Each year around St Michael’s day, our Branch members join representatives from the SAS Association and the French Parachutists Associations to honour the men of B Squadron SAS who, after being parachuted into the area just after D Day with the aim of disrupting German military re-supply to Northern France, were captured and later executed by the SS in the forest of St Sauvant on 7 July 1944. Their bodies were buried in three trenches in the forest but after the liberation of France they were exhumed and buried with full military honours in the local graveyard at Rom where they lie in Commonwealth War Graves. The ceremonies consist of two parts: first a wreath laying at the monument, just in front of the trenches where they were shot and buried; and afterwards at their graves in the cemetery at Rom.
Assembling in the forest for the ceremony on a damp morning.
The Standards of the local Military Associations along with our own assembled at the forest monument.
The monument next to the forest road where, just behind, the executed men were placed in three mass graves.
The inscription on the monument which reads, "Here in the forest of St Sauvant on the 7 July 1944 were shot 31 Allied Paratroopers."
Our Chairman, Ken Checkett, standing next to the site of one of the empty mass graves now marked with Poppy crosses.
Our Vice-Chairman and Former President Alasdair Johnstone with Keith Edlin of the SASA, his wife Anne and their friends Bob and Veronica Higgins.
Alasdair Johnstone laid the wreath at the stèle at St Sauvant.
The monument after the wreath laying.
Our branch members with Keith Edlin at the graves in Rom cemetery
Our branch member Bob Kernaghan laid our wreath at the graves in Rom cemetery.