Posted by: sommecourt | 19/09/2010

Return of the D Day Dodgers

In May this year I had the pleasure to guide the first Leger Holidays Italian Battlefields of WW2 tour and had a large number of veterans in the group. Last week I was back in Italy with the second of these tours for 2010 and once again had a large number of Italy veterans in the group. We spent the week visiting the key sites at Salerno, Cassino, Anzio, the Sangro and Ortona, and making a number of personal visits for the groups to see wargraves. We had an excellent day up on Snakeshead Ridge at Cassino where veteran Donald Lear, formerly an officer in 4/16th Punjabs, gave us a blow by blow account of his experiences there in February/March 1944. At the Sangro veteran Alf Heywood visited some graves of his mates and at Anzio Frank Bunce told us of his experiences in the Royal Navy and was presented with an Anzio certificate and medal. On our last day we had a veteran’s ceremony at Cassino War Cemetery and here Recce Corps veteran Ted Crooks showed me the grave of his No 2 on the Bren Gun, killed beside him at Cassino in May 1944.

Alf Heywood at Cassino.

It was a superb and moving week, and a real honour to be in the presence of so many veterans.

Some photographs from the week are on my Flickr account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8549277@N04/sets/72157624815895255/

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