Canadian war veterans return to Italy after 70 years

28 war veterans honour their comrades buried in Italy

A delegation of 28 Canadian war veterans is travelling to Italy to participate in Canada's official commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the campaign to liberate Italy.

The world war two veterans, all aged in their nineties, will be accompanied by Canada's minister of veteran affairs Julian Fantino.

The delegation will attend a number of memorial services between 24 and 28 November, to honour the Canadian soldiers killed during the 20-month campaign between 1943 and 1945. Canada suffered more than 26,000 casualties, of which nearly 6,000 were killed. Many of these soldiers are buried in Italy.

During the visit the veterans will travel to the scene of various battles in which they fought as well as paying their respects to their fallen comrades at three war cemeteries. On 24 November they will visit the Cassino War Cemetery, in the province of Frosinone, where 855 Canadian soldiers are buried.

On 26 November they travel to the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Ortona, near Chieti on the Adriatic coast, where 1,375 of their comrades are buried, and on 28 November they visit the Villa Nova Canadian War Cemetery at Bagnacavallo, near Ravenna in northern Italy, which contains 206 Canadian graves, including one unknown soldier.

For full details on the visit as well as more information on Canada's role in the Italian campaign, see the Government of Canada website.