Eight poignant epitaphs remembering brave soldiers who died in the D-Day landings 80 years on

6 June 2024, 09:10 | Updated: 6 June 2024, 09:16

Eight heartbreaking epitaphs remembering soldiers who died in the D-Day landings have been shared
Eight heartbreaking epitaphs remembering soldiers who died in the D-Day landings have been shared. Picture: Alamy/CWGC

By Emma Soteriou

Eight poignant epitaphs remembering brave soldiers who died in the D-Day landings have been shared to mark the 80th anniversary.

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The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) shared the final messages left by family members of those who died on June 6, 1944, to keep the legacies of the fallen alive.

The graves are at Bayeux War Cemetery, which is the largest CWGC cemetery of the Second World War in France.

It marks 80 years since the Allied offensive in north-western Europe began, with a lone military piper playing a lament at sea in the early hours of Thursday - at the exact moment the beach invasion began.

In the lead up to the anniversary, a Torch of Commemoration made its way across the UK, being passed from older to younger generations before arriving in Normandy.

Although little fighting took place in Bayeux, it was the first French town of importance to be liberated.

The cemetery contains 4,144 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 338 of which being unidentified.

Read more: Lest we forget: Military piper pays tribute to fallen soldiers to mark beginning of 80th anniversary of D-Day landings

Live: Royals and PM in Normandy to commemorate D-day 80th

Lieutenant Philip Charles Scarfe
Lieutenant Philip Charles Scarfe. Picture: CWGC

1. Beloved Philip to whose valiant and gentle life all beauty is memorial

Lieutenant Philip Charles Scarfe. 5th Bn, The King's Regiment (Liverpool)

Aged 30. Son of Albert Scarfe and of Emma Scarfe (nee Day); husband of Joan Scarfe (nee Ritchie), of Sale, Cheshire.

Marine Bernard George Smith
Marine Bernard George Smith. Picture: CWGC

2. To my brave only child. In my heart your memory lives until we meet again

Marine Bernard George Smith, No. 47 Royal Marines Commando

Aged 20. Son of James and Blanche Emily Smith, of Fenham, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Private Frank Douglas Thorburn
Private Frank Douglas Thorburn. Picture: CWGC

3. The little stars shall watch over your grave, dear

Private Frank Douglas Thorburn. 6th Bn, Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment)

Aged 25. Son of Andrew and Margaret Thorburn, of Fourstones, Northumberland.

Marine Edward William Durn
Marine Edward William Durn. Picture: CWGC

4. Into the mosaic of victory our most precious piece was laid

Marine Edward William Durn. His Majesty's Landing Craft Mechanised 239, Royal Marines

Aged 17. Son of Edward James Durn and Caroline Beatrice Durn, of Norwich.

Private Leanord John Futter.
Private Leanord John Futter. Picture: CWGC

5. He died so that others might live in a better world

Private Leanord John Futter. 1st Bn, Hampshire Regiment

Aged 22. Son of Robert and Ada Futter; husband of Zilpha Futter, of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Lieutenant Edward Geoffrey Curtis
Lieutenant Edward Geoffrey Curtis. Picture: CWGC

6. He gave his happy young life. Brave, steadfast and true

Lieutenant Edward Geoffrey Curtis, No. 48 Royal Marines Commando

Aged 24. Son of Edward James Curtis and Jane Curtis, of Frizinghall, Bradford, Yorkshire.

Marine William Boardman
Marine William Boardman. Picture: CWGC

7. Dearest husband of Nina and darling daddy of Helen. Precious memories

Marine William Boardman. No. 48 Royal Marines Commando

Aged 28. Son of William Henry and Martha Ann Boardman, of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent; husband of Nina Boardman, of Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent.

Gunner Robert Thomas Dennison
Gunner Robert Thomas Dennison. Picture: CWGC

8. No one knows how much I miss him or the heartache for the one I loved so well

Gunner Robert Thomas Dennison. 53 (The Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Lt. Regt. Royal Artillery

Aged 29. Husband of Irene Margaret Dennison, of Moulsecoomb, Brighton, Sussex.

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