Bolderwood Cross
New Forest, England

Canadian Memorial at Bolderwood in the New Forest. A rough wooden cross and memorial commemorates this site where prayers were held prior to leaving for the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Overview of the memorial.

The plaque at the base of the cross. It reads; On this site a cross was erected to the Glory of God on 14th April 1944. Services were held here until D Day 6th June 1944 by men of the 3rd Division R.C.A.S.C, it is now a memorial to those killed in action.

Canadian flags left by visitors to the memorial.

Wreaths and a photo, possibly of a service man who gave his life.
(All photos and text courtesy of Sandra Meacock)
© 2009 Sandra Meacock all rights reserved

May 8, 2012

The photo that you have of the serviceman with the poppies and wreaths is that of my Maternal Grandfather, Rene Francais Fournier. Every year the British Legion with members of my family and other families of the Canadian Troop gather here for a memorial service to honour these brave men. The Padre is the only remaining member of this troop alive. The Canadian Troop said prayers here because it reminded them of home with similar trees to look onto.

My grandfather survived the war, but he and members of his troop had been missing in action, captured by the Germans and became POW's. My grandfather held secret papers for his Commanding Officer and the Germans tortured him mercilessly to try and find the location. My grandfather never told the Germans despite incredible physical and mental torture. When he returned to England, he was unable to speak and remained mute for a while after and experienced horrific nightmares and physical symptoms due to the physical torture, symptoms we know and recognise now as PTSD.

He was a casualty of the war in the sense of his died in the 1960's as a result of physical problems that had resulted from the torture. This is why he is recognised by his troop and one of the few photos that are present there.

After the war, he returned initially to Canada, he lived in Ottawa, his eldest Daughter and only Son were born there. He and my Grandmother who by this time was pregnant with my mother, returned to the UK in 1949, settling near Horsham in West Sussex. I never met my grandfather, but am incredibly proud of the man that he was and the influence he had on so many.

As a family we never knew that my grandfather was stationed here during the war. I funnily enough, grew up in Pilley, nr Boldre, Lymington, as my father's family originate from the New Forest. It was only because the British Legion got in touch with my grandmother and let us know about the memorial in the 1990's. My grandmother is still alive in her 90's and living in Worthing.

Kindest regards,
Karen Brammer

Page published June 14, 2009