|Moro River Canadian War Cemetery; photograph courtesy of the|
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Allies invaded the Italian mainland in September 1943. Their objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and France, where an invasion was planned the following year. At first progress through southern Italy was rapid, although there was resistance. With the Germans positioned defensively along their Gustav Line, fighting became more bitter. The 1st Canadian Division crossed the Moro River on 6 December and took Ortona on the 28th after bitter fighting and stiff resistance. John Patterson Wilson was killed on 10 December 1943. He was among 500 fatal battle casualties suffered by the Canadian division.
The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery contains 1,615 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.
"Moro River Canadian War Cemetery," Commonwealth War Graves Commission