Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project

Jack Victor HORSNAIL (of Teynham)

b. 1920
d. 2nd September 1944. Aged 24

Private, Service Number 6095958
2/5th Battalion
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)

Gradara War Cemetery, Italy
Killed in Action

Gradara War Cemetery, Italy

Jack Victor Horsnail of ConyerBorn in 1920, Jack was the son of George Frederick, a river lighterman, and Alice Maude (née Smith) of Conyer. Younger brother of Frank who was killed earlier and is also commemorated. The 1939 Register finds the family living at 1 Coastguards Cottages, Conyer.

Originally in the Royal West Kent Regiment from 20 July 1940, we know that Jack transferred to 2/5th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal Regiment (West Surrey) on 1 May 1944. We know this battalion was in Vis (Yugoslavia) and Egypt from 1 April - 17 July 1944. After this time they returned to Italy for operations on the "Gothic Line" in "Operation Olive".

Operation Olive (25 August-October 1944) was the first Allied attack on the German Gothic Line in the northern Apennines. Although most of the fortifications of the Gothic Line were captured early in the offensive, the Germans managed to hold on to new lines further back, and the Allied offensive eventually ran out of steam late in 1944, tantalisingly close to the Po plains.

On 19 September 1944 it was reported that Jack had been killed in action on 2 September 1944.

Gothic Line August 1944 - the concept of Operation Olive

Jack is buried in Gradara War Cemetery, Italy. The site cemetery contains the graves of casualties incurred during the advance from Ancona to Rimini, which broke the German's heavily defended Gothic Line, and in the heavy fighting around Rimini, which was taken by the Allies on 21 September 1944.

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