On 7th June we had the usual warm welcome at Bayeux and Tilly. The service at Bayeux in the presence of the Mayor and local dignitaries was conducted by Padre Mark Chester assisted by the Dean of Bayeux, Father Laurent Berthout, and was made especially memorable by the presence of the Guidon. We were also pleased to be joined by the CO RY and other members of RHQ as well as the head of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in France.
The only let-down of the whole trip was that our planned visit to Gold Beach that afternoon had to be abandoned due to traffic congestion. Fortunately, we were able to turn around before we got completely stuck (not always easy in a coach on Normandy’s narrow lanes) and Col Hunt briefed us on what really happened on the Jig Green sector of Gold Beach while we were parked outside the potato factory between Creuilly and Coulombs.
We continued to point 103, Tilly cemetery and Fontenay, and then back to St Pierre for the ceremony at Hélie Farm, where RHQ was hit. We laid our final wreath at the civilian memorial at Tilly museum where we finished with the usual cider with our local friends who, as always had turned out in force to welcome us. Our thanks once again to Jean-Pierre Benamou, Stéphane Jacquet, the Regional Councillor Olivier Quesnot and the Mayor and people of Tilly for making us so welcome.
The Padre and Father Laurent Berthout
Ceremony at the SRY memorial at St Pierre
M Jean-Pierre Benamou
The SRY memorial in its new location
Officers on parade
Capt. D.D. Render speaking at St Pierre
The Mayor of Bayeux