Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Appleton, Irvin - Signalman

(No soldier photo available)
Royal Corps of Signals
Died 5th September 1943.
Age 37

On 10th July 1943 a combined American and Commonwealth force invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy.  The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17th August when the Germans completed their fighting retreat and evacuated their forces to the mainland.  British troops suffered particularly heavy losses in their attempts to capture the port of Catania.  Signaller Irvin Appleton lost his life as a result of the operations in this area.

Irvin was the adopted son of George and Annie Appleton.  He was 37.  He had two brothers.  He attended St. Peter's Church, Ewood Bridge, where he was a superintendent of the Sunday School.  Irvin joined the Royal Artillery before the was and was later transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals.

Irvin lies in Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.  The cemetery is seven kilometres south west of the town.  It contains burials of those who died in the heavy fighting to take the town.  The burials also include those who died in the base hospital after the campaign ended.  There are 2,135 Commonwealth graves, of which 113 are unidentified.  Irvin is in Plot 2, Row C, Grave 7.