The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Florence, in Italy, lies in a picturesque location outside of the city, at Il Girone, alongside the River Arno.
It contains over 1,600 commonwealth casualties from the Second World War, the majority of whom lost their lives between July and September 1944, when heavy fighting took place in the area.
The cemetery also holds three airborne soldiers, from 2 SAS, who lost their lives on Operation Speedwell in September and October 1943:
Captain Dudgeon MC
All three were executed shortly after capture, in two separate incidents. (In a further incident, two other members of the Speedwell team, William Foster and James Shortall, were also executed after capture in Ponzano Magra and are now buried in Genoa.)
The War Cemetery is easily accessible by public transport from Florence, using the 14A bus to Girone, which departs from outside the city’s main railway station, Santa Maria Novella.
For further information about the cemetery click here.
The SAS in Tuscany 1943-1945 by Brian Lett, published by Pen and Sword books 2011. ISBN 184884446-8