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47 CDO RM - Cutting off the Germans at Fecamp

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Unit/ Formation: 47 Cdo RM

Location: France

Period/ Conflict: World War II

Year: 1944

Date/s: 2 September 1944

On the morning of 31 Aug 1944 the Commando moved in Motor Transport to the SEINE ferry crossing at DUCLAIR. By this time the German withdrawal from NORMANDY had become a rout. The only signs of the enemy were the masses of burnt out and abandoned vehicles beside the roads and stacked up around the river crossings.

47 RM Commando entering Fécamp 2nd September 1944 (photo courtesy of Pierre Aubry, Mayor's Office Fécamp)

Everwhere the RAF had left their mark. Occasional1y small scattered bodies of enemy were found but they were all lost and disorganised and rarely, if ever, showed fight. The French people came out in style to greet their liberators and the term B.L.A. really began to have meaning.

The Brigade crossed to DUCLAIR in Infantry Assault boats and the Commando after searching the area East of BARENTIN moved across to occupy a position on the road BARENTIN - LE HAVRE.

On the afternoon of the next day, 1 Sept. the Commando moved by every available vehicle and by Motor Transport ferry system to CANY BARVILLE. A considerable number of enemy were reported in LE HAVRE, but the Coastal defences were being evacuated.

Sgt. Herbert Farr 10 IA Commando welcomed by the Mayor of Fécamp (photo courtesy of Roger Fidelin, FR)

After a recce by X-Troop on 2 Sept. the Commando moved again to FÉCAMP on the coast thus cutting the last escape route from LE HAVRE. The reception at FÉCAMP was beyond description and during the whole stay in this town the Commando’s reputation of 'Liberators' never waned. On Sunday, 3 Sept. the unit took part in a ceremonial church parade and the CO laid a wreath on the War Memorial.

47 RM Commando on parade in Fécamp 3rd September 1944 (photo courtesy of Pierre Aubry, Mayor's Office Fécamp)

When we got to a town called Fécamp, there was a Benedictine Monastery and we ended up with crates of Benedictine in grateful recognition [Mne Fred Wildman]

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