France WWII Cemeteries British and Canadian

The British cemetery we visited was in Bayeux. We stopped after touring the Bayeux Tapestry.

While little actual fighting was in Bayeux, those buried here were brought in from surrounding villages and hospitals nearby.

This cemetery is the largest Commonwealth cemetery, having 4648 burials, 338 unknown.

Within this number are 500+ graves of other nationalities. It was the first time I’d seen a German headstone, which is the majority of the 500 at this site. Other nationalities included Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Czech Republic, Italy and South Africa.

At the back of the cemetery was the ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ which I saw in a number of cemeteries as we continued our travels.

There was one marker that indicated a gentleman that had been awarded the Victorian Cross – the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system.

Before leaving we got one photo in front of this gorgeous wisteria vine.

This Canadian cemetery had not been on our list of stops, but driving through the country-side we came upon it, circled around and stopped to honor those soldiers.

It was the only place during our travels that had (2) towers within the site.

Within this cemetery there are 2048 markers and 9 sets of brothers. Most were killed in early July 1944 in the Battle for Caen.

The cemetery also contains 3 British graves and 1 French grave – he was part of the French Resistance group who fought and died alongside the Canadien soldiers. He had no known relatives and was thus buried here.

Within this cemetery is also a Chaplan that was killed in cold blood by a German Panzer regiment on D-Day. His body was not found until July.

Researching this site after our visit, I found one interesting fact…….The Amazing Race – Canada had the contestants arrive at the cemetery and pay their respects before retrieving their clue ‘Les we Forget’ card.

It was a lucky find as we were traveling that day. There were quite a few visitors at this location, and we saw notes left from family members put with the gravestones, photocopies of a soldier in his youth along with his story of those he left behind in Canada.


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