Stanley Hollis VC hut
Gold Beach area, Ver-sur-Mer
Location and info
One of the most unusual memorial in Normandy... it's a hut! But it's one with an amazing story of bravery which earned a Victory Cross.
Shortly after 7.30 a.m. on 6th June 1944, 6th Battalion The Green Howards, as part of the first wave, landed here on French soil on Gold Beach (King Green Sector.
This building, a train stop serving a light railway running along the coast, was thought by the assaulting troops to be a German pillbox.
Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis of D Company later recalled: "As we were coming in I lifted a stripped Lewis gun off the floor of the landing craft and pelted a pillbox with a full pan of ammunition." During the fighting on D Day, CSM Hollis won the only Victoria Cross to be awarded that day.
He gained it for two actions of supreme valour, firstly for clearing a pillbox and trenches north of Ver-sur-Mer, and secondly for rescuing his comrades under fire in the village of Crépon.
His citation ends: "Wherever fighting was heaviest, CSM Hollis appeared and, in the course of a magnificent day's work, he displayed the utmost gallantry and on two separate occasions his courage and initiative prevented the enemy from holding up the advance at critical stages. It was largely through his heroism and resource that the Company's objectives were gained and the casualties were not heavier; and by his own bravery, he saved the lives of many of his men."
By nightfall, the Green Howards had fought through the villages of Crépon and Creully to a point further inland than any similar units of the Allied armies that day.
This building is dedicated to the memory of CSM Stanley Hollis VC and the men of 6th and 74 Battalions of The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment) who landed here on D Day 1944. It was purchased and renovated by the Regiment in 2006.