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William Henry Hall

Sapper William Henry Hall, 4351431, 588 Field Company, Royal Engineers.

Son of Charles and Annie Hall, of Wakefield, Yorkshire.

Sapper William Henry Hall died on the 5th December 1944 aged 21 years and is buried at grave reference I D 13 at Forli War Cemetery, Italy. The cemetery is in Vecchiazzano, a small village very close to Forli.

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. 

The cemetery site was selected soon after the Eighth Army took Forli in November 1944 and graves were brought into it from the surrounding battlefields. Many of those buried there lost their lives in the heavy fighting between Rimini and Ravenna which took place in appalling weather in October-December 1944. 

Forli War Cemetery contains 738 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, four of which are unidentifed.

References:

1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site