The Catania War Cemetery is one of three Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sicily, along with Syracuse War Cemetery and Agira Canadian War Cemetery.
The cemetery may be visited at anytime. Pedestrian access is always possible, however, due to littering and other problems the local authority have found it necessary to control access by car, a gate has been erected approx 500 metres from the cemetery, this gate has a padlock. The combination of which is 1221. Owing to several thefts of the visitors' book and registers, these will not be available outside gardeners normal working hours, at this time the register and visitors' book are kept locked in the gardeners toolshed. The CWGC apologizes for any inconvenience caused to visitors. The gardeners working hours are as follows: WINTER: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 15:30 SUMMER: 07:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 15:30. Wheelchair access to site is possible, but may be by alternative entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact Enquiries Section on telephone number 01628 507200. Location Information:
Catania War Cemetery is situated just 7 kilometres southwest of Catania. From Catania Airport follow the tangenziale (main road) towards the A19 (in the direction of Palermo). Before reaching the A19 the cemetery is signposted. Looking north from the cemetery's location on the coastal plain in the Contrada Bicocca, the venerable volcano Mount Etna can be clearly viewed. Historical Information:
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. The site contains burials from the later stages of the campaign, from Lentini northwards. Many of the war dead here were originally buried in battlefield cemeteries spreading from Lentini to Messina. They lost their lives during the latter part of the eastern campaign in Sicily - including the heavy fighting near Catania(the town was taken on 5 August) as well as the battle for the Simeto River bridgehead.
The cemetery contains 2,142 graves, the majority of them British and 113 of them unknown. However, there are 12 Canadian graves, containing the remains of 22 airmen - all members of the U.K. - although most of them were attached to Royal Air Force squadrons. There is also one Polish grave. No. of Identified Casualties: 2029
In memory of their sacrifice.
The war graves of all nations must be preserved - as a reminder to keep peace, as a call to comunication and reconciliation for all the people.