Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gerald Edmund Leo Laurent

The 5th name on the memorial stone in Victoriatown is Gerald Edmund Leo Laurent, born 19/Jan/1926 in Pt. St. Charles to James and Luella Laurent. Gerald lived with his grandfather, Edward Laurent as both of his parents were deceased by the time Edmund was 10 years old.

Before enlistment he worked on the shipyard for 3 years as a riveter.

Edmund enlisted in the Renfrew and Lanark Scottish Regiment and was killed in action on 4/Oct/1944 and is buried at Cesena War Cemetery in the Commune of Cesena in the Province of Forli, Italy.


Historical Information:

On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side.

Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Appenine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adratic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in.

Most of those buried in this cemetery died during the advance from Rimini to Forli and beyond in September-November 1944, an advance across one flooded river after another in atrocious autumn weather.
The cemetery site was selected in November 1944 and burials were brought in from the surrounding battlefields.

Cesena War Cemetery contains 775 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Private Laurent was awarded:

1939-1945 Star
Italy Star
War Medal
CVSM & clasp

Inscription on marker: Rest in peace and all the souls of the faithful departed. – Gramma

No photo of headstone available at this time.

©2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson
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