Hill 112 Memorial, Caen
Location and info
Hill 112 Memorial, Vieux, 14930, France
Located to the southwest of Caen, the Hill 112 Memorial site is off the D8 road which runs from Junction 10 on the Caen Periphique ring road around the city towards the village of Le Bon Repos.
The Churchill MkVII is an up armoured version of its predecessors designed for supporting infantry advances and although slower moving than previous versions is still had the firepower to deliver a crushing blow to the enemy.
This particular vehicle – which is missing its track guards but is in very good overall condition when compared to other open air vehicles in Normandy – was armed with a 75mm main gun and two heavy 7.92mm Besa machine guns.
It stands as a memorial to the 11th Armoured Division, and soldiers of the 15th Scottish, 53rd Welsh, and 43rd Wessex divisions at a site known as Hill 112 – a place which witnessed one of the longest-running and most costly battles of the Normandy campaign.
In a previous life this vehicle was used by REME - the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers - as a training tank for battlefield vehicle recovery at a facility in Norfolk, England. But thanks to kind donations, Royal Artillery Sargeant Albert Figg – who fought at the site and to whom there is a memorial nearby – was able to purchase the Churchill from the British government in order for it to be restored and positioned as a memorial to over 10,000 soldiers who fell during the battle to capture the area.