Archive for the ‘RBL Normandy Calvados’ Category

The Bruneval MemorialOn Sunday 24 February members of the branch were represented at the annual commemorations of the Bruneval Raid (Operation BITING) in Seine Maritime.  The 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment were represented and Ron Matthews carried the British Legion Standard.

For those not too familiar with Operation BITING, the Operation was aimed at dismatling a Wurzburg precision radar dish, which was one of a series of early warning installations on the northern coast of France and bring it back to the UK for scientific research.  The chain of radar stations along the north coast of France and the Low Countries was of significant importance to the German Air Force, who were inflicting heavy losses on RAF Bomber Command.

C Company, 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment was selected for the task under the command of Major John Frost.  Having been dropped in France in three separate groups, the Company, which was accompanied throughout by an RAF radar expert, was to carry out the mission and then head back to the coast to be picked up by a small flotilla of Royal Navy landing craft.

In all, 116 men took off from Thruxton Aerodrome on the night of 27 February 1942 in 12 Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V bombers and parachuted into enemy held northern France.  The force was met by very strong German resistance but the Operation was deemed a great sucess with vital German radar equipment and a German scientist being captured.

The British lost 2 men, with 6 wounded and 6 captured.  Two more were captured on their way to Switzerland.  THe Germans lost 5 men and had 2 captured (including the scientist.)

If you would like to know more about this Operation, please click here or if you would like to purchase the book written about the raid, you can get it from Amazon.


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Below you will find a list of our regular Services of Commemoration in and around the Normandy-Calvados region.  This list is by no means exhaustive as many of the towns and villages in Normandy that were liberated 6 June and September 1944 have their own day for commemorations.

If you would like anymore details on any of the events listed below, please contact the Chairman

24 Feb 08 – Bruneval Ceremony

5/6 Jun – D-Day Commemorations, Normandy Beaches.

17 Aug – Touffreville la Corbeline

19 Aug – Dieppe Ceremony

29 Aug – La Mailleraye

2 Sep – St Nicholas le Bliquetuit Ceremony, Vatteville Ceremony

8 Sep – Le Havre Ceremonies

15 Sep – Battle of Britain Day

11 Nov – Remeberance Day.  Virtually every town and village that has a war memorial holds a ceremony on this day, to remember the fallen of both world wars.

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On 1st April 2008 it will be the 90th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force, and we want to know what you will be doing to celebrate this prestigous event.  Why not drop us  a line using the comments link below.

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The Normandy Calvados and District Branch of the Royal British Legion is unique in that it is located right in the path of the D-Day Landings ‘Operation OVERLORD’, and count many veterans who landed on the shores of northern France amongst its members.

 Membership is open to all who abide by the Royal British Legion rules.  If you wish to become a member you should contact the secretary via the contacts page.

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