The Commonwealth Cemetery

The Salerno War Cemetery is a war grave cemetery located a few kilometers south of Salerno, in the town of Montecorvino Pugliano. Here lie the remains of 1,846 soldiers who fought in the battle of Salerno, coming from Commonwealth countries, in addition to other 107 servicemen whose nationality is unknown.

The cemetery was designed by Louis de Soissons, an English architect of French origin, who lost his son during the landing. It is run directly by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and among the fallen soldiers there is also Henry Valerian George Wellesley, 6th Duke of Wellington, who was killed in action, in Piegolelle, on 16 September 1943.

He died at the age of only 31 from injuries received on the battlefield while leading a group of Commandos. At the time of his death, he had attained the rank of captain and had been assigned to a troop (minor unit of the British Commandos) in the No. 2 Commando, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel ‘Mad’ Jack Churchill.

On 16th September, the No 2 Commando moved into the valley around the village of Piegolelle with the intent of conquering the elevated position called ‘Pimple Hill’ but the commandos troops were exposed to enemy fire. The duke was among the fallen hit by a Spandau position. [source Wikipedia]