St James US Cemetery.  Memorial Day 26 May 2013

St James US Cemetery. Memorial Day 26 May 2013.

Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial

The cemetery at St James on the Normandy/Brittany border is less well known than the cemetery at Colleville sur Mer on OMAHA Beach. Officially known as the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial,  4,410 U.S. forces personnel were buried here in a beautiful and tranquil setting. The US cemetery at St James does not attract the huge visitor numbers that the  Colleville and is, in my opinion, a better place for it.

Among the 4,410 graves are 95 unknown soldiers. In 20 instances, two brothers are buried side-by-side. The retaining wall is inscribed with the names of the missing.   

The retaining wall of the US St James Cemetery is inscribed with the names of the missing

The retaining wall of the US St James Cemetery is inscribed with the names of the missing

Two recipients of the Medal Of Honor are among the fallen at St James; Sherwood H Hallman of the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, and Ernest W Prussman of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.

The gravestone of Ernest W Prussman, recipient of the Medal of Honor, Saint James Cemetery Normandy.

The gravestone of Ernest W Prussman, recipient of the Medal of Honor, Saint James Cemetery Normandy.

Carved in granite on the base of the memorial chapel are the words:

I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT

I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE

I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH
(2 Timothy IV, 7).

 

Veterans, relatives, representatives of the regiments who fought on D-Day, and a broad range of well-wishers, sightseers and dignitaries congregate under the spreading chestnut trees for a Memorial Day service, 26 May 2013.

Veterans, relatives, representatives of the regiments who fought on D-Day, and a broad range of well-wishers, sightseers and dignitaries congregate under the spreading chestnut trees for a Memorial Day service, 26 May 2013.

Veterans and relatives pass beneath the Stars and Stripes flown at half-mast ta the St James Cemetery Memorial Day service 26 May 2013

Veterans and relatives pass beneath the Stars and Stripes flown at half-mast ta the St James Cemetery Memorial Day service 26 May 2013

By Malcolm Clough

U.S. Cemetery St James, Normandy. The veterans sit quietly under the trees, remembering fallen comrades so long ago. Every year, the number of veterans gets smaller.

The veterans sit quietly under the trees, remembering fallen comrades so long ago. Every year, the number of veterans gets smaller.

Veterans and relatives pass beneath the Stars and Stripes flown at half-mast ta the St James Cemetery Memorial Day service 26 May 2013

Veterans and relatives pass beneath the Stars and Stripes flown at half-mast ta the St James Cemetery Memorial Day service 26 May 2013

Veterans, relatives, representatives of the regiments who fought on D-Day, and a broad range of well-wishers, sightseers and dignitaries congregate under the spreading chestnut trees for a Memorial Day service, 26 May 2013.

Veterans, relatives, representatives of the regiments who fought on D-Day, and a broad range of well-wishers, sightseers and dignitaries congregate under the spreading chestnut trees for a Memorial Day service, 26 May 2013.