Monte Cassino

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July 7th 2011
Published: July 7th 2011
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Pompeii to Rome

Tuesday 21st June 2011

North today to Rome stopping on the way to pay our respects to the World War II fallen at Monte Cassino.

Our stop is at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery on the western outskirts of Cassino and is the final resting place of the British, New Zealand, Canadian, Indian, Gurkha and South African casualties.

The Battle of Monte Cassino also known as the Battle for Rome was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans in early 1944 with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome. The capture of Monte Cassino came at a high price. The Allies suffered around 55,000 casualties in the Monte Cassino campaign. German casualty figures are estimated at around 20,000 killed and wounded. Hard to imagine what it was like then when bathed today in summer sunshine.

Here my father served with the Bolton Artillery luckily he survived unlike many others both here and on other fronts. We met a visiting family from New Zealand who had lost an uncle here and this was the first time in 67 years that a family member had been able to visit his grave and pay their respects. A sobering moment.....

Because of their sacrifice we are here today free to roam.

Our thanks to them all.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

On to Rome.

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