|Bayeux War Cemetery|
The town of Bayeux, in Normandy, lies 24 kilometres north-west of Caen. Bayeux War Cemetery is situated in the south-western outskirts of the town on the by-pass, which is named Rue de Sir Fabian Ware. On the opposite side of the road stands the Bayeux Memorial.
The Allied offensive in north-western Europe began with the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944. There was little actual fighting in Bayeux although it was the first French town of importance to be liberated. Bayeux War Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War in France and contains burials brought in from the surrounding districts and from hospitals that were located nearby. Bayeux War Cemetery contains 4,144 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 338 of them unidentified. There are also 504 war graves of other nationalities, the majority German. The Bayeux Memorial stands opposite the cemetery and bears the names of more than 1,800 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died in the early stages of the campaign and have no known grave. They died during the landings in Normandy, during the intense fighting in Normandy itself, and during the advance to the River Seine in August.
Rank: Corporal, Service No: 5779898, Date of Death: 08/08/1944, Age: 23, Regiment/Service: Royal Norfolk Regiment 1st Bn. , Awards: V C, Grave Reference XX. E. 19., Son of Frederick and Gladys May Bates, of Camberwell, London.
Citation: The citation in the London Gazette of 2nd November, 1944, gives the following details :- In North-West Europe on 6th August, 1944, the position held by a battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment near Sourdeval was heavily attacked. Corporal Bates was commanding a forward section of the left forward company which suffered some casualties, so he decided to move the remnants of his section to an alternative position from which he could better counter the enemy thrust. As the threat to this position became desperate, Corporal Bates seized a light machine-gun and charged, firing from the hip. He was almost immediately wounded and fell, but he got up and advanced again, though mortar bombs were falling all round him. He was hit a second time and more seriously wounded, but he went forward undaunted, firing constantly till the enemy started to fall back before him. Hit for the third time, he fell, but continued firing until his strength failed him. By then the enemy had withdrawn and Corporal Bates, by his supreme gallantry and self-sacrifice, had personally saved a critical situation. He died shortly afterwards of the wounds he had received.
253rd Field Company,
07/08/1944, aged 27.
Son of John and Elizabeth Fishwick; husband to Minnie Fishwick of St Helens, Lancashire, England.
Plot XX. E. 25.
For my Uncle Albert who I never met as he died soon after I was born, he died so young but he was so brave, I am sorry I never met this wonderful man.
Rest In Peace.
On behalf of all the family I have dedicated this photo and these few words.
Image courtesy of Ann Marie Johnson ( Nee (Fishwick ). Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia. Daughter of Albertís brother Joe.
Ann would be delighted to hear from any of Albertís relatives so she can share her family history with them. Please contact us by email and we will pass on details.
Latest additions to the site | Belgian Cemeteries WW1 Index | French Cemeteries WW1 Index | Turkish Cemeteries WW1 Index
British Cemeteries Index | Other Countries WW1 Index | Belgian Cemeteries WW2 Index | French Cemeteries WW2 Index
Other Countries WW2 Index | Memorial Index | Architects | Roll of Honour Dedications | Roll of Honour
Cemeteries with Victoria Cross burials | Cemeteries with "Shot at Dawn" burials | Regimental Badge Archive
Information on how to submit a photograph or image to the site | Book Reviews | About Us and our task | Links
Site Map | Miscellaneous articles | WW1 Battles Index