The Memorial of Montormel is a historical museum on Mont Ormel in France dedicated to the battle of the Falaise pocket. It was the site of the last battle on French soil. It is situated on the top of Hill 262, where the pocket was officially closed on the 21st August 1944.
Lucy recently attended the memorial to visit a photographic exhibition presented by her mother, Gabrielle Crawford. Gabrielle was commissioned by the Orne department to create a photographic record of France's monuments to the dead of two world wars.
"When I came to live in Normandy, I was taken by the number of war memorials there are - many very beautifully made with amazing detail. In the cities they were designed by architects. But in small towns and villages often they were paid for by local subscription: they're less grand and perhaps more touching. Often they feature images representing the ordinary French people who died when the Germans invaded or who were deported afterwards." (Gabrielle Crawford)
The legacy of memorials
War memorials are often dedicated to the young men who have died, but in Normandy they are often about the women and children left behind. They often depict the care and love they want to be holding their loved ones. They can be made from cement, marble or bronze usually whatever they could afford, and many are the result of local competitions.
They recognised those who had lost their lives in battle, often very far from home, and they considered all nationalities. The money to pay for them was from bereaved families who sold whatever they could to have the names of those they loved inscribed forever.
Some of the memorials in the photographic exhibition included:
Bully Les Mines
There are more photographs located in a photo album on the club's website.