van Heerden Genealogy

The van Heerden family of the Carnarvon and Victoria West District.

 Cemetery (South African), Castiglione dei Pepoli, Castiglione dei Pepoli, Italy

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Latitude: 44.14507671, Longitude: 11.17163658

On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Appenine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adratic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in. Castiglione South African Cemetery was started in November 1944 by the 6th South African Armoured Division, which had entered Castiglione at the end of September and remained in the neighbourhood until the following April. Many of the burials were made direct from the battlefields of the Apennines, where during that winter South African troops held positions some 8 kilometres north of Castiglione. The majority of those buried in this cemetery were South Africans, the remainder belonging mostly to the 24th Guards Brigade, which was under command of the 6th South African Armoured Division. In the cemetery there is a memorial building originally erected by South African troops, which contains two tablets unveiled by Field-Marshal Smuts; they bear the inscription in English and Afrikaans: TO SAVE MANKIND YOURSELVES YOU SCORNED TO SAVE OM DIE MENSDOM TE DIEN HET JUL VEILIGHEID VERSMAAD The cemetery contains 502 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Cemetery Photos

   Thumb   Description 
Private George Sebastian van Heerden (06 Mar 1925 - 10 Oct 1944)
Private George Sebastian van Heerden (06 Mar 1925 - 10 Oct 1944)
Son of Jan Anthonie & Isabella Johanna (Rootman) van Heerden 

All Burials - Cemetery (South African), Castiglione dei Pepoli, Bologna, Italia

 #   Last Name, Given Name(s)   Died/Buried   Person ID 
1. van Heerden, Private George Sebastian   d. 10 Oct 1944I83

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