6022816 6th Battalion Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment
William Hurst known as Billy was born on 20th January 1920 at the family home, in Mill Lane, Sudbury. He was the son of George William and Rose Hurst and had 2 sisters Florence and Lucille. His father was employed on the railway. Billy attended Mill Lane Council School. He was a good friend of Jimmy Pilgrim, who lost his life as a prisoner of war in the Far East; they worked together at Bakers Mill, Great Cornard.
Billy was in the army when he married Freda Whiteley in West Butterwick, Lincolnshire in 1942.
In September 1943 the Italians surrendered and the Allied forces were left fighting the Germans in Italy. The 6th Battalion part of 36th Brigade landed at Termoli. As the Germans retreated the battalion crossed the River Sangro to reconnoitre their positions. In the spring of 1944 the battalion was at the battle of Cassino, positioned in the Castle and on Castle Hill taking heavy casualties from the Germans who overlooked their positions from Monastery Hill (Monte Cassino). The battalion was in reserve during the final battle in May and then began the advance towards Rome.
Billy died aged 24 on 26th June 1944 and lies buried in Florence War Cemetery, Italy.
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