The war cemetery in Ancona

People in Ancona call it the American cemetery, but in fact there’s not one american soldier buried in it.. The World War II cemetery of Ancona is a place few people know, despite its amazing location, just in the outskirts of the town, facing Monte Conero and not far from the Stadio Del Conero and the Tavernelle cemetery. Here are the graves commemorating the soldiers of the Royal forces of Britain, which also meant, at the time, soldiers coming from places such as Pakistan, South Africa, Botswana, Nepal and also places like Basutoland.. I know this because I’ve been trying to read all the captions, but it takes a long while.

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Another reason why I like this place is that the visitor’s book contains a lot of signatures, including those of relatives of soldiers buried there, and even fellow soldiers, especially from Britain, Canada and Australia. It’s quite emotional to read how some people finally found the grave where their loved ones have been laying for decades now. A war that is far in time, and, although fought on the right side, against the Nazis, many of these youths, especially the pilots, happened to destroy as many Italian homes and families as the bombs they dropped. This is not supposed to mean anything else but the fact that war sucks, always. Especially then, when most of the army was made of people who had no choice, unlike today, with professional army and all.

Everytime I pass by in front of there, and I do often because my mother lives very nearby, I send a thought to these people who would never have thought to die so young, so far away from their homes. I wonder how many of their relatives actually know that they’ve been here this whole time, and I hope I will be able to find as many as I can. One I did find, thanks to a signature on the visitor’s book, sent me the following picture of one soldier buried there. Hillary, this is the woman’s name I found in the visitor’s book, lost her uncle near Monte San Vicino, and he was later brought here to be buried along with the others. This is how he looked like just before leaving for Italy, where he stayed for good. His name was Roy Saunders.

6 thoughts on “The war cemetery in Ancona

  1. Pingback: The war cemetery in Ancona, Le Marche « goodthingsfromitaly

  2. How beautiful Fran. I takes a kind, curious eye to see beyond the white and green, to touch the stones and try to know the stories behind the names of the long dead and gone. This is a beauty, thanks for sharing.

  3. When my daughter and I were on our way to Urbino, our driver stopped the car at the British Cemetery. It is a memorable tribute to the soldiers who died during the war. What impressed us the most was the fact that the Italians in charge used grass seeds from Britian to plant the grass so the soldiers would rest in peace under British soil. A very touching tribute indeed.

    • Thank you Fran for your visit to Ancona cemetery. The University students refer to it as The English Cemetery.
      Our father William A Thompson is there. Mother never had the chance to find her beloved husband but my youngest brother and wife, followed by myself, with my daughter …dad’s granddaughter, have visited. Truly the most emotional moment of my life. I have visited since and touched many of the graves, especially those of the very young soldiers, from all over the world, on behalf of the parents who perhaps have never had chance to visit them
      We promised….thanks to my daughter who researched the details… we kept our promise.
      Please visit him if you pass by again. My brother and I hope to visit again this year.
      Thank you to the Italian gardeners who keep it such a beautiful place.
      Wasn’t aware of the English soil. Wonderful, caring thing to do.

      F Thompson

  4. A beautiful post, thank you Fran. My brother and I with my husband will be visiting our uncle’s grave on 24th May. I think we will be the first to visit him. His name – Paul George Hamilton. He was with the Medical Corps, so saved lives rather than taking them.

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