About Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery
The Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery in Italy is a World War II Commonwealth cemetery which contains the graves of 618 soldiers who were a part of the Indian forces during intense fighting between Allied and German forces from 1943 onwards.
History of Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery
The cemetery lies in the Commune of Rimini in the Province of Rimini.
In September 1943, the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, with the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side.
Rimini became the site of fierce clashes between Allied and German forces in 1944. Since Italy had entered into an armistice with the Allies (3 September 1943), the aim was to push German forces out of the country. In the Rimini area, most of these troops came from the 4th and 10th Indian Divisions, later aided by the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade.
Severe fighting near Rimini took place in the autumn of 1944, with successive stands made by the Germans during their retreat leading to a long and difficult winter stakeout.
The site of the Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery was chosen in October 1945. In it is a collection of graves from battlefields around Rimini. Within the cemetery is also the Rimini Cremation Memorial, which was erected in honour of 172 cremated Indian troops.
Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery Today
Today, the cemetery is permanently open and can be visited by anyone. It is one of three memorials erected in Italy to officers and men of the Indian Army who were cremated after their death during the Second World War: the others are in Forli Indian Army War Cemetery and in Sangro River War Cemetery.
Getting to Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery
The War Cemetery lies in the Commune of Rimini in the Province of Rimini, just west of the SS72 from Rimini to San Marino and six kilometres from Rimini.
From the centre of Rimini, the site is reachable in around 12 minutes by car. Take the autostrada A14, Bologna-Ancona. Exit at San Marino, Rimini South. On leaving the motorway head towards San Marino and the cemetery is 4.5 kilometres down the road on the right hand side.
There are also a number of connecting buses from the centre of Rimini which take forty minutes to an hour to reach the site.