On the afternoon of 14th May 1944, the Irish Brigade started their crossing of the Gari river as they moved forward, along with the rest of 78th Infantry Division, to continue the attack on the German defensive positions across the Liri valley.

The Irish Brigade’s crossing point was Congo Bridge, which had been the second bridge to be completed in the area north of San Angelo, and had become available for use on the morning of 14th May. A total of eleven bridges had been planned to be built across the Gari in XIII Corps’ sector, and another bridge, named London, was completed near to San Angelo later the same morning.

Today, London Bridge continues to be in use and next to the river bank on its eastern side, there are now two Peace Bells, erected to commemorate the victims of all nations, and those who suffered as a result of the battles at Cassino.

In May each year, a commemorative event, “The Blessing of the Waters of the Gari’ is organised by the Commune of Cassino at San Angelo and at the end of the Remembrance Service, the Peace Bells ring out far and wide across the otherwise peaceful countryside to underpin contemplative thoughts on the full horror of war.



 

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