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Intro

Day 1-3 (Paris) Day 4        5       6 (France) Day 7     8      9 (Belgium)    Day 10         11       12 (Nether.)
C.O.'s Intro | Itinerary

June 1-3

Dieppe | Juno | Clair Tison Ypres | Vimy | Low Tempo Walcheren | Arnhem | Groningen

2010 Centennial Battlefield Pilgrimage - Day 5

June 5th began with a trip to the Canadian War Cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer, the final resting place of 19 Calgary Highlanders. As was to become customary for all cemetery visits, a piper played the lament, and members of the tour were invited to decorate the graves of fallen Highlanders with regimental flags.

The tour carried on to the "D-Day House" at Bernières-sur-Mer, famously liberated by the Queen's Own Rifles on June 6th, 1944. As a special treat, tour conductor Jim Henderson had arranged for a private viewing of the inside of the home and a talk by one of the caretakers of the building. A short reception on the lawn and a look at some of the surviving defensive emplacements of Resistance Nest 28 was followed by a trip to Le Mesnil and a ceremony by veterans of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion who had landed in the vicinity on the night of 5-6 June 1944 and had defended the area against German troops for several days following the Invasion. A luncheon and book-signing by a local author followed at Sannerville, followed by a quick stop at Pegasus Bridge. Members of the tour had the chance to walk over the original bridge site, past the Cafe Gondree, and view the landing area.

Afterwards, a bus trip was made past the Arromanches "Mulberry" artificial harbour to the surviving battery of German 150mm coastal guns at Longues.

After Longues, the tour departed for the American cemetery at Omaha Beach, and once again, time conspired to rule out visits to nearby Pointe-du-Hoc and the German cemetery at La Cambe.


Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. Photo by Nancy Desilets

The "D-Day House" on the morning of 6 June 1944.
Library and Archives Canada photo

The "D-Day House" on 5 June 2010, as it plays host to The Calgary Highlanders.
Photo by Nancy Desilets

Inside the "D-Day House"; special shirts with the Centennial logo were made up for the tour.
Photo by Nancy Desilets

Tour guide Jim Henderson (at right) with the owners of the "D-Day House".
Photo by Nancy Desilets

 

Calgary Highlanders piper prepares to lend musical accompaniment to the remembrance service at Le Mesnil.
Photo by Nancy Desilets

British and Canadian paratroopers, and a grateful French population, came together at Mesnil on 5 June to commemorate the anniversary of their liberation from the Germans. The first pathfinders of the airborne forces set off from England on the 5th of June, 1944.
Photo by Nancy Desilets

More honours from a grateful French nation; Floyd Rourke, DCM, is recognized by local dignitaries at the luncheon in Sannerville.
Photo by Nancy Desilets


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