Ranville War Cemetery

Ranville War Cemetery

Ranville War Cemetery

The Ranville War Cemetery is a Second World War cemetery containing predominantly British soldiers killed during the early stages of the Battle of Normandy. It is located in and named after Ranville in the Calvados department, east of Caen in lower Normandy. A large proportion of those interred were members of the British 6th Airborne Division.

The village of Ranville was the first to be liberated by elements of the British 6th Airborne Division on the morning of 6 June 1944 (D-Day) when the nearby bridge (Pegasus Bridge) was attacked and captured. The cemetery contains the grave of Lieutenant Den Brotheridge - considered to be the first Allied death on D-Day by direct enemy fire. Lieutenant Den Brotheridge was killed in the first few minutes of the assault on Pegasus Bridge when he was leading his platoon across the bridge. The churchyard was immediately used to accommodate battlefield dead. Following the end of the war, the war cemetery was created which gathered burials from locations including Amfreville, Colleville-sur-Colombelles, Houlgate, Orne and Villers-sur-Mer. The cemetery contains 2,236 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 90 of them unidentified. There are also 323 German graves and a few burials of other nationalities.

The churchyard contains 47 Commonwealth burials including that of Lieutenant Den Brotheridge and one of which is unidentified. There is also one German grave.


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