2nd Bn The XX Lancashire Fusiliers
Battle for Medjez el Bab
Cemetery: MEDJEZ-EL-BAB MEMORIAL
Visiting Information: The cemetery gates are not locked, so it is possible to visit the cemetery, including Saturdays and Sundays, when it is un staffed. However, the register and visitors' book will not be available outside normal working hours, as they are kept locked in the gardeners tool shed. The gardeners hours of work are: July and August (Summer Hours) Monday - Thursday 06.00 - 14.00 Friday 06.00 - 13.00 September - June (Winter Hours) Monday - Thursday 07.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 17.00 Friday 07.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 16.00 Month of Ramadan Monday - Friday 08.00 - 15.00
Location Information: Medjez-el-Bab is 60 kilometres west of Tunis. Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, in which the Memorial stands, is situated 3 kilometres west of Medjez-el-Bab on the road to Le Kef (Route P5).
Historical Information: In May 1943, the war in North Africa came to an end in Tunisia with the defeat of the Axis powers by a combined Allied force. The campaign began on 8 November 1942, when Commonwealth and American troops made a series of landings in Algeria and Morocco. The Germans responded immediately by sending a force from Sicily to northern Tunisia, which checked the Allied advance east in early December. In the south, the Axis forces defeated at El Alamein withdrew into Tunisia along the coast through Libya, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army. By mid April 1943, the combined Axis force was hemmed into a small corner of north-eastern Tunisia and the Allies were grouped for their final offensive. Medjez-el-Bab was at the limit of the Allied advance in December 1942 and remained on the front line until the decisive Allied advances of April and May 1943. The MEDJEZ-EL-BAB MEMORIAL commemorates almost 2,000 men of the First Army who died during the operations in Algeria and Tunisia between 8 November 1942 and 19 February 1943, and those of the First and Eighth Armies who died in operations in the same areas between 20 February 1943 and 13 May 1943, and who have no known graves. The memorial stands within MEDJEZ-EL-BAB WAR CEMETERY where 2,903 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War are buried or commemorated. 385 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate three soldiers buried in Tunis (Borgel) Cemetery and one in Youks-les-Bains Cemetery, whose graves are now lost. The five First World War burials in Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery were brought in from Tunis (Belvedere) Cemetery or in Carthage (Basilica Karita) Cemetery in 1950.
No. of Identified Casualties: 1954
John (Jonty) Ashby Smith
John Ashby Smith aka Jonty Sports Team back row end right
John Ashby Smith aka Jonty POW Italy