Ancient Battle Grounds

The Old World – Europe – is filled with ancient battlegrounds and monuments dating back thousands of years. There are, however reminders of conflicts of my father’s era. Near Casino is a Commonwealth Graves Commission Cemetery, holding the bodies of 4,271 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Cassino War Cemetery of whom 289 of the burials are unidentified. It is a beautiful place – there is no glory here, just remembrance, and some sadness also for the lost potential of much of a generation of young people.

Casino marked a turning point in the War. For a year the Germans held up the allied advance north towards Rome with fierce fighting on what became known as Monastery Hill, which overlooks the Memorial. As well as a cemetery, there is a memorial, commemorating more than 4000 Commonwealth servicemen whose burial place is unknown. The photograph honours their sacrifice.


3 thoughts on “Ancient Battle Grounds

  1. Cassino , Nine Months in Hell is right now being aired on s b s. Friday night .10 May. Some amazing real footage and very meaningful knowing you have just been there.

    • Thanks for the comment, Marilyn. I have got to know a New York Surgeon (Ross) well on the trip. He rang his father, the afternoon of our visit to Casino. His father, a Jew, was on the run from the Nazi’s and in the Casino area when the worst of the bombing occurred. He was hiding on a farm when the farmer was killed alongside him by a bomb blast. Ross never knew any of this until he rang his father and told him about the days visit.

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