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The official Government of Canada delegation attends a historical briefing at the Governor General’s Horse Guards monument in Aquino, Italy, followed by a visit to a plaque honouring Major John Mahony, VC.

December 1, 2019

On December 1, 2019 the Government of Canada delegation attended a historical briefing at the Governor General’s Horse Guard monument in Aquino, Italy. The briefing was led by Professor Gianni Blasi, a Canadian-Italian passionate about Canadian military history. The Governor General’s Horse Guard Regiment landed in Italy on December 19, 1943 as part of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division. In May 1944, the 5th Division entered the Liri Valley with the intention of breaching the Gustav and Hitler Lines. Following a short rest after the Liri Valley battle, the Regiment was moved to the Adriatic coast to participate in breaching of the Gothic Line from September to December 1944. The monument was unveiled in May 2019. Members of the delegation then visited a plaque honouring Major John Mahony, VC, which was attended by the Mayor of Roccaseca. On 24 May 1944, Major Mahony led his company across the Melfa River in Italy under heavy artillery fire. His task was to secure a firm bridgehead on the western side of the river, and was part of the operations by 1st Canadian Corps to break through the Adolf Hitler Line. For his exemplary leadership and courage in this action, Major Mahony was awarded the Victoria Cross. Mahony died in London, Ontario on 15 December 1990.

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