In the build to Armistice Day, a small group of OBs and partners visited the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial on 8th November. Having driven passed on numerous occasions, it was fascinating to take part in a formal tour. The display, in the new Visitors Centre, provided an important backdrop regarding America’s involvement in the Second World War and, in particular, the build-up of manpower and equipment in the British Isles. This period was referred to as the “Friendly Invasion” with 17 million tons of cargo and nearly two million American servicemen and women passing through British ports, with some, of course, staying on after the War and making their homes in the UK.
The site is beautifully maintained with nearly four thousand individual graves of those who were involved in the Battle for the Atlantic, fought in the skies or who took part in the Normandy offensive and subsequent campaigns. Hearing the individual stories of the fallen was of course particularly moving. The Memorial Building is built of Portland stone and houses a very impressive mosaic by Francis Scott Bradford and a small Chapel. 5,127 names are listed on the Wall of the Missing, including that of Glenn Miller, whose aircraft was never found in December 1944. After a fascinating and moving morning, all of the group agreed that they would encourage everybody to visit as the site was of such interest for all ages.