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Posted by natasha-taz (U7937171) on Thursday, 29th March 2007
I have been looking into and trying to establish my great uncles movements during the Cassino battle in 1944. i know his name is on the memorial in Cassino and that he served with the 2nd Northamptons Ba. i have looked up the Battle details but i cannot find and obvious connections with the battle and this regiment?! i have been on the WW2 talk forum and think i have established that the 2nd northamptons were part of the 17th infantary Bde within the 5th division. i think this is correct but i would like to know more about where my uncle (Frank Taylor) may have fought and fallen? i hope you will be able to clarify some of my questions
Thank you Natasha
Posted by ex4thhussar (U520216) on Thursday, 29th March 2007
Ron here again !
Just to let you know that TrooperTom's PC is at the repair shop so just be patient and I know he will get back to you.
Whilst writing, I see that Peter G has also responded, Peter is a well established researcher who has been of great assistance to others in the past.
Softly,softly,catchee monkey !
Posted by Palaisglide (U3102587) on Thursday, 29th March 2007
Tom is off air at the moment with a crashed computer, he should be back in a couple of days and will willingly answer your queries.
Posted by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper (U519668) on Saturday, 31st March 2007
Having just got back from seeing my daughter returning to London from Vancouver Airport - and my PC back from the shop - I need a bit of time to answer you in some form that your will understand - so give me a day or two to get back to you - OK ??
Posted by natasha-taz (U7937171) on Sunday, 1st April 2007
Thanks for the messages everyone.
Tommy time is no problem, thank you
Posted by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper (U519668) on Sunday, 1st April 2007
My Dear Natasha;
Your great uncle 14415187 Pte. Frank Taylor , of the 2nd Batt. Northampton Regiment,of the 17th Bde,of the 5th British Infantry Division which was a part of the X corps, which in turn was attached to the US 5th Army on April 1944.
He was not killed at Cassino but at Anzio !
This is probably why you could not find his area of death. As he has no "known" grave he is memorialised on panel Nine of one of the 15 foot high polished green marble columns at the Cassino War cemetery along with his friends who would have been killed at the same time. Had he had a "known" grave then he would have been buried at the smaller Anzio War cemetery which only holds 1050 graves. As it is he is joined by some 4000 others who also have no "known" graves, from many areas of both Italy and Sicily.
His service number leads me to the idea that he joined up in January / February of 1943 - completed his Infantry training by say August - being sent overseas in time to join the 8th Army in Sicily and his Regiment which was preparing for the Invasion of Italy at that time.
They landed at Pizzo - Calabria on Sept. 9th and pushed through to relieve the US 5th Army who were having difficulties at Salerno by the 16th - again pushing past Salerno and finally joining up with US 6th corps on the road between Potenza and Avellino by the 26th Sept. Then it was time for the three "R"s - reinforcement - recreation and rest - which always seemed to come last !
As befitting their nickname of "Cooks Tour Division" - the 5th found themselves on the other side of Italy and helping the New Zealanders and Canadians in crossing the River Moro, before heading back to the other side to have a go at crossing the Garigliano which was giving everyone trouble. They then relieved the British 46th and 56th Divisions who were preparing to land at Anzio, casualties were again heavy and called for more reinforcemnet.
Their next task was to relieve the Xth Corps divisions of 46th and 56th at Anzio. Who had landed at Salerno to take a mauling and also the progressive move North to Minturno and the Garigliano before landing at Anzio in January '44. The British 5th and 1st Divs relieved them by the middle of March and your great uncle being killed on 30th April '44.
This was an ill conceived, and led landing and battle which cost too many lives for little gain but it was an ego trip for the incompetent US Gen. Mark Clark.
If it is any comfort - then the fact that he has no "known" grave means that his death was instantaneous and he did not suffer in any way.
His records from Glasgow will put the main touches to his service and actions while he was in the Army.
To give you some indication of how well the cemeteries are maintained you should read - from BBc war series Archives "Stan Scislowski - a Visit to Cassino War cemetery" - it is encouraging.
Hope this helps - Good Luck !
Posted by boabbie (U6156662) on Tuesday, 14th August 2007
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