetery
Sangro River War Cemetery
The cemetery is about two miles north of Anzio on the road to Rome. It was established in January 1944, following the sea-borne landings, near the site of a casualty clearing station. Burials were made both at the time and later, after the fighting had moved on. It contains 2,200 British, 70 Canadian, small numbers of Australian, New Zealand and 25 South African burials.
The River Moro enters the Adriatic not far from Ortona in the Province of Chieti. On 6th December 1943 Canadian forces crossed the river near its mouth and at Rogatti, about four miles up-river, after overcoming stiff German resistance. They went on to take Ortona on the 28th, after a week of bitter street fighting. In that month alone the 1st Canadian Division suffered over 500 fatal casualties.
The site of the war cemetery, on high ground, was selected by the Canadian Corps in January 1944 and bodies were brought into it from the surrounding battlefields. The Canadians remained in this sector for a further three difficult months, undertaking offensive actions in January and patrolling throughout the period. The cemetery contains 1,400 Canadian burials, 170 British, 40 New Zealand, 15 South African and small numbers from Australia and India. This cemetery contains the largest number of Canadian burials in Italy.
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Salerno is the chief town of its province and the war cemetery is nearly 10 miles to its south on the coast road. It was near Salerno that British and American forces landed on 8th and 9th September 1943, in an attempt to cut off German units. There was fierce fighting for days in the beachhead, and not until the 16th did the Germans begin to withdraw and the Allied hold become secure. The site of the cemetery was chosen in November 1943 and contains those who died in the battles in and following the landings, some from the General Hospital near Salerno and others who were brought in from south-western Italy. The cemetery contains 1, 750 British burials, 30 Canadian, 10 Australian, and 35 Indian, with small numbers of New Zealanders and South Africans.
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One of the most difficult operations in the advance up the Adriatic coast in November and December 1943 was the crossing of the River Sangro. This, like the Moro and so many other rivers in Italy, runs off the central mountains to the sea, forming a formidable natural barrier to advances to the north or the south. The site of the cemetery lies two miles inland from the mouth of the River Sangro in the Province of Chieti. It was chosen by the British V Corps and into it were concentrated the bodies of men who had died in this sector during the fierce fighting and the subsequent static period. The 8th Indian Division was here during those months, 4th Indian arrived in January 1944, and 10th Indian in April; their participation is reflected in the number of their graves.
The New Zealanders, too, were engaged in this area against stiff German opposition and later beyond the Sangro. The Canadians, who have two graves in this cemetery, buried most of those who died near here in Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, about eight miles to the north-west.
Sangro River Cemetery contains 1, 800 British burials, 360 New Zealand, 75 South African and nearly 400 Indian; there are also small numbers of Australian and former High Commission Territories' burials. The Cremation Memorial in the cemetery commemorates by name a further 520 Indians who were cremated in accordance with their faith. With a total of well over 3,000 burials and cremations this war cemetery ranks second in size (after Cassino War Cemetery) in Italy.
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|The text on this page has been taken from Courage Remembered, by Kingsley Ward and Major Edwin Gibson.|