Italian Campaign and the Canadian Army

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by 17thDYRCH, May 28, 2010.

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    A family relative was a platoon commander with the Perth Regiment. I will be in the Ortona area early in June and would welcome receiving suggestions on things to see in that area. I have noted the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery and the Ortona War Museum.
    Thank you
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    17thDYRCH -
    you could try to find the Church where the Seaforths and Loyal Eddies of the 1st Inf Div broke off the battle for Ortona and had their Christmas Dinners in the ruins and after two hours went back to the Battle - I think it was called "St. Thomas of Constantinople "
    I can check on that and get back to you - this is also where the 5th Armoured Div - and the Perth's -came into the Battle as their first action since landing weeks before - and caused a fight with 1st Div as some idiot shouted out when passing the exhausted Seaforths - that " they would show them how to fight"

    The 5th Armoured then bounced into the German 1st Paras - who taught the 5th how to fight - two days later they then retired and ran into a much rested Seaforths and the fight was on.....Monty got to hear of this and as he thought the world of the 1st Div - he fired the 5th Amoured who the disappeared close to the US sector - leaving the 1st Div without Tank support !

    The British 21st and 25th Tank bdes were sunning themselves in North Africa when the call came through to join the 1st Cdn Div, - and Fight for Gawds sake - sheesh !

    So the 25th Tank Bde after some training at Lucera - took them through the Liri Valley and then the 21st Took over for the rest of the tour until all the Canadians left Italy for Belgium in Jan/ Feb '45.

    So try a tour of Lucera - Campobasso ( leave camp) and Presenzaro and Cassino especially the reserviour at Ceprano where the Perth's took a beating - and if you have time -try going up to where the Gothic Line carry on was held and have a look at Tuvalu where the Perth's were late arriving - so the B.C.Dragoons went on to capture Tuvalu and their C.O. was killed ! Lots of highlights therebouts !

    Stan Scislowski was also in the Perths - try googling for his "Return To Cassino"- that will give you an idea what your relative went through in those days !
    Cheers
     
    Steve G likes this.
  3. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I have some Stan's memoirs on my webpage and am out in Italy at present, having just made a third trip to Ortona. Will be adding some details of what to see on my pages soon.

    Do you have the Canadian battlefield guide to Italy?
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    17thdrch
    as promised I have found that Church in Ortona where the Seaforths had their Christmas dinner 1943 -one company at a time - it was "Chiesa di Santa Maria de Constantinopli"...probably still there - renovated extensively !!!

    The Padre - Roy Durnford greeted the men with the words " well, at last I've got you all in Church"

    the dinner was sumptious- soup - roast pork with apple sauce - cauliflower - mashed potatoes - gravy - Christmas pudding and mince pies plus two bottles of beer per man ......then it was back to work...... for too many.... it was their last meal !
    Cheers
     
  6. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum

    Cheers
    Paul
     

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