Remembering Cecil George Last of Kew Gardens died Italy WW2 22 June 1944

C.G. Last, 22 June 1944 MM, Military Medal
Corporal 9900V, Cecil George Last served with the South African Medical Corps, attached First City / Cape Town Highlanders, South African Forces.  Cecil died aged 36 and is buried at Assisi War Cemetery, Italy.

He is remembered on the Kew Gardens staff war memorial WW2 section.


Assisi CWGC War Cemetery, Italy (Image source: CWGC)


Assisi War Cemetery  is mostly made up of burials from June to July 1944 from battles with the Germans who were trying to stop the Allied advance north of Rome.

Born October 12, 1910,  he was the son of William G. and Beatrice Last of Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
His Kew Guild obituary notes that he was killed at Chiusi in Italy whilst attempting “under heavy shell fire … to bring to safety one of his native stretcher bearers who was wounded and exposed to heavy fire.”

He was previously noted for gallantry and awarded the Military Medal whilst wounded in the Desert campaign. He served as a medic with the South African Highlanders until after El Alamein.

Cecil was one of several Kew Gardens staff killed in the fighting in Italy in WW2 in 1944. You can read more about the lost gardeners of Kew in WW2:

Cecil George Last of Kew Gardens, died 22 June 1944 WW2 – remembered 75 years on. 

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 22 June 1944 / 2019. 

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