Monday, 27 April 2015

Gill, Christopher - Fusilier

(No soldier photo available)
1st. Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers
Died 5 August 1943
Age 27

Although Sicily was invaded by Allied forces on 10 July 1943, the Royal Irish Fusiliers did not land until 28 July. However, they went into action against the German defenders on 2 August. The Germans were in strongpoints in mountainous country bisected by fast-flowing rivers. In heavy fighting, the Fusiliers drove the Germans back over the River Salso on 4 August. The following day, with great difficulty, they crossed the River Simeto. This was deeper, wider and faster-flowing than the Salso. The Fusiliers were soon engaged in house-to-house fighting in a cliff-top village and also suffered heavy casualties from machine-gun fire from houses on their flanks. Fusilier Christopher Gill died during these gallant actions.

Christopher was the son of Michael and Laura Gill. He was aged 27. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church, where a Requiem Mass was held for him when the news of his death was received. Before he enlisted he worked at Warburton's Flash Mill.

Christopher lies in Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy. The cemetery contains many burials from the heavy fighting in the area. It contains 2,135 Commonwealth graves. Christopher is in Plot 3, Row F, Grave 34.