Unknown Church in Normandy

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Sheldrake, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Ruined Church .png
    Can anyone identify this church? I have seen the tower identified as a position occupied by Canadian Flash Spotters, which might put it somewhere between Caen and Falaise.
    SDP likes this.
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    A date would be a help. It obviously was the subject of a prepared bombardment or heavy bombing. What does the original caption say?
  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    .... would "after 6th June 1944" help? :)

    Of course it might be collateral damage from an attack on a V1 site?

    Unusual bell tower, with presumably the small corner turret being staircase exit on the roof, and tall openings in the belfry section.
    A nave and a side chapel by the bell tower, so as the church usually runs east-west, I'm guessing the roofless building in the foreground is a farm barn (no ground floor windows) or similar. That may help someone identify the Church and thus the location. The mention of Canadian flash spotters may narrow the front.
  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Some design similarities to this church in Ducy-Sainte-Marguerite (south east of Bayeux).

    church.jpg church1.jpg

  5. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    That Church does not look like it could be saved. A good number were rebuilt from scratch so driving around on Google Street view may be futile. I once attempted to list and illustrate every Normandy church and had to give up because there were that many of the buggers it just was not practical. A date would be the biggest clue.I had a quick look through my Canadian official photos but no match.
    canuck likes this.
  6. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    So many look so similar ? Saint-Manvieu Church of Saint-Manvieu-Norrey it was destroyed in 1944 the ruin still stands?

    Église Saint-Manvieu de Saint-Manvieu-Norrey — Wikipédia

    viewed from the right
    Norrey en Bessin

    Canadian War Diaries

    Theres an entry that the Church was used by Germans and the Canadians blew the top of the bell tower down?
    (Even if its another Church the diaries maybe of interest ?)

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    ozzy16 likes this.
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Thanks chaps. St Margaret Ducy and St Manvieu both look possibilities as one end of a 2nd Canadian Corps flash spotting base.
  8. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Sheldrake, as you already probably know, it was standard practice to destroy bell towers being used as OP's by the Germans.

    Bofor's of Dad's Battery were very effective for this purpose. Two to suffer this fate in late April 1945 in Holland. I wanted to find photos of the damage. I was lucky enough to visit them both and meet church elders in 2015. I was able to tell them who did it and put some money in their collection box in reparation. :D If you find the place you are looking for, maybe you can do something similar.

    Before, After and now of one of them.



    Entry from the war diary.


    The clock face left as permanent reminder, five minutes after the order was given.


    A roof tile I was given as a gift.


    And in 2015. We left as friends with no hard feelings and the church looks amazing inside and out.






    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    canuck, Dave55, ozzy16 and 2 others like this.
  9. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    It is not St Manvieu Norrey. Screenshot_10.jpg
  10. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    May be the wrong St Manieu- Norrey church the one I posted did not survive the one above has ? So similar as I said but it was only a suggestion? For consideration

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  11. ecalpald

    ecalpald Chick LaPlace

    Another unknown church in Verson, Normandy. Photo taken in July 1944. Ruins - Verson France.JPG
  12. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Thinking about the Church I visited in Holland, which his Regiment badly damaged, Dad's profession was as a Slater & Tiler before and after WW2. In conversation before he passed away, I recalled that he was rather proud to work on a tall church spire in the '60's. :D Rather ironic I think.

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