Towards Monastery Hill.
No visit to the Cassino area is ever complete without a visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery, which is located towards the southern outskirts of the town and close to the area where the British 4th Infantry Division bridged the river Gari and were then involved in bitter fighting from the evening of 11/12 May onwards. Over 8,000 men are commemorated at the cemetery – and a large Royal British Legion ceremony takes place here every May on the anniversary of the 4th battle of Cassino.
A most peaceful time to visit here is early morning (between 8-9am), before large numbers of visitors enter the beautifully kept grounds. The monastery looks over the peaceful scene of the cemetery, an ever present reminder of the tragedy of all those years ago. 148 men of the Irish Brigade are commemorated here – and includes 48, who are named on the memorial panels. The bells from the monastery on Monte Cassino can be heard clearly across the whole valley and add to a scene of heartbreaking emotion. It is now that I am able to visit my father’s friends Eddie Mayo and Edward O’Reilly to spend a few moments of quiet reflection in honour of these two very fine men and all the other heroes buried here so very far from home.
We will remember them.
Memorial panel with names of 2/LIR men.
Cpl Allen 6/Inns.
Rifleman Meldrum 2/LIR.
Fusilier Stoddart 1/RIrF.