Roger Waters Learns Details of Father’s Death
Growing up, Waters had been told that his father had been missing and presumed dead at the Battle of Anzio in Italy on Feb. 18, 1944, when Roger was only five months old. Harry Shindler, the head of a veterans group, learned of Waters’ situation when the star visited the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Monte Cassino, Italy.
Shindler, who also fought at Anzio and now lives in Italy, tracked down the official records of the battle and learned that Eric Fletcher Waters was killed in a ditch at 11:30AM when his company was surrounded. He phoned Waters with the information.
“Harry is such a remarkable man,” Waters told the Telegraph. “This isn’t a one-off for him. He has been doing it for years and years. He’s made it his life’s work to find out what happened to men who served.”
According to a map, the location of the ditch is currently the center of the town of Aprilla, which is located 10 miles north of Anzio. Shindler is working with the local government to erect a plaque in memory of those who lost their lives at Anzio in time for the battle’s 70th anniversary. Waters expects to be in attendance.
To thank Shindler for his work, Waters sent him a poem he wrote in the ’90s called ‘One River’ about having not known his father. “To Harry, with gratitude,” Waters signed.
“It’s very moving indeed,” Shindler said. “I think Roger was grateful that I went to all this trouble to find where his father was killed. I see my job as to make sure that nobody forgets all the lads who died down there and what happened after the landings. I came through it, fortunately, but many didn’t.”