Opposite the Bayeux War Cemetery stands the Bayeux Memorial. The memorial bears the names of over 1800 men of the Commonwealth land forces. They died during the D-Day landings and in the intense battling through Normandy. Most have no known graves.
The white stone memorial faces the Bayeux ar Cemetery and bears a Latin epitaph. The frieze inscription refers to William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066.
Nos a Gulielmo victi victoris patriam liberavimus.
Translated, it reads: “We, once conquered by William, have now set free the conqueror’s native land.”
The Bayeux Memorial includes 270 Canadian servicemen and women. Also listed are the 189 men of the 43rd Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment who made up the crew of the Derrycunihy. A German mine tore the hull of the ship apart just off the Ouistreham coast. The disaster was the single biggest British loss in the Normandy campaign.
Visitors are welcome to view the Bayeux Memorial at any time. It is worth combining with a visit to the nearby Bayeux War Cemetery and the Battle of Normandy Museum. This post makes up part of our travel diary from the 70th-anniversary of D-Day in Normandy 2014.