Gordon Gerald Kingshott

Gordon Gerald Kingshott was a Private in the 48th Highlanders of Canada, RCIC. His service number was B/79966.

Gordon was born on 1st January 1924 in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. His parents were Thomas Henry Kingshott and Elizabeth nee Fraser. He was the last born son of a large family of thirteen. He did not have time to marry before going off to war.

 

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. Coriano Ridge was the last important ridge in the way of the Allied advance in the Adriatic sector in the autumn of 1944. Its capture was the key to Rimini and eventually to the River Po. German parachute and panzer troops, aided by bad weather, resisted all attacks on their positions between 4 and 12 September 1944.

 

On the night of 12 September the Eighth Army reopened its attack on the Ridge, with the 1st British and 5th Canadian Armoured Divisions. This attack was successful in taking the Ridge, but marked the beginning of a week of the heaviest fighting experienced since Cassino in May, with daily losses for the Eighth Army of some 150 killed. It was during this fighting, on 16th September 1944, Gordon Gerald Kingshott became one of these fatalities.

He is buried at Coriano Ridge Cemetery and remembered in Canada as there is a Kingshott Lake named in his honour. 

 

Gordon was my 6th cousin twice removed.

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