Cassino remembered 70 years on
17 May 2014
His Royal Highness Prince Harry, together with veterans and
dignitaries from many nations, will convene at the Commonwealth War
Graves Commission Cassino War Cemetery and Memorial on 18 and
19 May, to honour the sacrifices made by Commonwealth and Allied
troops in Italy during the Second World War.
To enhance the information available to visitors to the
cemetery, the CWGC has installed interactive Visitor Information
Panels ahead of the anniversary. The panels at Cassino are among
500 to be installed at CWGC locations worldwide and feature
information about the site of the cemetery and a QR (Quick
Response) code. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR Code
provides access for further information including the personal
stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated there.
Among the stories revealed at Cassino are those of Second
Lieutenant Eric Waters - the father of Pink Floyd musician Roger -
who was killed while serving with the Royal Fusiliers in February
1944. Roger Waters was only five months old at the time of his
father's death and recently visited the memorial that bears his
father's name for the first time.
David Symons, the CWGC's Director of Mediterranean Area, said:
"The Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks forward to welcoming
His Royal Highness and returning veterans to Cassino. We appreciate
what an emotional event this must be for the veterans and have
ensured the cemetery and memorial, that commemorate many of their
comrades, have been maintained to the highest possible
Between January and May 1944, the Battles of Monte Cassino saw
some of the fiercest fighting of the entire Second World War, as
the Allies attempted to drive German forces from the town of
Cassino and the heights which surround it.
The Allies lost over 50,000 men killed and wounded at Cassino,
and more than 2,000 of the Commonwealth servicemen laid to rest
here fell during these last efforts in May.
The capture of Monte Cassino opened the route to Rome, but
German resistance would continue further north along the Gothic
Line. Many of those who would fall in the battles to come are
commemorated on the Cassino Memorial.
The site for Cassino War Cemetery was identified in January 1944
for use as a cemetery, but it was not until after the end of
hostilities that it could be used. Today, it is the final resting
place of nearly 4,300 Commonwealth servicemen, of whom some 300
remain unidentified. The majority fell in the first five months of
1944. At the heart of the cemetery is the Cassino Memorial, which
commemorates by name some 4,000 Commonwealth servicemen who fought
in Sicily and Italy and who have no known grave. Both the cemetery
and memorial were designed by Louis de Soissons, who lost a son in
action in 1941.