Monday, 27 April 2015

Coxhill, Walter - Sergeant

(No soldier photo available)
1st Airborne Bn.
Border Regiment
Died 9th July 1943. 
Age 29

Sergeant Walter Coxhill was a member of the airborne force taking part in the invasion of Sicily from Tunisia on the night of 9/10 July. As the Dakota planes towing the Waco gliders bearing the men of the Border Regiment neared the coast, a combination of bad weather, intense darkness, anti-aircraft fire and the inexperience of the American pilots, caused many of the gliders to be released too early. The result was over 60 per cent landed in the sea. Walter was later reported missing, presumed drowned.

Walter was the husband of Sarah, of Carlisle, Cumbria. He was aged 29. He was born in Rising Bridge and as a boy he attended Benjamin Hargreaves School, Accrington. He was a Regular soldier, having enlisted in 1932.
Walter's name is on the Casino Memorial, Italy. 
The Memorial is situated within Casino War Cemetery, above which is the hill on which stands the Abbey of Monte Casino. The site for the cemetery was originally selected in January 1944, but it was impossible to use until the Germans were cleared from the area. The Memorial commemorates over 4,000 Commonwealth servicemen who took part in the Italian campaign and whose graves are not known. Walter is commemorated on Panel 7.