Remains of British WW2 soldiers found in Salerno

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Troops bringing artillery ashore in Salerno in September 1943. Photo: US Navy/Wikipedia
11:39 CET+01:00
The remains of two British soldiers, killed during the Second World War, have been found in countryside near the southern Italian province of Salerno.

The discovery was made by four volunteers of the ‘Salerno 1943’ association, who were hiking in the hillsides between the hamlets of Capezzano and Coperchia as part of a tour of the battleground of the Salerno landings in 1943, known as ‘Operation Avalanche’, Cronache Salerno reported.

The remains were found within a few metres of eachother and were identified as British by weapons made by British firms found nearby.

They are thought to have died during a German counter-attack after British troops took control of the area, and were hastily buried, the news site reported.

Christopher Bulteel, a British soldier who was involved in the fighting, wrote in his memoirs, ‘Something About A Soldier’, published in 2000, that the hillside was “strewn with the bodies” of his fallen comrades. Many British and German soldiers are reported to have died during the fighting.

In 2008, the same volunteers of Salerno 1943 found the remains of a German soldier, who was later identified by authorities in Berlin as 19-year-old Wilhelm Hescnauer. The remains of another German soldier were found in 2012, although authorities are still working to identify him.

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It may be possible to name the British soldiers by combining the DNA of soldiers who served in the area and are still listed as missing with family DNA.

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