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Bayeux War Cemetery

Discussion in 'Bayeux War Cemetery' started by Jim, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    4.648 graves: 3.935 British, 17 Australian, 181 Canadian, 8 New Zealanders, 1 South African, 25 Polish, 3 French, 2 Czech, 2 Italian, 7 Russian, 466 German, I Unknown.

    LOCATION:
    The cemetery lies on the south-west side of the main ring road (built by the British in 1944) around the city of Bayeux. It is about 100 metres from the junction with the D5 to Littry, and almost opposite the Museum of the Battle of Normandy (which is well signposted throughout Bayeux).

    Bayeux was liberated the day after the Landings on 7th June 1944. The first cemetery was laid out near a Field Hospital. Soldiers who died in other hospitals in the area were buried there subsequently. Bayeux is the largest British cemetery in France from the Second World War and the most cosmopolitan with 11 nationalities.

    This Memorial stands on the opposite side of the road from the cemetery.

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    Beyond an entrance hall, stand two small towers, one either side of the Stone of Remembrance. Among the graves of the Commonwealth there are also different types of headstones for the Polish, French, Czech, Italian and Russian soldiers. as well as a sizeable German section. The cemetery is bounded by a low hedge of trimmed Beech leaving a view of the Cathedral and the City. On the other side of the road stands the memorial with the names inscribed of 1,537 British, 270 Canadians and 1 South African. These are the names of soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who are commemorated on their own memorials in Britain.

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  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Corporal Sidney Bates

    One of the few Normandy VC winners is buried here. Corporal Sidney Bates was serving with the Norfolk’s when he took part in action at Sourdeval in August 1944, which resulted in the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross. From Camberwell, in London, Bates was badly wounded in the action, dying of his wounds the next day.

    The Victoria Cross
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    His citation reads:

    "In North-West Europe on 6th August, 1944, the position held by a battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment near Sourdeval was heavily attacked. Corporal Bates was commanding a forward section of the left forward company which suffered some casualties, so he decided to move the remnants of his section to an alternative position from which he could better counter the enemy thrust. As the threat to this position became desperate, Corporal Bates seized a light machine-gun and charged, firing from the hip. He was almost immediately wounded and fell, but he got up and advanced again, though mortar bombs were falling all round him. He was hit a second time and more seriously wounded, but he went forward undaunted, firing constantly till the enemy started to fall back before him. Hit for the third time, he fell, but continued firing until his strength failed him. By then the enemy had withdrawn and Corporal Bates, by his supreme gallantry and self-sacrifice, had personally saved a critical situation. He died shortly afterwards of the wounds he had received."

    The Grave of Sydney Bates at the Bayeux War Cemetery

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  3. Junkie88

    Junkie88 New Member

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    been there, this cemetary has far more flowers than the german one. good to know that some people still honour their ancestors
     
  4. Jamie 111

    Jamie 111 New Member

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    Graves

    Superb photos mate. Very interesting details about the V.C. winner.
     
  5. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    Cracking read about the VC.
     
  6. jjaelovesenglish

    jjaelovesenglish New Member

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    Great photos. I did not have a chance to visit, but had the intentions to do so.
     

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