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5344967 Pte Rosier F HC

Frank Rosier was born and lived at 5 Southview, Hungerford and attended the local school.

At one time he worked for Wooldridge's the builder and I am told he participated in the building of the Regent Cinema. He was to marry and move to Easter Cottages, Hungerford before joining the Royal Berkshire Regiment, serving with the 10th Battalion. His medals show that he served with them in North Africa and Sicily.

Prior to this the Regimental History records that the 10th Battalion were also in Iraq. It was from there at the end of March 1943 that they moved to Egypt to begin four weeks training on the shores of the Bitter Lakes. They were obviously preparing for an amphibious landing as their training involved cliff-climbing, use of rope ladders and the use of landing craft. Another month was spent at Gaza where all the motor transport was water-proofed. On 1 July 1943, they left Ataka, near Suez, on board the City of Canterbury, arriving in Alexandria four days later.

The landing on Sicily started on 10 July with the 10th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment landing three days later as part of a convoy of thirteen ships that sailed into Syracuse harbour unmolested. The Regimental History records that on 14 July, with full kit and rations, they made a ten hour march in the height of the Sicilian summer, spending the night at Melilli and advancing the next day to Lentini. The next two days were spent in the region of the Simento River, which had been crossed earlier, bringing them on to the Catania Plains.

It is believed that Pte Rosier was in one of the leading patrols probing the enemy lines. The patrol was spotted and came under heavy machine gun and mortar fire from the woods near Fossa Bottaceto.

It is not known when in these events Frank Rosier was killed, but the battle at Primasole Bridge was to go down in the history of the Royal Berkshires, with a monument being placed near the bridge to commemorate those killed in the action. Heavy fighting was to continue until August before Sicily was finally taken and preparations for the invasion of Italy could begin.

Pte Rosier is buried in the Sicily War Cemetery at Catania.

Photo Gallery:

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- Catania War Cemetery, Sicily