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BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY & MEMORIAL , FRANCE

Photographs Copyright © Lynda Smith 2002

Situated just outside the town of Bayeux and in sight of the famous Cathedral, is the British War Cemetery and Memorial, where those who died during Operation Overlord from 6th June 1944 (D-Day) are buried or commemorated.

Bayeux Military Cemetery is the largest British World War II Cemetery in France. Row upon row of white gravestones, each with its small garden, stand in militarily Regimented lines among the manicured lawns and horse chestnut trees. It is a peaceful place, especially since the Bayeux by-pass has taken much of the through traffic away from the town, and the silence is broken by the song of birds – thrushes, blackbirds and chaffinches. The view from the cemetery is dominated by the spires and copper dome of Bayeux Cathedral, and within a short distance is the Bayeux Tapestry – memories of a battle fought long ago on British soil.

The cemetery is the last resting place of 4,648 soldiers, sailors and airmen from all corners of the world. Here you will find Major Generals next to Privates, Catholics next to Jews, Russians next to Canadians. Rank, creed and nationality have no meaning anymore. Every gravestone represents someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother.

Across the road nearest the town is the Bayeux Memorial. Here 2,808 men and women who have no known grave are commemorated.

Close by is the Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum. In the grounds are two American, a British and a German Tank. There are also three memorials in the grounds.

DEDICATED TO THE ETERNAL MEMORY OF THOSE MEMBERS OF
THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SUPPORT OF
THE D-DAY LANDINGS JUNE 1944
AND DURING THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY AND BEYOND.
TO COMMEMORATE THE LIBERATION OF BAYEUX
ON 7 JUNE 1944
& IN HONOURED MEMORY OF ALL RANKS OF THE
2ND BATTALION THE ESSEX REGIMENT
“THE POMPADOURS”
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN FRANCE, BELGIUM AND HOLLAND
6 JUNE 1944 – 8 MAY 1945

NOTTS (SHERWOOD RANGERS) YEOMANRY
TO COMMEMORATE THE LIBERATION OF BAYEUX
7TH JUNE 1944 AND IN HONOUR AND
REMEMBRANCE OF ALL OUR COMRADES WHO
GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM
“YE SHALL CALL THEM BLESS’D”

SEPT. 1993

25 May 2003

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