75th Anniversary of the Ortona Dinner (Ortona, Italy)

Ortona 1943.jpg

It is the sincerest privilege of the Seaforths to extend a public invitation to the Regiment’s observance of the 75th Anniversary of the Ortona Dinner in Ortona, Italy. All who are interested in attending are welcome to do so! Two Canadian military historians from the Gregg Centre, Dr Lee Windsor & Dr Cindy Brown, will be associated with the tour. The following will be the schedule of events for the week surrounding the Dinner:

December 22nd – Pick up at Fiumicino Rome, Italy and bus transfer to Ortona.

December 23rd – Drive to Sant’Apollinare and view the stand across to San Leonardo, where the Road to Ortona began; proceed to San Leonardo, crossing the River Moro; lunch break. Sterlin Castle (San Donato). Our historians are Dr Lee Windsor and Dr Cindy Brown (University of New Brunswick). Return to Ortona for free time before dinner.

December 24th – Walking tour of Ortona and the key moments of the street battle; break for lunch; walking tour until dark; dinner; midnight mass in the cathedral.

December 25th – Moro River Cemetery for a tribute to the Seaforth fallen then Christmas dinner.

December 26th – Visit Cesena to pay tribute to Smokey Smith and see where he won his VC.

December 27th – Visit Battle of Ortona museum; lunch, then we have a Battle of Ortona conference in the afternoon offered by Dr Lee Windsor and Dr Cindy Brown. Dinner in a winery located on the battlefield.

December 28th – Participation in Ortona civilian ceremonies (to be attended by the Ambassador of Canada to Italy, Alexandra Bugailiskis, Col Tom Endicott, the Canadian Defence Attache in Italy, and a special VIP guest TBA); lunch at Casa Berardi where Canada won its first VC of the Italian Campaign, then to the Moro River for a tribute to the fallen. There is also a ceremony planned to dedicate a town square to Canada.

December 29th – Leave for Cassino, stopping at Cider Crossroads to visit the 12th CAR tank monument. Over to San Pietro Infine and the Liri Valley, lunch on the road. Return to Ortona.

December 30th – Montecassino then transfer to Rome.

If you are interested in joining this tour, or for more information please contact:

Master Corporal R. Jason Stewart

Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Junior Ranks Mess

Special Event Coordinator

Email: rj.stewart@outlook.com

To read more about the Battle of Ortona and the original Ortona Christmas Dinner of 1943 please click here.

W Michael Patience