John O’Neill

Guardsman John O'Neill died on 30th January 1944 during the Battle of Anzio. The Belfast-born Irish Guard is buried in the Anzio War Cemetery, Italy.


John O'Neill


Guardsman John O'Neill fought in the Battle of Anzio with 1st Battalion Irish Guards. He died less than a week after the amphibious landings of Operation Shingle.

Guardsman John O'Neill (2723120) served in 1st Battalion Irish Guards during World War Two. He was the son of Joseph O'Neill and Ellen O'Neill of Belfast, Co. Antrim.

John died in fierce fighting on 30th January 1944 during the Battle of Anzio. He was 20 years old. Beginning on 22nd January 1944, O’Neill took part in Operation Shingle, an amphibious landing as part of the Battle of Anzio. The aim was to establish a beachhead and aid the Allied advance on Rome.

Alan Whicker, working at Anzio for the BBC referred to the aftermath of the operation as one of the Allies “greatest blunders” of World War Two. They faced strong opposition with limited resources and lost many men.

John O’Neill’s grave is in Section IV, Row J, Grave 7 of Anzio War Cemetery, Italy. His headstone bears the inscription:

He died that we might live.

John lies next to fellow Irish Guards Lance Corporal William Samuel Johnston and Lance Sergeant Frederick Charles Cartlidge.

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