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Thread: Best Normandy CWGC site?

  1. #1
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    Best Normandy CWGC site?

    Heading off to The Beaches on Thursday

    If you had to choose one Normandy CWGC site, which would you visit?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  2. #2
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    Gosh....

    We'll be just up the road from you!

    I will wave at all the British cars I see. Just in case.

    There was one cemetery that really struck a chord with me. Only tiny...I need to look at my maps.
    http://andysaunders.tumblr.com/


    Trouble is, when the fat lady sings, it might signal a Da Capo moment...

  3. #3
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    Moggy,
    If you've never been you have a choice. The British Cemetery at Bayeux is very simple and very moving. You also have a good museum nearby and 'The Tapestry'.
    The American Cemetery behind Omaha Beach at Colleville/St Laurent sur Mer is an incredible sight. The view over the beach and the ranks of headstones tell the story. Totally different from Bayeux.
    And do not miss the Pegasus Bridge Museum at Benouville between Caen and Ouistreham. Or the remains fo the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches or ......
    You need a week really!
    Roger W

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    Heading off to The Beaches on Thursday

    If you had to choose one Normandy CWGC site, which would you visit?

    Moggy
    hi Moggy

    Found this one in 1991 whilst visiting the ALG locations of 125 Wing, one of the smallest in the area and right beside the road - the JERUSALEM WAR CEMETERY, CHOUAIN which contains the grave of a 16 year old DLI soldier

    BANKS, JACK Private 14429036 21/07/1944 16 Durham Light Infantry United Kingdom Row B. 15. JERUSALEM WAR CEMETERY, CHOUAIN and a padre

    HAWKSWORTH, The Rev. CECIL JAMES Chaplain 4th Class 90874 07/07/1944 35 Royal Army Chaplains' Department United Kingdom Row B. 2. JERUSALEM WAR CEMETERY, CHOUAIN

    Just how old was Jack Banks when he enlisted - he must have spent several months in training before being sent to Normandy - so probably only 15!

    I was also searching (no CWGC website in those days) by a process of elimination the grave of the father of my local vicar (Bob Groves).

    He had always presumed that his father was buried near to Cannes in the south of France until I heard of his date of death and realised that he meant near to Caen, Normandy so I promised to track him down whilst on my own quest - I eventually tracked him down in ST. MANVIEU WAR CEMETERY, CHEUX

    GROVES, RONALD JOHN ROBERT Private 5673724 10/07/1944 24 Somerset Light Infantry United Kingdom X. G. 6. ST. MANVIEU WAR CEMETERY, CHEUX

    Have a safe trip - regardless of where you end up - they are all worth a visit, and signing the visitors book as well.

    As well as numerous other British and Canadian cemeteries I have also visited the US cemetery behind Omaha beach - and walked up from the sea to the cemetery trying to put myself into the same situation as 1944 (but without the incoming fire and heavy equipment) - and also to the German cemetery at La Cambe.

    Allan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger W View Post
    Moggy,
    If you've never been you have a choice. The British Cemetery at Bayeux is very simple and very moving.

    And do not miss the Pegasus Bridge Museum at Benouville between Caen and Ouistreham. Or the remains fo the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches or ......
    You need a week really!
    +1.

    And a visit to Cafe Gondree next to the new Pegasus Bridge is a must as well for a bier. (The original bridge is a mere 100 metres away next to the museum.)

    Now owned by the daughters of Madame and Monsieur Gondree, or at least it was when I went 7 years ago. It's like a time warp inside, and no photograhpy is allowed.

    http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur..._Normandy.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger W View Post
    Moggy,
    If you've never been you have a choice. The British Cemetery at Bayeux is very simple and very moving.

    {snip}
    Indeed. Especially wandering around with your dad as he finds old friends and tells you tales about his mates who are buried there

    Richard

  7. #7
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    I suspect mogs has been before but agree with Bayeaux, it is a very well laid out cemetery.


    For me personally, the little CWGC section at Douvres-de-Deliverande, here: http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=49.29....3&r=0&src=msl
    for the Suffolk Regiment losses in the attack on 'Hillman' & 'Morris' where my dear old Dad fought.
    Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group
    http://hamg.co.uk

    www.wartime-airfields.com

  8. #8
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    I have indeed been once or twice before

    In fact I am leading a group of eight, and have the rest of the two-day itinerary mapped out (Including the US Cemetery at Colleville, Pegasus, Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha, Utah, St Mere Eglise, and possibly the big German cemetery)

    All I seek is the best Allied cemetery to take them to. Doesn't have to be the biggest, it could contain somebody notable (Den Brotherton is already a possibility)

    Thanks for all suggestions so far, keep 'em coming

    Tangmere: No use looking for UK registered cars - travel by UK registered aircraft to Cherbourg, then Frog-registered minibus.
    Last edited by Moggy C; 8th May 2012 at 08:18.
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunatly there is plenty of choice.

    But there was one, a very small one, cant think of its name, maybe only a couple of dozen graves? The all gave me a lump in the throat but this one even more so.

    It is the last resting place of the youngest serving member of the armed forces to die in WW2.

    Must have photos or details here somewhere, will get back to you asap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allan125 View Post
    hi Moggy

    Found this one in 1991 whilst visiting the ALG locations of 125 Wing, one of the smallest in the area and right beside the road - the JERUSALEM WAR CEMETERY, CHOUAIN which contains the grave of a 16 year old DLI soldier
    Thanks Allan. That sounds like it might also be the one referred to by Roadracer above.

    I have located it, well south of Bayeux, that might be a little too much of a diversion in the time available. But it will be retained. Using Google Street View it is possible to see what a beautiful site it is.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    Thanks Allan. That sounds like it might also be the one referred to by Roadracer above.

    I have located it, well south of Bayeux, that might be a little too much of a diversion in the time available. But it will be retained. Using Google Street View it is possible to see what a beautiful site it is.

    Moggy
    Hi Moggy

    Ranville is well worth a visit, not only for the 6th Airborne in June but for the later battles - have a family member, from a previous marriage, buried there - who was caught up in a VC battle:

    Lieutenant Tasker Watkins

    "On 16 August 1944 at Barfour, Normandy, France, Lieutenant Watkins' company came under murderous machine-gun fire while advancing through corn fields set with booby traps. The only officer left, Lieutenant Watkins led a bayonet charge with his 30 remaining men against 50 enemy infantry, practically wiping them out. Finally, at dusk, separated from the rest of the battalion, he ordered his men to scatter and after he had personally charged and silenced an enemy machine-gun post, he brought them back to safety. His superb leadership not only saved his men, but decisively influenced the course of the battle."


    SHARP, AUBREY CHARLES Private 3957972 16/08/1944 30 Welch Regiment United Kingdom IX. D. 19. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    Allan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    All I seek is the best Allied cemetery to take them to. Doesn't have to be the biggest, it could contain somebody notable (Den Brotherton is already a possibility)
    Mogs.
    Sorry to be a pedant but it's Den Brotheridge, and Ranville Churchyard is the one I'd suggest.
    If you're not moved there--you're either dead yourself of made of asbestos.
    Andy.
    It is better to be born a beggar than a fool.

  13. #13
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    Jerusalem is the one I was thinking of. Pity you won't have time to visit!

    I am sure you will have a fascinating and worthwhile visit, wherever you go.
    http://andysaunders.tumblr.com/


    Trouble is, when the fat lady sings, it might signal a Da Capo moment...

  14. #14
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    For me, it's those tiny wayside cemeteries that are the most moving. IIRC, outside Viller-Bocage is a beautifully tended cemetery with a single British officer's grave. Clearly local people think an awful lot of him

    Richard

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    The Ranville cemetry was the first CWGC site I visited and the only one I went to with my father. It was a moving experience for a 12 year old to listen to his father saying "he had red hair" or "I met his fiance." which were memories that came back when on a coach tour I revisted the cemetry several years after my father had died and realised it was the one he had taken me to.
    Ranville CWGC cemetry joins on to Ranville church yard and that is where Den Brotheridge is buried rather than in the main CWGC cemetry.

  16. #16
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    Hi Richard

    In cases like this you will generally find that the villagers requested that his body remains where he died instead of being "concentrated" into a larger cemetery post-war.

    The saddest ones to me are the tank crews where the gravestones are joined together as they cannot distinguish the individual person.

    Allan

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    Quote Originally Posted by |RLWP View Post
    For me, it's those tiny wayside cemeteries that are the most moving. IIRC, outside Viller-Bocage is a beautifully tended cemetery with a single British officer's grave. Clearly local people think an awful lot of him

    Richard
    I agree, when staying in France you come across many of these smaller cemeteries and I make a point of stopping and paying my respects.

    Found a small one near houlle that was a small group of WWI headstones with a couple from May 1940.

    I hang my head in shame though as there is a CWGC just down the road in Harrogate and I have yet to go, time to change that.
    Last edited by robdd1; 8th May 2012 at 18:25.

  18. #18
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    Here are photos of the CWGC cemetries at Ranville and the small one at Jeruselem.Click image for larger version. 

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    Ranville cemetry and church
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    memorial window Ranville church
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jeruselem

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan125 View Post
    Hi Richard

    The saddest ones to me are the tank crews where the gravestones are joined together as they cannot distinguish the individual person.

    Allan
    I find those quite touching too, yet somehow right - they served together as a tight crew, died together and remain together. I seem to remember that there are aircrew buried in a similar way.

    Richard

  20. #20
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    Bizarrely for me, when I made the visit to Bayeux with the wife and 2 extremely boisterous 14 and 9 year old daughters 7 years ago, I have never seen kids so quiet.

    Very moving even for them.

    Perhaps I should have gone more often.

  21. #21
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    There's a 16 year old buried at Ranville as well.


    .....When a man is tired of Duxford he's tired of life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moggy C View Post
    Thanks Allan. That sounds like it might also be the one referred to by Roadracer above.

    I have located it, well south of Bayeux, that might be a little too much of a diversion in the time available. But it will be retained. Using Google Street View it is possible to see what a beautiful site it is.

    Moggy
    Think thats the one okay,but cant find the photos to make sure. On that trip we visited every cemetary in or around Normandy so its hard to remember.

    But I do seem to remember that there was a young lad who was under 16, lied about his age or something? Died around d-day?

    Edit, just did a google search and found this;

    http://www.cottontown.org/page.cfm?p...1&language=eng

    Remarkable courage.
    Last edited by roadracer; 8th May 2012 at 22:26.

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    Hi Moggy

    Will you please complete this piece upon your return and give us chapter and verse on your visit.

    Hope the weather is better than we are getting in Cornwall right now

    Allan

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    Delighted to if I ever get there!

    At the moment just sitting out the weather

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  25. #25
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    Moggy

    If you make Bayeux, look up at the latin inscription on the memorial which translates (wikipedia's version) to, "We, whom William once conquered, have now set free the conqueror's native land". What a profound statement and one which adds an extra dimension to the impact of those graves laid out before it.

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