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Agira War Cemetery (Agira, Enna Province, Sicilia Region, Italy) - 490 burials, 6 Unknown.

Visiting Information: The cemetery is steeply terraced with numerous steps, making wheelchair access to this site impossible. The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime.

Agira Canadian War Cemetery lies in the Commune of Agira, Province of Enna, in the centre of Sicily. From the autostrada A19, Catania-Palermo, take the exit to Catenanuova. Follow signposts to Regalbuto, then pass Regalbuto, going in the direction of Agira. The Cemetery is then signposted about 12 kilometres from Regalbuto. Alternatively, leave the A19 at Agira and the cemetery can be seen from this exit. Cemetery address: Contrada Pennino Buterno, 2 - 94011, Agira (EN), Sicily. GPS Co-ordinates: Latitude: 37.6549115, Longitude: 14.55086.

On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Agira was taken by the 1st Canadian Division of 28 July and the site for the war cemetery was chosen in September for the burial of all Canadians who had been killed in the Sicily campaign. Agira Canadian War Cemetery contains 490 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Villanova Canadian War Cemetery (Bagnacavallo, Ravenna Province, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy) WWII Commonwealth - 212 total burials.

The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime. Wheelchair access is possible via the main entrance.

Take autostrada A14, Bologna-Ancona, and branch off to Ravenna. Turn left along the SS16 towards Ferrara and at 7.5 kilometres, at the village of Mezzano, turn left to Villanova, about 4 kilometres. If travelling by train, the nearest station is Mezzano but there is no taxi service from there. Taxi's are available however, from Ravenna train station. Cemetery address: Via Chiesa 11 - 48020 Bagnacavallo (RA) Emilia Romagna. Latitude: 44.45150, Longitude: 12.05180.

The site of this cemetery was chosen by the 5th Canadian Armoured Division for battlefield burials. It was in the vicinity of Villanova that troops of this Division succeeded in establishing a bridgehead over the River Lamone in the night 10/11 December 1944. West of this bridgehead there was heavy fighting in the following days, when attempts were made to cross the three canals that run from Faenza to the sea. From 12 to 15 December, the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment and the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards suffered heavily in these attempts, and 85 of the burials in the cemetery come from these two regiments. Others include those killed in the advance to the final line held by the Canadians on the River Senio before they left Italy in February 1945. Villanova Canadian War Cemetery contains 212 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Links to other sites about Canadian Military Cemeteries include:

Battle for Anzio
Battle for Cassino
Canadian War Graves
Commonwealth Military Cemeteries
Kitchener Cemetery
War Cemeteries in Italy by Region
WWII Military Cemeteries

GenTracer POW Kathy Kirkpatrick

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