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 Commonwealth cemetery and bears a Latin epitaph. The frieze inscription refers to William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066.
A memorial in the conqueror’s land
Nos a Gulielmo victi victoris patriam liberavimus.
Translated, it reads: “We, once conquered by William, have now set free the conqueror’s native land.”
Visiting the Bayeux Memorial
The memorial carries the names of 1808 men from the Commonwealth who died in the Battle of Normandy. They have no known graves.
The names include 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 cemetery and the Museum of the Battle of Normandy a short walk away.