Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Paul Smashnuk

In memory of:

Sergeant Paul Smashnuk

November 24, 1943

Military Service


Service Number:

M/4075

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Canadian Artillery

Division:

3 Field Regt.

Additional Information


Commemorated on Page 214 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

IX. B. 2.

Location:

By the winter of 1943, the German armies in Italy were defending a line stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, to the Adriatic Sea south of Ortona. The Allies prepared to break through this line to capture Rome. For its part, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was to cross the Moro River and take Ortona. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it. Today, there are 1,615 graves in the cemetery, of which over 50 are unidentified and 1,375 are Canadian.

The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery lies in the locality of San Donato in the Commune of Ortona, Province of Chieti, and is sited on high ground near the sea just east of the main Adriatic coast road (SS16). The cemetery can be reached from Rome on the autostrada A25 (Rome-Pescara) by branching on the autostrada A14 and leaving it at Ortona. The approach road to the cemetery from the main road passes under an arch forming part of the little church of San Donato. The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Entrance– Entrance - Moro River Canadian War Cemetery - May 2013 … Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Moro River Canadian War Cemetery - May 2013 … Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Grave Marker– Grave marker - Moro River Canadian War Cemetery - May 2013 … Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of PAUL SMASHNUK– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Grave marker– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • The Nanton Cenotaph– In 1926 Albert J. Hart was commissioned to create a memorial to honour the memory of those Nanton and District citizens who were killed in action during World War I. The 6.5¿¿ high statue is of Carara Italian marble and features a soldier at rest, with arms reversed in the position that would have been assumed at the burial of a comrade. It rests on a pedestal of B.C. granite. Plaques list the names of those who did not return from both wars. As well, there is a plaque honouring those who served in the Korean War. The location originally chosen for the cenotaph was next to the sidewalk that linked Shaw Street, Nanton's main street, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Station. This was most appropriate as the railway was well used at the time and hundreds of residents and visitors alike would pass the silent soldier during a day. The cenotaph was unveiled August 13, 1927 by the Earl of Haddington. Mayor J.T. Cooper presided over the ceremonies and R.B. Bennett, who would go on to become the Prime Minister of Canada, gave the principal address. Annual Remembrance Day Services have been held at the cenotaph ever since. With the closure of the railway station and the transformation of Railway Avenue into a major highway, the cenotaph's location became less and less appropriate during the latter half of the twentieth century. With the co-operation of Nanton's No. 80 Branch, Royal Canadian Legion, the Town of Nanton, and the Nanton Lancaster Society the cenotaph was carefully dismantled and the statue cleaned. It was then re-erected in Centennial Park at the entrance to the air museum in time for the 2001 Remembrance Day Service. 
www.lancastermuseum.ca
  • Obituary– Obituary - PAUL SMASHNUK

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