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British War Cemetery Ranville

Discussion in 'Ranville War Cemetery' started by Jim, Aug 28, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    2,562 graves: 2,151 British, 76 Canadian, 1 Australian, 1 Belgian, 322 German, 2 unknown

    Near the site of the historic Pegasus Bridge, Ranville was the first village in France to be liberated. During the night of 5th June 1944, the British 6th Airborne Division parachuted on to the banks of the Orne to seize the two bridges. The first casualties were buried in the churchyard and then outside its walls. Soldiers who fell in the action to liberate Caen were interred on ground contiguous to the Ranville churchyard.

    The war cemetery is an integral part of the village. The entrance, opposite an old mill, has a stone porch, surrounded by low stone-walls. On either side is a low trimmed hedge of Beech. Inside this a line of young oaks provide a screen from the road. The first impression is curious: on either side of a narrow alley the headstones are unaligned: a striking departure from the usual order of things. Between the stones are roses: red, yellow and rose-coloured with tufts of Lavender.

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