Sunday, 6 June 2010

One of War's more unusual Stories

Hidden by the Fog of War, to use an oft repeated cliche, are stories that are strange, miraculous and moving. As today is the 66th anniversary of D-Day, I thought I would share a story that moves me.

In 1994, I had the good fortune to be sent on assignment to cover the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I visited many of the great commemorative events and also had time to make private visits to many of the major war cemeteries.

At Ranville Cemetery, I photographed the graves of many of those who died on the first day of the invasion. One such grave was that of Private Emile Servais Corteil - Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, aged 19. His headstone is inscribed with some words provided by his parents and what was written shocked me:

Had you know our son,
You would have loved him too.
Glen, his Paratroop Dog
Was killed with him

I checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of Honour website which records that Glen was killed at his side and . . . buried with him. I don't know the circumstances of their deaths, but am greatly moved. They died together and remain together.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very unusual marker stone indeed... I wonder if there is somewhere such stories can be found ? The tragedy and the waste... You must have been looking very carefully indeed to notice the additional text at the bottom of the stone...