60th Anniversary SAR Battlefield Tour - 2005

Friday, April 22

Flowers and memorial, View from Black Watch Plaque
The drive today took the group through beautiful countryside, peaceful, and so serene that it looks as if nothing bad could ever happen here. The small towns with their narrow streets and stone buildings were a special treat.

Some places where we stopped were reality checks for us. We visited the Black Watch monument on a hill overlooking a pleasant valley and a peaceful town. The Black Watch suffered a terrible defeat in their planned attack, having 307 casualties.

In the midst of a green grainfield we came to the memorial to the Worthington Force who, during phase 2 of Operation Totalize, the British Columbia Regiment and the Algonquin Regiment were given the job of securing the high ground on Hill 195 overlooking Falaise. They got lost, ran into fierce opposition from enemy troops and suffered terrible losses. We drove to hill 195 where the Argyle's Memorial had recently been established and the SARs honoured it with a wreath.

Following Operation Totalize the SARs took part in Tractable when C Squadron was sent to St. Lambert sur Dives. At St. Lambert they laid a wreath at the monument dedicated by the SAR to Major David V. Currie VC. Major Currie received his Victoria Cross for his brave stand here amidst the thousands of fleeing enemy whose number one thought was to get out of there. Huge piles of dead animals, and wrecked machinery made their exit even more difficult. The airforce succeeded in destroying 197 tanks in this battle.

Argyle's Monument and Veterans, Major McLeod and lady who gave land for the monument

There was a large reception waiting at the monument. I was privileged to meet the lady who gave the land on the corner for this monument. After laying the wreath, the party then moved to the Town Hall for an excellent lunch and laughter, and a taste of Jacques Des Digueres' Calvados. After lunch the party went to Chambois and Mt. Ormel where the buses climbed the hill to Mt. Ormel and saw the layout of the Falaise Pocket in the valley below.

Mt. Ormel and view of Falaise Pocket, Country home

Upon returning to St. Lambert they walked up through the misting rain to the viewing site for the Battle of St. Lambert. Afterwards they travelled to Trun to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph to honour the 4th Armoured Division.

After leaving the area of the Falaise Gap in Normandy the 4th Armoured Division with SAR leading were ordered to clear the channel ports to Ostend, seize Brugge and cross the Brugge Ghent canal. The tour group would be soon visiting these areas in the days ahead.