Last year was the 70th anniversary of D Day and our tour included the main ceremony at Bayeux cemetery on the morning of 6th June as well as the usual SRY commemorations on the 7th. The forecast was bad and the weather the previous week had been awful but, except for an overnight storm, and unlike in 1944, it was warm and sunny throughout our trip.
On our first day, 5th June, we followed part of the SRY route south via Mont Pinçon to Berjou where the Regiment fought its last major battle in Normandy on 16th August 1944. At Berjou, we dedicated a memorial to those killed nearby which had been erected on our behalf by the local community organised by M Jean-François Brisset, a local schoolmaster, and M Romain Bon the founder and curator of the local war museum. On the way, we stopped at the calvary outside Berjou near which the worst of the battle took place.
The ceremony, which was attended by the Mayor and Regional Councillor and a large number of local people, was conducted by Padre Mark Chester of the RY who was travelling with us and who also conducted the SRY service at Bayeux on 7th June. Wreaths were laid by local schoolchildren, by the Mayor and on behalf of the Regiment. Afterwards, we were entertained to drinks at M Bon’s museum and we were then welcomed to M Brisset’s school which kindly arranged lunch served to us by the children. We are most grateful to M Brisset, his headmaster M Mary and the Mayor and citizens of Berjou for their kind welcome and their help in commemorating our comrades who died there 70 years ago. The visit was well covered by the local press and even the BBC was represented. See the BBC webpage.
Schoolchildren with their wreath
Messrs. Maltby, Woodward & Barrow
Maj Marsh, the Padre and the Hon. Col.
The Secretary thanking M Romain Bon.