Mast.-Cpl. Garth Stromberg Smith, 16, was among roughly 70 cadets from 2277 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps Seaforth Highlanders who held their Ortona Christmas Dinner on Dec. 14 at the Cloverdale Legion.
During the Second World War, nearly 1,400 Canadian soldiers died in the ruins of Ortona, Italy, in an eight-day battle dubbed Little Stalingrad, before the Germans were routed on Dec. 28, 1943. On Christmas Day, the Canadians ate in shifts in a bombed out church as fighting waged on around them.
The meal is recreated each December by Seaforth Highlanders and cadets.
Candy cigarettes, oranges, and root beer are modern versions of the Dec. 24, 1943 menu served, on white table cloths, to Canadian soldiers.
The Cloverdale Legion hosted the 70th anniversary dinner last year.