Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:56 am
This is what the Commonwealth War Graves Commission says about Taranto Town Cemetery:
The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918, and rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919.
Taranto was used as a base by the Royal Navy immediately after the Italian declaration of war, but its importance to Commonwealth troops dates from the summer of 1917, when the Mediterranean lines of communication were established. These lines ran from the eastern theatres of war through Taranto, Turin, Lyons and Le Mans to Cherbourg. A base and rest camp were made at Taranto and labour units, including the 8th, 10th and 11th Battalions, British West Indies Regiment, were brought in. No 79 General and No 6 Labour Hospitals followed.
The Town Cemetery was used for Commonwealth burials from June 1915 to April 1919, but as early as January 1918, it became necessary to open a military extension. After the Armistice the 102 Commonwealth burials in the town cemetery were removed to this extension, and the grave of one sailor was brought in from Trani Communal Cemetery in 1958.
As you will see Taranto was used in the Lines of Communication to Eastern theatres and troopships would arrive and depart from places such as Port Said & Alexandria, There are War Diaries at the National Archives devoted to Lines of Communication, so you may find out the circumstances of Capt. Andrew McAlliter's death. They start at WO 95/4252.