22battalion crest

22nd Battalion 2NZEF

"Vrai et Fort"

Return To Trieste May - June 2005

The 2nd of May 2005 marked the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War for the New Zealand Forces in Italy, for on that date a small army group entered the northern Italian city of Trieste and were presented with the surrender of the German Army. Thus ended a long and costly war for New Zealand. But their time in Italy was not over. The occupation of Trieste was contested by the Yugoslav partisan forces who had entered from the north and east and the NZers now found themselves facing both partisans and renegade German units. Despite the surrender, several NZers lost their lives in the first few days, becoming the first victims of the "Cold War". We visited the grave of the first of these, Jack Russell. Many of the NZ troops remained in Trieste for several months until relieved by British and American forces.

To mark the occasion, a large party of 104 veterans and over 50 family and supporters made the pilgrimage back to Trieste, to visit the city, to recall memories and to seek closure on events from 60 years ago.

The trip was organised by the indomitable Ruth Sullivan of Christchurch to whom we are all very grateful for her efforts, energy and enthusiasm in the face of never-ending frustrations. That she got us all to and from Italy, housed every night, fed (very well) and transported to where we needed to be is a testament to her care and planning, and to the many extra hours of work she dedicated to the trip. "Thank you Ruth!"

The trip was part-funded by the "Our Heroes Trust" established by Greg Evans of Christchurch. All the participants in the trip are grateful to Greg for his generosity and for his tenacity in raising the funds.

This website is a personal diary of the trip, recording visits, events and locations. It is not a complete or "official" view, and others on the trip will have different versions, stories and photographs.

I present the trip here as a travel diary, with notes about each day and selected photographs. The diary is divided into daily files so you can read through the day then go to the record for the next or previous day.

Paul, July 2005

Day 1 Sat 21 May 2005 Departure from Auckland International Airport
Day 2 Sun 22 May 2005 Arrive in Milan, bus to hotel and evening meal
Day 3 Mon 23 May 2005 Bus tour around Milan - Castle, Leonardo's Horse, Duomo, Piazza
Day 4 Tues 24 May 2005 Early start for travel to Trieste, cocktails with British Consulate in evening
Day 5 Wed  25 May 2005 Trieste Mayoral Reception; official dinner in evening
Day 6 Thurs 26 May 2005 Wreath laying at Castle; 22nd Battalion Lunch; Rice Factory Camp; Miramare Castle
Day 7 Fri 27 May 2005 Tribunale Building
Bus to Muggia close to Slovenia Border; Udine Cemetery and the grave of David Russell GC (more information on Russell here); then on to hotel near Venice.
Day 8 Sat 28 May 2005 All day visit to Venice
Day 9 Sun 29 May 2005 Bus south to Ravenna, then Ravenna, Faenza and Forli Cemeteries; on to Riccione
Day 10 Mon 30 May 2005 Explored in Riccione in morning, bus to San Marino in afternoon
Day 11 Tues 31 May 2005 Bus to Bologna then on to Florence via hilltop town of Certaldo; hotel at Montecatini Terme
Day 12 Wed 1 June 2005 Day in Florence
Day 13 Thurs 2 June 2005 National Holiday in Italy. Visited Florence War Cemetery in morning; cable car to Montecatini Alto in afternoon.
Day 14 Fri 3 June 2005 Bus to Bologna, afternoon in city
Day 15 Sat 4 June 2005 Bus to hotel in Milan; afternoon ceremony for Norm McQuinlan
End of tour of Italy

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Last updated: 27 January 2023