Commission still hoping to trace relatives of three soldiers killed in 1944
22 January 2013
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Ministry of
Defence are making final efforts to trace the relatives of three
soldiers killed in 1944, before their headstones are erected at Ancona War Cemetery in Italy.
The three men had
escaped from a PoW camp in Italy late in 1943 or early in 1944, and
they had joined a resistance fighter, Mario Mootis, who is believed
to have been of Italian-Belgian extraction.
On 11 March 1944 they came across a German patrol as they tried
to cross the Dragone bridge south of Ancona. All four were killed
and their bodies thrown over the bridge.
Local people buried them as unknown men in the local cemetery at
Montedinove. After the war the three British bodies were exhumed
and re-buried in Ancona War Cemetery, as unknown soldiers, their
names recorded on the Cassino Memorial.
However later investigations revealed the identity of the three
bodies, and headstones for the men will be erected at Ancona.
Before that happens, the MoD is making final efforts to contact
the families, to establish whether the headstones should have
personal inscriptions. There have been potential contacts with
relatives in the past; you can read those details here.