The 2 men were buried on Wednesday 03 July during a moving ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Salerno War Cemetery in Italy.
The service, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), part of Defence Business Services, was conducted by the Reverend Iorwerth Price CF, reserve Chaplain to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment (RANG). Members of the 2nd Battalion, The RANG carried the coffins to their final resting place.
Nicola Nash, JCCC said:
These 2 soldiers lost their lives in 1 of the most ferocious battles of the Second World War. Although we were not able to identify them, they have now been laid to rest with honours and their bravery and heroism will always be remembered.
The remains of the 2 soldiers were found by the 1943 Salerno Association, outside of Salerno, on a hill nicknamed “the Pimple” by Allied soldiers during World War 2. This hill was heavily guarded by the Germans and was the focus of intense fighting during September 1943. Despite extensive research and DNA testing, the JCCC were unable to identify these two men.
The 1943 Salerno Association also found the ID bracelet of Major Robert Brown DSO, who was attached to the Royal Leicestershire Regiment and was also killed during action on the Pimple on 16 September 1943. The bracelet was handed back to the JCCC, who will present it to Major Brown’s daughter.
Stefano Esu, CWGC Works Supervisor, Italy, said:
I am honoured and grateful to be present at the burial of these 2 soldiers at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Salerno War Cemetery. I always try to do my best with great dedication and a sense of responsibility because it is thanks to the sacrifice of these young men that we can live in freedom. Their service and sacrifice have not been forgotten and we will proudly mark and care for their graves, together with all of those who served and fell, in perpetuity.
Two new headstones for the unknown soldiers have been provided by the CWGC.