Prince Harry hails 'forgotten' heroes of Monte Cassino

Prince Harry has paid tribute to the veterans of one of the Second World War's bloodiest battles, and told ITV News it "makes no sense at all" that it is often referred to as the "forgotten campaign".

Live updates

Harry joins vets to recall terrible toll of Monte Cassino

Veterans of the Battle of Monte Cassino gathered alongside Prince Harry today to mark 70 years since one of the costliest battles of the Second World War.

While Harry praised their courage, one veteran of the Italian assaults told ITV News: "I never thought I would come out of it alive".

ITV News Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:

Advertisement

Prince Harry: 'Forgotten' tag makes no sense at all

Prince Harry has told ITV News it "makes no sense at all" that the Battle of Monte Cassino is referred to by some as the "forgotten campaign" - insisting the veterans of one of the Second World War's bloodiest battles deserve "as much recognition" as anyone else that served in the conflict.

Speaking to Royal Editor Tim Ewart at the site of the assaults, Harry praised the heroism of those who fought for months on end "knowing that they were going to lose most of their friends and probably themselves as well".

'I thought we were forgotten,' says 90-year-old veteran

Prince Harry at today's memorial service on the battle's 70th anniversary. Credit: BR/Dana Press Photos/Press Association Images

A 90-year-old veteran has spoken of how he faced the horrors of Monte Cassino aged just 18.

Ivor Gaskill, who served with the Royal Hampshire Regiment as a private, said: "I remember trying to get up the hill - we were up to our waists in mud and water, soaking wet, hungry and full of lice.

"We were being shelled and shot at constantly but it was just a case of keep going. What else was there to do? You couldn't run away.

The veteran who returns each year to the site where so many of his friends died - welcomed Prince Harry's visit, saying: "I thought we were forgotten.

"It's great to see him here. It's marvellous of him to do it."

Prince Harry's message to the fallen at Monte Cassino

Prince Harry left a personal tribute to the British soldiers who lost their lives at the battle of Monte Cassino.

The prince took part in a memorial service to mark 70 years since the battle and left a wreath with a note, saying: "In memory of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Thank you."

Prince Harry's message to the fallen at Monte Cassino. Credit: Instagram/Clarence House

Advertisement

Prince Harry pays his respects at Monte Cassino

Prince Harry has taken part in a memorial service 70 years on from one of the Second World War's bloodiest battles.

On the second day of a two-day visit to Italy, Harry took part in a procession and met veterans of the battle of Monte Cassino - a brutal clash which saw around thousands of Allied and Axis soldiers lose their lives.

Harry among the graves at the Cassino Commonwealth War Cemetery. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The prince, who himself serves in the Household Cavalry, also laid a wreath for the British soldiers who died during the fight to take control of the strategically important monastery above the town of Cassino.

Harry taking part in the procession at the start of the commemoration service. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

As well as British forces, a number of Commonwealth soldiers took part in the battle, along with forces from the USA, Poland, France royalist Italian troops.

The prince meeting veterans of the battle. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Harry arrives for Monte Cassino memorial service

Prince Harry has arrived for the service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino, one of the most important battles of the Italian campaign during the Second World War.

ITV News Royal Editor Tim Ewart is covering the service, along with royal producer Emma Wright.

Veterans gather for 70th anniversary of Monte Cassino

ITV News royal producer Emma Wright is in Italy ahead of Prince Harry's arrival at the site of the battle of Monte Cassino.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports