A Tribute to My Uncle (2)

by Greg Blaney May. 25, 2018 952 views

Since I was already in Europe (see "A Tribute to My Uncle (1)) it seemed like a good idea to complete this trip of discovery and go to Normandy to see the cemetery and meet the couple who were tending my other uncle's grave. So I boarded a train in Amsterdam, switched trains in Paris, and rode to Caen where I rented a car and drove to Courseulles-sur-mer.

 Near Courseulles-sur-mer is the Beny-sur-mer Reviers Canadian War Cemetery. This is where my uncle Geoff is buried, along with 2031 other soldiers. The grounds are immaculately maintained - one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I've ever been.

Near Courseulles-sur-mer is the Beny-sur-mer Reviers Canadian War Cemetery. This is where my uncle Geoff is buried, along with 2031 other soldiers. The grounds are immaculately maintained - one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I've ever been.

This photo and the one below illustrate the care that the French people put into the cemetery. The many beautiful flowers and finely trimmed grass are indications of the respect they still have for the sacrifices made by these soldiers.

This photo and the one below illustrate the care that the French people put into the cemetery. The many beautiful flowers and finely trimmed grass are indications of the respect they still have for the sacrifices made by these soldiers.

 My uncle's headstone. The purple flowers were planted by Robert and Louisette, the two people who tend his grave. Louisette's mother started tending the grave in 1945, when the soldiers were exhumed from their temporary graves and consolidated at Beny-sur-mer.

My uncle's headstone. The purple flowers were planted by Robert and Louisette, the two people who tend his grave. Louisette's mother started tending the grave in 1945, when the soldiers were exhumed from their temporary graves and consolidated at Beny-sur-mer.

A plaque in a memorial square in the town of Rots, near Caen. It lists all the soldiers from the Canadian Scottish Regiment who were killed during the battle that happened in that area.

A plaque in a memorial square in the town of Rots, near Caen. It lists all the soldiers from the Canadian Scottish Regiment who were killed during the battle that happened in that area.

The building on the right is an old stone farmhouse on the outskirts of Rots. My uncle was observing from an upper floor when it came under artillery fire. He left the building and took cover in a trench in this backyard but was fatally wounded by shrapnel on June 18, 1944.

The building on the right is an old stone farmhouse on the outskirts of Rots. My uncle was observing from an upper floor when it came under artillery fire. He left the building and took cover in a trench in this backyard but was fatally wounded by shrapnel on June 18, 1944.

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