Monument erected in memory of the officers and men of the First Special Service Brigade, who lost many men in the fighting in Normandy.
The 1st Special Service Brigade was a commando brigade of the British Army. Formed during the Second World War, it comprised elements of the British Army as well as the Royal Marines.
The plan was for the 1st Special Service Brigade, comprising No.3, No.4, No.6 and No.45 (RM) Commandos to land at Ouistreham in the Queen Red sector. No.4 Commando was augmented by 1 and 8 Troop (both French) from No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando.
No.10 (Inter-Allies) Commando was formed in January 1942 and comprised No.1 and No.8 Troops (French), No.4 Troop (Belgian), Dutch Troop, Norwegian Troop, Polish Troop, X Troop (German and Austrian, Hungarian and Greek), Yugoslav Troop, often seconded from other theaters of operation. In August 1942, they were involved in the Dieppe raids. In June 1944, they took part in the Normandy landings and fought throughout northern Western Europe.
The assault on Sword Beach began at around 3 a.m. with an aerial bombardment of German coastal defenses and artillery sites. The naval bombardment began a few hours later. At 7.30 a.m., the first units reached the beach. They were the DD tanks of the 13th/18th Hussars, closely followed by the infantry of the 8th Infantry Brigade.
The 1st Special Service Brigade, under the command of Brigadier and Lord Lovat DSO, MC, arrived on the beach in the second wave led by No.4 Commando with the two French Troops first, as agreed between them. The landing of the 1st Special Service Brigade is famous for having been accompanied by the piper Bill Millin. [Source Wikipedia]
Photo credit and contribution Franck Ollivier