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D-Day 79 at Bayeux War Cemetery

CWGC Director General Claire Horton CBE meeting visitors at the Bayeux War Cemetery service.

A service of Remembrance was today held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery to mark the 79th anniversary of Operation Overlord – the Invasion of Normandy.

Second World War veterans were joined by CWGC Director General Claire Horton CBE, our Director of Global Strategy and Commonwealth Relations, Iain Lower CB, representatives of the Commonwealth governments and armed forces, local dignitaries and invited guests, who were invited to lay wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice in the cemetery.

The service, organised by the Royal British Legion, was led by The Reverend David Barrett KHC CF, Deputy Chaplain General, His Majesty’s Land Forces, and included music by the British Army Band Catterick.

During the service, the Last Post was played, marking the beginning of the traditional minute silence before the Kohima Epitaph was recited by Ken Hay MBE JP Legion d’Honneur.

The service was preceded by a similar event at the British Normandy Memorial, organised by the Normandy Memorial Trust, which also included a ceremonial wreath laying and moment of silence.

CWGC Director General Claire Horton CBE lays a wreath on behalf of the CWGC at the British Normandy Memorial.

Bayeux War Cemetery contains the burials of more than 4000 Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives during the opening hours of the Battle for Normandy, many of whom died during the Normandy beach landings and were brought to Bayeux after its liberation.

The cemetery is also home the to the Bayeux Memorial to the Missing which bears the names of more than 1800 Commonwealth war dead who have no known grave.

Many more casualties of 6 June 1944 are commemorated by the CWGC in sites across France, such as Ranville War Cemetery and Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, on our naval memorials in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham, and on Runnymede Air Forces Memorial.

You can discover more about the CWGC war cemeteries and memorials associated with D-Day in our latest blog.

CWGC Director General Claire Horton CBE and Director of Global Strategy and Commonwealth Relations, Iain Lower CB with the CWGC team at Bayeux War Cemetery.