Churchill AVRE '1 Charlie'
Location and info
Voie des Francais Libres, 14470 Graye-sur-Mer
Near the Juno Beach Memorial. Turn at the crossroad of the D514 and Avenue du General de Gaulle on the western side of Courseulles-sur-Mer.
This Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) tank known as 1 Charlie is from the 26 Assault Squadron Royal Engineers 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade and landed on Juno beach at Graye-sur-Mer, Normandy on D-Day.
This vehicle is equipped with a front facing machine gun and a bunker busting 290mm Petard spigot mortar designed to smash through thick concrete with its 40lb, high-explosive rounds.
Unfortunately, it was stopped on the beach by a massive bomb crater not long after leaving its landing craft and the crew were forced to escape the stricken vehicle. Four of the crew were killed and two injured in the process.
The tank remained buried on the beach for over 30 years until it was recovered, restored, and placed on display.
Today it stands proudly just metres from where it fell to rest, as a memorial to all those who landed on Juno Beach.
In accordance with his last wishes, the ashes of Bill Dunn, driver of 1 Charlie, were scattered next to the tank on November 8, 2014.