Bayeux War Cemetery

 

Country: France

Locality: Calvados

Identified Casualties: 4265

Google Earth Link: 

Cemetery 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). Due to road changes there is now no longer parking directly in front of the cemetery; it is better to park at the Museum and walk over.

Cemetery Information

Bayeux was entered late on 6th June 1944, but was formally liberated the next day. Charles de Gaulle established is first seat of government here until Paris was liberated, and it became the main staging post for the British Army in Normandy. The streets of Bayeux were too narrow for most military vehicles, and so the Royal Engineers and Pioneer Corps constructed a ring-road round Bayeux soon after D Day. Several military hospitals were established here, and many of the burials in the cemetery are from these.

WW2 Graves

There is a broad spectrum of units and battles relating to the fighting in Normandy in this cemetery.

It is the largest War Cemetery of the Second World War.

Photo Archive

 

batesvc.JPG (184262 bytes)
Corporal SIDNEY BATES VC

5779898, 1st Bn., Royal Norfolk Regiment

who died age 23
on 8th August 1944

Son of Frederick and Gladys May Bates, of Camberwell, London. (XX.E.19)

His VC 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 By then the enemy had withdrawn and Corporal Bates, by his supreme gallantry and self-sacrifice, had personally saved a critical situation.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.

 

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 WW2 Cemeteries ŠPaul Reed 2006-2007                                                                    Email: info@ww2cemeteries.co.uk