The English Monumental Cemetery is located in Anzio, just near the city’s cemetery, and houses the bodies of 1,056 casualties including 1,053 English, 1 Canadian, 1 New Zealand and 1 South African.
As in all the English war cemeteries, at the entrance to the cemetery there is a small memorial building where the stories of war are retold. At the end of the cemetery the great monument of a Cross of Sacrifice recalls the sacredness of the place.
All the graves are in-ground and covered by a soft grassy mantle while a plaque remembers the name, age, level, identification number and a symbol for the religion of the fallen. The headstones then show the emblem of the regiment and a possible phrase chosen by the family.
In Anzio there is also the Commonwealth cemetery with 2,316 graves.
The soldiers buried in this cemetery are the fallen of the allied troops landing at Anzio and the subsequent battles.
The landing took place on 22nd January 1944 and was used to divert the Germans’ attention from the Gustav Line so as to be able to beat them and then arrive to Rome. In reality, the landing was not a great success and gave rise to months of fighting before achieving victory for the allied troops.
Another objective was to keep German troops occupied in Italy before landing in France on 6 June 1944.
The allied troops belonged to the 15th Army Group and consisted of the Eighth Army of the Commonwealth and the Fifth American Army. They joined forces of the French, Polish, Greek and Brazilian units as well as some Italian units.