Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
CWGC: Private HODGKISS, WILLIAM FREDERICK Service Number 5127254 Died 12/10/1943 Aged 20 2/5th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Hodgkiss, of Great Chatwell, Shropshire. MINTURNO WAR CEMETERY VII, F, 1. [nr Naples]
Allied Italian invasion 3 Sep 1943. By the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful and it was not until 17 January 1944 that the Garigliano was crossed, and Minturno taken. [CWGC]
The 2/5th Battalion, mobilised in 1939, went to France in 1940 as part of the 46th Division, and, after being evacuated through Dunkirk, it spent 2 1/2 years in England. In January 1943 the Battalion took part in the 1st Army's landing in North Africa, and heavy casualties were sustained in the Kassarine. The Battalion next saw action at Salerno in Italy, followed by actions at the crossing of the Volturna and Teano Rivers, and at Mount Camino. It spent the first half of 1944 in the Middle East, training and re-equipping and being brought up to strength. It returned to Italy in time to take part in the battle against the Gothic Line in August 1944. In December 1944 the Battalion was moved by air to Athens where it took part in the fighting and remained until the Greek Government was restored in the Epirus. It then returned to Italy and after the Armistice was moved into Austria, where it remained until disbandment. [https://www.royalleicestershireregiment.org.uk/history-of-the-regiment-4]
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.