04 April 2017

HRH Prince Charles visits CWGC cemetery in Italy

HRH The Prince of Wales visited a CWGC cemetery in Montecchio Precalcino, Italy, over the weekend as he began a six-day Royal visit to the country.

On Saturday, the first full day of his visit, Prince Charles travelled to north-east Italy to mark the centenary of the deployment of British forces to the Austrian front in 1917, and paid his respects to those from all countries who died in the conflict.

His Royal Highness, toured CWGC Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension, which contains more than 430 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, and laid a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance before meeting with CWGC staff.

The Prince also visited the Italian front, before taking a walking tour of The Path of the 52 Tunnels, which was built in 1917 to aid military communication and transfer supplies through mountainous terrain.

The Italians entered the First World War on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918, and rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919.

Between April 1918 and February 1919 those who died from wounds or disease in the 9th, 24th and 39th Casualty Clearing Stations were buried either at Montecchio Precalcino or at Dueville. Certain graves were brought in after the Armistice from other burial grounds in the area.

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