John Charles Dean
The 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers were part of the 7th Division which was
one of five British formations selected to be moved to Italy at the end
of 1917. This was a strategic and political move agreed by the British
Government at the request of the Allied Supreme War Council, as an effort
to stiffen Italian resistance to enemy attack after a recent disaster
at Caporetto. Many diaries at this time, by men who had witnessed slaughter
in the floods of Passchendaele, talk of the move and Italy as being "like
another world". Much work was done preparing to move into the mountainous
area of the Brenta, but eventually the Division was instead moved to the
line along the River Piave, taking up positions in late January 1918.
In October 1918 the Division played a central role in crossing the Piave,
the Battle of Vittoria Veneto and the eventual defeat of Austria-Hungary.