6 June 1944 - 25 July 1944

At the outset the scale of graves units in the beach-head was as follows :-

• With First Canadian Army
    - two Graves Registration Units (GRU)
    - one Graves Concentration Unit (GCU)
• With Second Army
    - five Graves Registration units.

The first BRITISH GRUs landed on D+3 and by 20 July 44 the number of graves registered was 8,000 out of a total of 12,500 burials reported by formations.

It is considered that these figures would have been improved if GRUs had been allotted territorially instead of, as in Second Army, one GRU per corps and one for Second Army Troops, since it was found that formations and units would often report burials to their original GRU after changing from one corps to another, even though the original GRU was not in a position to register their graves in the new area.

The only other difficulty experienced at this stage was due to the failure of the manufacturers to complete on time their contract for delivery of ten thousand prefabricated metal crosses. As a result graves units had to improvise with small wooden crosses, assisted whenever possible by crosses made from RE sources.

 

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