London Irish Rifles Association

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Home Latest News / Articles.
Latest News / Articles.

Rifleman Horace Savage - 1 LIR.

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The following story was printed in the Daily Mail:

"For seven decades Sydney Swift believed the soldier he buried in a battlefield after his death in front of him was given a proper military funeral and headstone in a cemetery. But when the 95-year-old British Lance Sergeant’s friends visited the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily, Italy, they could not find any memorial for Rifleman Horace Savage. The soldier was first buried in unmarked graves along with Rifleman Edwin Pearton and Lance Corporal John Biggs, close to where the three men fell during World War Two in July 1943.

After the war, the bodies of Rfn Pearton and LCpl Biggs were exhumed and they were given a military funeral and headstone at the Sicily cemetery. It had been presumed that Rfn Savage was also re-buried there after a funeral following his death at Primosole Bridge in Catania, which preceded the mainland Allied Invasion of Italy. So when friends told Mr Swift they were visiting the cemetery, the great-grandfather asked them to leave flowers on the grave of Rfn Savage. But they found no headstone for the soldier.

This prompted an investigation by Mr Swift, who found his fallen comrade’s name on the Cassino Memorial at the Cassino War Cemetery in Frosinone Province..."

You can read the full story here.

A video clip from ITV showing Sydney Swift talking about his friend can be found by clicking here.

The Regimental Association will continue to work with L/Sgt Swift, the CWGC, and other relevant organisations to seek to identify the final resting place of Rifleman Savage. We truly hope that he can be found and the appropriate re-interment can be conducted at Catania War Cemetery, with full regimental honours.



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