Laverty, 3779794 Private William, 7th Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, then part of the 167th Infantry Brigade of 10th Corps, died age 32, born 9th July 1912, on the 20th September 1944. As the newspaper says, he enlisted early in the war and took part in the fighting in North Africa and in Italy. Two brothers had served in the First World War and one was killed – See Virtual Memorial – and the other became a Quarter Master Sergeant and won a Military Medal. Yet another brother served in the RAF in WW2.
Laverty was killed on Italy’s east coast. On 3 September 1943 the Allies had invaded the Italian mainland, and the Italians had entered the war on the Allied side. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the Germans made successive stands on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Apennine mountains the last defence, the Gothic Line, was breached during the autumn and the front crept forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector. However, with divisions transferred to support the offensive in France, and the Germans dug in, the advance stalled.
Coriano Ridge was the last important ridge to be taken before winter 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 and topography, resisted all attacks between 4 and 12 September 1944.
On the night of 12 September the Eighth Army reopened its attack on the Ridge, the 1st British and 5th Canadian Armoured Divisions participating. This attack was successful in taking the Ridge, but it marked the beginning of a period of the heaviest fighting experienced since Monte Cassino in May, with daily losses for the Eighth Army of some 150 killed. Laverty was killed at the end of the operation on the 20th September.
He was the son of Alexander and his second wife Agnes, nee Dempsey, of Cullybackey, Co. Antrim. She was born at Tullygarley and he at the Dreen, Cullybackey, and the couple had wed in Craigs Parish Church, Cullybackey on the 20th April 1908.