France / Cemetery
With nearly 4000 British soldiers buried here, the Bayeux War Cemetery is the largest British military cemetery of the Second World War in France. The adjacent memorial commemorates the unidentified Commonwealth soldiers who fell during the Battle of Normandy and recalls the close links between Normandy and Britain.
The British War Cemetery in Bayeux is the largest British military cemetery of the Second World War in France, holding the remains 4000 British and 181 Canadian soldiers. It also contains the graves of a number of Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Poles, Russians, French, Czechs, Italians and Germans.
British tradition prescribes that soldiers are buried with their comrades in arms, close to where they died. This explains the wide dispersal of British military graves. In the department of Calvados alone, there are nineteen military cemeteries and nearly a hundred monuments.
The town of Bayeux was liberated on 7 June 1944, suffering only minor damage, as no major battle took place here. Bayeux served as a base for the British army during the Battle of Normandy. Many soldiers who are buried in this cemetery died in field hospitals southwest of the town.
A memorial on the other side of the road bears the names of 1801 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Battle of Normandy and whose remains could not be found or identified. An inscription on the monument recalls William the Conqueror, the duke of Normandy who became king of England in 1066: “Nos a Gulielmo victi victoris patriam liberavimus” (“We, once conquered by William, have now set free the conqueror's native land”).