Debt of Honour Register In
DAVID GREIG BLACKWOOD
227 Bty., 66 Medium Regt., Royal Artillery
who died on
Sunday 2 January 1944 . Age 26 .
Foster-son of John and Christina
of Leven, Fife.
Location:The Sangro River War Cemetery lies in the Contrada Sentinelle
in the Commune of Torino di Sangro, Province of Chieti.
Take the autostrada A14 exit at Val di Sangro. At about 2.5 kilometres
from the exit turn right onto the SS16, Pescara to Vasto road, for nearly
2 kilometres. There is then a sharp right turn up to the cemetery.
Visiting Information:The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited
Historical Information:On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian
mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians
who then re-entered the war on the Allied side.
Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front
and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for
the following year. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite
stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing
the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which
stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the
east. By 4 November, the Allied force that had fought its way up the
Adriatic coast was preparing to attack the Sangro river positions. A
bridgehead had been established by the 24th and by nightfall on the
30th, the whole ridge overlooking the river was
in Allied hands. The site of this cemetery was selected by the 5th Corps
and into it were brought the graves of men who had died in the fierce
fighting on the Adriatic sector of the front in November-December 1943,
and during the static period that followed.
In addition, the cemetery contains the graves of a number of escaped
prisoners of war who died while trying to reach the Allied lines.
SANGRO RIVER WAR CEMETERY contains 2,617 Commonwealth burials of the
Second World War. Within the cemetery will be found the SANGRO RIVER
CREMATION MEMORIAL, one of three memorials erected in Italy to officers
and men of the Indian forces whose remains were cremated in accordance
with their faith - the other two cremation memorials are in Forli Indian
Army War Cemetery and Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery.
The memorial at Sangro River commemorates more than 500 servicemen.