A Sappers Memorial at Pegasus Bridge in need of restoration

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Jonathan Ball, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    When doing a bit of research of previous threads about Normandy on the forum I spotted a reference to the following and decided to check it out. It is in a bad state of repair and is barely legible. Anyone any ideas on who to approach with a view to bit of a restoration job?

    [​IMG]

    The inscription reads:

    June 8 1944
    Canal De Caen
    Here was built the first Bailey Pontoon Bridge in France
    By 71 Field Company Royal Engineers


    [​IMG]


    The view back to the Bridge

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Looks like you really got about a bit on that tour. I like the 2nd shot.

    Does anyone have any original or aerial pictures of the bridge?
     
  3. tmac

    tmac Senior Member Patron

    I can't find a picture of the Caen Canal Bailey bridge, but here is one being built across the neighbouring Orne River in July 1944.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Anyone any ideas on who to approach with a view to bit of a restoration job?


    Royal Engineers Assocation or the Sappers Museum maybe ?
     
  5. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    What about the local council?
     
  6. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Royal Engineers Assocation or the Sappers Museum maybe ?

    I've e-mailed both with some photos.
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think they key is to find out who put it there mate.
     
  8. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    I think they key is to find out who put it there mate.

    I think that's right. I've e-mailed the two mentioned above as that's as good a place as any to begin with. It does look as if the memorial has been rebuilt from an earlier design. I've been taking a look through google but I have found almost nothing about it. I did find this link and i'm hoping I can get in touch with the author of the following as he may well be able to help...

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Bridges built by 71st Field Company Royal Engineers.
     
  9. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have an aerial picture of the bridge beside Pegasus Bridge ready to send, but need reminding how to do it - please.

    Jim
     
  10. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Jonathan,

    Just a thought but you could try contacting the Royal British legion in the area as they have an interest in the Bridges History.

    Royal British Legion – Normandy Calvados and District Branch

    The Branch is located in Ranville, a village well known for the famous Pegasus Bridge, where the first gliders landed at 00:15hrs in the morning of 6th June 1944. Major Jack Watson, one of the men who liberated Ranville at 02:30hrs on that day, is one of the vice-presidents of the Branch.

    From the Branch’s office window at rue des Airbornes, the sight of the Ranville British War Graves Cemetery, is a permanent reminder of those who gave their lives and what the British Legion is all about.

    Good luck.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  12. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Thanks for the link Tom. I've written to them as well now. It will be interesting to see what response I receive in reply.
     
  13. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Benvlle 14 june (502 x 600).jpg

    Hope this is worth it.

    Jim
     
    dbf likes this.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks Jim,

    Anyone care to orientate the map. I can see two rivers/canals and a few bridges. Is Pegasus Bridge the top left one?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  15. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Oops Sorry! The lower bridge is Pegasus and the upper is the Bailey. The lower village is Le Port and you can see the outline of the River Orne where it used to flow, hence Le Port. The upper village is Benouville; north is at the bottom. Hope this helps.

    Jim
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Owen/Jim I thought something didn't look right. I've rotated the google pic. I notice you can still see where the track was etc.

    Must go back 4 years now-I'm looking too much at all this stuff.
     
  19. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Just to update that over the summer months I have fired off repeated emails to to the RBL and both the RE Museum and Association without reply. Would it be a worthwhile idea to see the IWM or the NIWM might be able to help?

    I know it's not the greatest memorial but it does seem sad that the commemoration of a little bit of British engineering excellence is just gently fading away.
     
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    That wording needs a bit extra... 71 Field Co was in charge of proceedings.

    But 17th Fld Co and 246 Fld Co also made great efforts to get the bridge across and it was a Tidal one that can rise and fall with the tides.
    Here is the actual record... All rafting and bridging were the responsibility of Major D A Willison RE.OC 17th Field Co Re. Who had under control 71 Fld Co RE. 15th Field park RE and 106 Bridging co RASC. 263 fld co RE came under control after their work in creating landing strips.

    246 Field Co RE (Mine) built a 40 ton raft during the night. 17th Fld Co constructed a six pier raft.... due to shelling, nine pontoons were holed by shrapnel.The second landing bay was built by 71 Fld Co but they missed the tide and had to wait several hours....Source? (RE Records)

    No2 platoon took on the job under shell fire and completed it RE Records....
     

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