A quite memorable week of pilgrimage was recently spent in commemoration of the actions of both battalions of the London Irish Rifles during the Italian campaign of 1943 to 1945.
A group of London Irishmen and Royal Fusiliers, with the assured guidance of Captain Bob Keating, combined emotional commemorative events and evocative battlefield review with a few days of relaxation on the beach at Sperlonga.
Special mention should be made of the three Second World War veterans in the party: Robert Randall, John Dudley and Tony Iacoppi, as well as the fantastic piping of Pipe Sergeant Robert Williams and fine bugling of Mark Goatcher.
A highlight of the week was the opportunity for the veterans to meet with His Royal Highness Prince Harry at a British Embassy Remembrance event at Cassino CWGC Cemetery.
Other remarkably moving occasions included a reception at Casa Sinagoga, the focus of the 2nd Battalion's attack on the Gustav Line on 16th May 1944, and a battlefield review of the Anzio 'Wadis' where the 1st Battalion spent a bitterly contested few weeks during February and March 1944.
We certainly look forward to our next pilgrimage with great anticipation..
Click below to see photos from the week in Italy: