DAY 13 Thursday 2 June 2005

Florence War Cemetery

The 2nd June is a National Holiday in Italy so all the shops were closed. This morning we boarded the buses early, before the temperature soared above 30C again, and headed for the Florence War Cemetery. This cemetery is sited on the bank of the Arno River in a quiet, sheltered spot. It is the home to 1620 graves with many of these being New Zealanders.

The Florence Cemetery holds a personal attraction as here lies the graves of several of my father's friends, men killed as they stood beside him during the attack on La Romola on the night of 30th May 1944.

Florence War Cemetery, looking back to the Cross and entrance
Looking across the cemetery from the entrance
The headstones of Medway and Valintine, 22 Battalion men.
Douglas beside the graves
You can click on each photo for a larger image (use your browser's Back button to return to this page)

Roll of Honour of 22nd Battalion interred at Florence

Surname Names Rank Age Date of Death Number Plot Row Grave
BERRY, REGINALD HENRY Private 22 28/07/1944 402952 VII. F. 7
BORTHWICK, THOMAS JAMES Private 25 1/08/1944 554900 VII. E. 7
BREWER, PHILIP D'ARCY Lance Serjeant 25 31/07/1944 6889 VII. E. 2
CRUICKSHANK, REGINALD JOHN Private 21 31/07/1944 455726 VII. A. 11
DEEHAN, FRANCIS HENRY Private   2/08/1944 76715 VII. E. 6
DUNBAR, ALEXANDER Lance Corporal 22 12/08/1944 434423 VII. A. 18
FEARON, LAURENCE MICHAEL Private 26 19/11/1944 41012 IV. J. 11
FLEMING, ROBERT CLARENCE Private 22 27/07/1944 453005 VII. G. 17
HOLMAN, CLARENCE PATRICK Private 26 27/07/1944 44439 VII. G. 18
LUDBROOK, REGINALD HUMPHREY Lance Serjeant 32 12/08/1944 586782 VII. D. 11
McNEIL, JOHN HUGH Lieutenant 24 30/07/1944 70492 VII. B. 14
MEDWAY, LESLIE JOHN Private 22 30/07/1944 618522 VII. E. 8
MOLLOY, TERENCE WILLIAM Corporal 27 30/07/1944 44495 VII. B. 17
MURFITT, CECIL SAMUEL Private 24 30/07/1944 45046 VII. B. 15
NILSSON, GORDON LINDSAY Private 29 30/07/1944 402467 VII. B. 18
PRICE, RHYS DAVID Serjeant 30 9/08/1944 41607 VII. F. 6
RICHARDSON, CECIL Private 26 26/07/1944 42495 VIII. E. 1
RIDDLE, IAN GOODLAND Private 29 28/07/1944 117275 VIII. A. 14
RYE, GORDON RAYMOND Private 23 3/08/1944 438780 VIII. B. 9
TUFFIN, GEORGE HOWARD Private 21 31/07/1944 441282 VII. E. 3
VALINTINE, DENZIL ALFRED Private 22 30/07/1944 459451 VII. E. 9
VILES, ALAN RAYMOND Lance Corporal 23 30/07/1944 273523 VII. E. 1
WAUCHOP, THOMAS STEWART Lieutenant 34 25/07/1944 469048 VII. F. 8
WEVELL, PHILLIP SYDNEY Private 33 30/07/1944 562805 VII. A. 15
WICKEN, WALTER ALEXANDER Private 31 30/07/1944 517383 VII. B. 16

Our visit to the Florence Cemetery was the last formal activity associated with the veteran's return to Italy.

Montecatini Alto

Following our return to the Hotel, we caught the funicular cable car up the hill to Montecatini Alto, the small village sitting on top of the hill.

The entrance to the Montecatini Funicular, or cable car
Looking up the track
Through a tunnel - there is the other car
So this is how they pass - just like the Wellington version
The top terminus
Houses and olive trees on the way up

After walking around most of the village, we arrived at the Town Square to find it full of tables and chairs belonging to at least 3 restaurants. We gladly sat down to a cold beer and bowls of pasta before continuing our tour. The cable car took us back down to the hotel.

Montecatini Alto at the top
Looking across the village
Steep streets
The clock tower - time runs differently in this town
And back down the steep streets
The central piazza in Montecatini Alto - full of ristorantes and tables
A nice place for a plate of pasta and a cool beer
The local pasta and beer
One of 7 castles in the town

And finally back down the cable car to the street and the hotel. At the foot of the cable car is a bus stop, covered in the usual advertising. This one displayed an image that we saw all over Italy, which we presume is a celebration of the Italian clothing industry. There might be money in it for the designers, but there cannot be much profit in it for the cloth weavers.

Billboard on the local bus stop

Go to Next Day in Diary - Friday

Go to Previous Day in Diary - Wednesday

Return to Trip Index

Last updated: 21/09/200510