Tour of Italy
16 – 24 May 2014
The annual Regimental pilgrimage to Italy organised by Captain Bob Keating took place 16 to 24 May. As well as Bob and his wife Bridget, the following other members of 1 RF Branch were on the pilgrimage; John Dudley (a veteran of Monte Cassino), Bert Mayle, George Rose, Peter and Myrtle Galloway, and John Davis. As well as those eight, there were approximately 50 others including members of the London Branch, the London Scottish Association and some Royal Sussex Regiment veterans.
We all had a good week in glorious sunshine and visited the CWG cemeteries at Minturno, Anzio and Cassino where many Royal Fusiliers lie buried and commemorated. These visits were combined with battlefield presentations conducted by Bob, Campbell Hudson and Mr Paul Hooton, a noted military historian. We stayed,as per usual at Hotel La Playa in Sperlonga, a delightful resort on the coast between Rome and Naples, so it was not all duty, an equal amount of "play" was included including a "sod's opera" the final evening.
The Regimental Association Standard was carried at Minturno, Nettuno and Anzio by Bert Mayle with all his usual aplomb. Unfortunately on the Wednesday Bert suffered a fall and fractured his arm which meant he was unfit to continue at Cassino. His place was most capably filled by Peter Galloway, to who thanks are extended.
As well as the British cemeteries we also visited the USA cemetery at Nettuno, and a German cemetery on the way back to Rome Airport for our flight home.
All-in-all it was an excellent week and one to be recommended to all members. Hopefully it will continue to happen in mid-May yearly - details can be had from Captain Bob Keating; you will find his contact details in the printed edition of "The White Hackle".
"Brothers-in-Arms" centrepiece from US cemetery at Nettaneo
Peter and Myrtle Galloway with George Rose enjoying lunch at Anzio
John Davis and Bob Keating singing "7th Royal Fusiliers" at final evening "sod's opera"
Capt. John Davis
16 Grebe Close, Mudeford, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 4BY
Tel: 07752 384320
Colonel M J Dudding OBE TD DL
Lieutenant Colonel K W Kiddie
36 Maryfield Close, Bexley,
Kent DA5 2HY
Tel: 01322 550285
The White Hackle editor
2 Keswick Road,
West Wickham, Kent BR4 9AT
Tel: 07702 008446