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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.

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