Select Page

Sapper Rudley Henry Bristow

Incident Report

Sangro river, Italy

  • September 3, 1943
  • Sangro river, Italy



On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. By 4 November, the Allied force that had fought its way up the Adriatic coast was preparing to attack the Sangro river positions. A bridgehead had been established by the 24th and by nightfall on the 30th, the whole ridge overlooking the river was in Allied hands. The site of this cemetery was selected by the 5th Corps and into it were brought the graves of men who had died in the fierce fighting on the Adriatic sector of the front in November-December 1943, and during the static period that followed. In addition, the cemetery contains the graves of a number of escaped prisoners of war who died while trying to reach the Allied lines. SANGRO RIVER WAR CEMETERY contains 2,617 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. Within the cemetery will be found the SANGRO RIVER CREMATION MEMORIAL, one of three memorials erected in Italy to officers and men of the Indian forces whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith - the other two cremation memorials are in Forli Indian Army War Cemetery and Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery. The memorial at Sangro River commemorates more than 500 servicemen.

Personal Details

  • 1950029 Sapper
  • Rudley Henry Bristow
  • 8 Bomb Disposal Section
  • Royal Engineers
Son of Mr and Mrs Sidney Bristow of Richmond, Surrey: Husband of Joyce Mabel Bristow of Richmond. Died on the 19th February 1944. Aged 22. Buried at Sangro War Cemetery. Grave XV A 21. Note: Downing, Halliday, Hamilton, Randal also died at this incident.


  1. Stephen Day

    Rudley Bristow was my uncle and i would like to have more information concerning the incident surrounding his death. My understanding is that he was in a lorry which hit a mine but i don’t know if this is correct.

    • Peter Markham

      Hi Stephen.
      Apologise for such a long time in replying at moment we don’t get a notification when a message comes on to the site

      At present sadly we have no details of how your Uncle died. Might i suggest that you go through the Veterans Agency web site, on there you will find a link to obtaining service records, these might show more information. If you do and find out anything else I can add the detail on his entry. If i can be of anymore help please contact me At


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Us

The aim of the site is to provide a meeting point for all those involved in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) or Search whether serving or ex-serving members of the Royal Engineers and a source of material for those researching the work of the Royal Engineers or family history


If you wish to donate to the running of the branch, please use the button below.

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2020 The Royal Engineers Association. All rights reserved.