We welcome questions about the Fallen Heroes of Normandy Archive, but please look through the following list of frequently asked questions first, before sending us an email with your question.
Given the limited amount of time and resources we have, we will not be able to reply individually to questions that are already answered below.
We have separated the types of questions that have been asked into the following categories:
Frequently Asked Questions
Using the Archive and Website.
What was the 'beta release' of the website?
The 'beta release' of the website (on 1st December 2013) was means of allowing us to test the database software, and search facilities, on the world wide web, prior to the official launch of the website (on 5th June 2015).
During the months prior to the official release, the database was fully tested online thereby allowing us to identify and resolve any software problems. It also allowed us to test and improve the the speed and function of the website as a whole.
What are the options for navigating around the archive and website?
Basically there are two ways to use the website:
Quick Search page: By going directly to the search page you can type in your relevant enquiry using the dropdown menu. The Quick Search page can be found here. Once the Quick Search facility is fully tested and working during the beta release period of the website, an Advanced Search option will be created and deployed on the website.
Menu Bar: by using the menu bar across the top of every page on the website, you may use the dropdown menu to locate information and details from the archive and database. The menu bar also provides additional content pages not accessible via the Quick Search page.
for the Archive and Website.
Providing Information or
Photographs for the Archive and Website
(all contributors of information and photographs used on the website will be duly acknowledged)
How do I provide photographs or information for the website?
From 2016, for anyone wanting to email photographs and information about American servicemen or servicewomen we ask them to email these to email@example.com.
Who can provide information or photographs for the website and archive?
Anyone... relatives, comrades, friends, researchers, family historians and students are welcome to submit photographs or information. All contributors will also be duly acknowledged and credited on both the Research Acknowledgements and Credits page and the respective memorial page(s).
What photographs and images do you NOT require for the website?
We do not seek or require any photographs of the present day headstones in Normandy or photographs of Normandy churchyards, communal or war cemeteries as they are today; unless those photographs include images of relatives or comrades paying their respects at a graveside or memorial and or if they include commemoration events at cemeteries. Please see our Why we do NOT Require Photographs of Present Day Headstones for the Archive and Website section for further details.
What photographs and scanned images are you looking for?
Photographs of individuals or groups:
We seek individual or group photographs of anyone who was killed or died of wounds, in Normandy, to add to their memorial page.
Normandy original grave markers:
We seek photographs of any original cross grave markers of the fallen or any photographs of the cemeteries, and churchyards from the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s.
Normandy early cemetery images:
Photographs of any cemeteries or churchyards from the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s are also welcome.
United Kingdom grave and cemetery images:
Photographs (both present day and from the last century) of any headstones of those who died (within 12 months) from wounds sustained in Normandy, but are now buried in the United Kingdom are also required.
Photographs of the cemetery or churchyard are also requested so that a new cemetery page (if not already in the archive) can be added to the website.
United States of America grave and cemetery images:
Photographs (both present day and from the last century) of any headstones of those who died in Normandy, or later (within 12 months) from wounds sustained in Normandy, but are now buried in the United States of America are also required.
Photographs of the cemetery or churchyard are also requested so that a new cemetery page (if not already in the archive) can be added to the website.
Copies of letters, documents or personal effects:
Also requested, are any photographs of the person and any documents relating to a person's service during the Second World War. This can include their units, details of the circumstances of their loss, and any relevant information about the family or correspondence from that time; i.e. telegrams, letter(s) home or from their commanding officer, service records, commendations or certificates etc., etc..
We also welcome any photographs of any personal effects such as medals, badges etc., for inclusion on an individual's memorial page. There is no limit to what we can add, our only restriction is time in collating and adding these images to the respective memorial pages. We therefore request that all images submitted are clearly identified and photographed or scanned as high a resolution as possible.
What information are you looking for?
We request any information not already mentioned on an individual's memorial page. We also request corrections to information that may be considered to be incorrect. If adding a new casualty, then we request all available information about that person. Like, as an example, what can be seen on this individual memorial page.
If sending or giving hard copies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a postal address, but do not post any original documents (unless you wish for the Fallen Heroes of Normandy Archive to take care of these for posterity), as we are unable to return any items that we receive by post or that are given to us.
Why we do NOT Require Photographs of Present Day Headstones in Normandy for the Archive and Website
Since 2000, we have been visiting and photographing all the headstones in the war cemeteries, communal cemeteries, churchyards and at isolated graves in Normandy. For the remaining headstones and cemeteries that have not yet been photographed, we have arranged scheduled visits, over the next few years, to complete this part of the project.
Nevertheless, please note that photographs of headstones of those who were repatriated after their deaths, or who subsequently died of wounds sustained in Normandy, but are buried outside of Normandy, are requested and will be a welcome contribution to the project.
Photographs are taken at a set resolution, and a set position, thereby reducing the time needed for editing. Photographs of headstones will then be added to the archive and website in batches, via our database, in the coming months and years.
As a result, we do not need any photographs of present day headstones; unless they are unique, i.e. they include members of the family, veterans or an image of the individual in the photograph of the headstone as well. Such photographs may then be added to the content of the respective memorial page under the Additional Information section.
Receiving and dealing with emails that submit just photographs of present day headstones, use up our limited resources and time, time that we would prefer to be spending updating memorial pages with photographs of the individuals or other related documents and information.
Nevertheless, we would like to sincerely thank all who have kindly thought of and taken the time to provide photographs for the Fallen Heroes of Normandy project, and we hope hope the following answers to questions we have been asked, adequately explain why it is not possible for us to use photographs of present day headstones that have been provided for the project.
Why have you not added an appeal for photographs of present day headstones along with your appeal for photographs of the individuals and their original grave markers?
There are several reasons why we have never appealed for photographs of the present day headstones that are in Normandy:
- We do not have the time or the resources to extensively appeal for photographs of headstones. Such an appeal would be a distraction from the more important appeal that we are making for photographs of the individuals and of their original cross grave markers.
- The logistics also of receiving, corresponding, sorting, collating, editing and individually adding each of the headstone photographs, one by one, to each memorial page are also beyond our means and resources; and would take too many years to complete. It has actually been quicker, and a more efficient use of our time and resources, for us to take these photographs ourselves.
- All the photographs of headstones that we take and publish are provided to allow relatives, schools, colleges and other similar organisations to freely use these images for their studies, projects to commemorate the fallen, or for personal use (see our Copyright and Use of Material page for further information). We therefore require all photographs to be taken at a particular angle so that the headstone information is clear (or mostly clear, when accounting for plants and horticulture around the headstone). We also require the photographs to be of a sufficient resolution for the photograph to be enlarged so that family members can freely download a good copy from the website for their personal use, or for students to use for their projects. Such uniformed photographs also improve the appearance of the website and individual memorial pages in general.
- Previous experience has shown to us that some people do 'locate' some photographs from internet sources, and send them to us without mentioning the source or if indeed the copyright on that image allows us to publish the photographs on the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website. As our limited resources and time do not allow us to follow up and establish the copyright on all material submitted, we do (as clearly stated in our Copyright and Use of Material page) need to accept material in good faith. However, the additional extra work of possibly having to remove headstone images at a later date, is too problematic and is another reason why we have decided to take the photographs ourselves. In addition, we have also established formal written permission from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to take and publish our photographs.This ensures that they will always be freely available for future generations.
- By systematically photographing the cemeteries and every headstone ourselves, we are also able to identify the location of every headstone for those with an headstone with an 'unknown' epitaph. This allows us to create a memorial page for that individual on the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website, along with the relevant known information about that individual. This process of photographing the headstones, also provides us with the data to double check the location of every headstone and ensure the information provided on our website is correct.
Why do some memorial pages have a photograph of the headstone photograph published, but others do not?
- This is an ongoing process. To make more efficient use of our limited resource and time, we will be uploading photographs of the headstones to the memorial pages in batches, via our database, in the coming months and years. The logistics of the alternative optional plan, clearly demonstrate why it is not a feasible option to add all these photographs, individually, to each memorial page. For example, to upload the 27,000+ headstone photographs (and that is just for the casualties of the British and Commonwealth forces in Normandy) individually to each memorial page would take one person over 10 months of solid work, working 8 hours a day. Adding photographs in batches, via our database, will take a fraction of that time and why it has been scheduled it into our programme, along with all our other work, in the coming months and years.
Information and Data on this Archive and Website
Why have some memorial pages for individuals no additional Information or photographs?
The Additional Information section of each individual memorial page is where information not available on, or from, their basic records is added. This information is contributed by relatives of the fallen or by researchers, historians and contributors. Additional information will be added to individual memorial pages as and when it is submitted to the archive, and our team of volunteers have had time to collate and post the additional information and photographs in the archive and on the website.
How accurate are the 'Dates of Death' provided on the individual memorial pages for each individual?
The majority of 'Dates of Death' recorded for individuals are relatively accurate and were recorded within 24 hours of death. However, in some cases the 'Date of Death' recorded, due to the inevitable problems or keeping such records in a combat zone, may be several days or weeks after they were killed, rather that the actual date they were killed or died.
For those who are listed as missing in action, dates can vary from the date they initially went missing to a varying period of time after that date; dependent upon the rules and regulations for recording deaths, by a respective country's service officials.
Where information is found that indicates that the date of death is different from the date actually stated on an individual's service record; this detail and relevant references to sources will be added to the Additional Information section of an indidividuals memorial page.
In due course the official rules and regulations for recording deaths, for each nation, will be added to this archive for reference. A link will also be provided from this section when that work is completed.
Why is the nationality of an individual not necessarily the same as the nation they fought for?
In some cases some people had simply emigrated to another country and volunteered, or were conscripted to fight, but had not taken up full nationalisation of the country they had moved to.
With regards the Allied forces, men from mainland Europe, Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth or Americas had moved to another country to fight with the Allied forces.
With regards the German forces, men volunteered or were conscripted from German occupied countries in northern and eastern Europe, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Latvia, etc., etc.. Meaning the German forces were made up of quite a diverse selection of nationalities.
Book of Remembrance
Is there a limit to how much can be written in a Book of Remembrance?
Comments are limited to 1000 characters (including spaces) for each post.
How long will I have to wait for my comment
to be published in the Book of Remembrance?
At present, due to the high volume of emails and comments we are receiving, it may take up to 7 days for comments to be posted in the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. We can only apologise for this delay but hope you understand that our volunteers who monitor the website do so in their spare time and do not receive any payment for their work in helping maintain this archive and website.
Why do I have to provide my email address to submit a comment to the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE?
In order to deter the submission of inappropriate comments, we ask for a valid email address. Comments with invalid email addresses (such as anyone@anywhere), or no email address, will also be rejected.
Will my email address be passed onto or sold to any third parties?
No, your email details will not be sold or passed onto any third parties. If you have ticked the ‘Tick for updates’ box on the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE submission page, we shall only use your email to provide you with updates about the archive and website. If you decide at a later date that you no longer want such updates, please just email us here to have your email address removed from our mailing list.
Why do I have to enter the two words at the bottom of the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE page before I can submit my comment?
The retyping of the words displayed, known as recapture, is a means of preventing spam being sent to the site. Thereby saving us time and enabling us to deal with, and publish, genuine and acceptable comments.
What constitutes an acceptable or appropriate comment for the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE on the memorial pages for each of the fallen?
Comments for the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE on the individual memorial pages for each casualty should be specific to that individual. Also welcome are any comments about the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website. If you wish to provide additional information about the casualty please either us the details at email@example.com.
Anyone is welcome to add appropriate comments in the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. In particular, we encourage relatives, friends or comrades of the fallen to add their thoughts and comments.
Comments should be respectful, appropriate for a memorial website, not likely to cause offence, contain any profanities, insults or references to any political ideologies. We will also not publish messages in the Book of Remembrance that advertise any products or other websites. Suggested links to other websites should be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can asses if they are suitable to be added to our Links pages.
What constitutes and appropriate comment for the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE on the page for each of the cemeteries?
Comments for the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE on the individual pages for each cemetery or memorial can make reference to any individual in that cemetery and/or make comments about the cemetery or memorial itself. Also welcome are any comments about the archive and website, cemetery, Roll of Honour or individual memorial pages.
Comments should be respectful, appropriate for a memorial website, not likely to cause offence, contain any profanities, insults or references to any political ideologies. We will also not publish messages that advertise any products or other websites. Suggested links to other websites should be emailed to us at email@example.com, so we can asses if they are suitable to be added to our Links pages.
I’ve posted a comment on the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE, but it has not yet appeared on the website?
All comments posted in the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE are checked before they are published live on the website. We do not edit or correct any comments made, they are either accepted and published, or (if deemed inappropriate or illegible), they will be deleted and not published. Please check your comments before submitting as changes cannot be made after any comments are published.
Concept and Naming of the
Website Archive and Database
Why is the archive and website called Fallen Heroes of Normandy?
To reflect the heroic sacrifice or commitment made by each individual for their comrades, family or country in, above, or along the shoreline of Normandy, France during the Second World War.
What is the aim and purpose of the archive and website?
The Fallen Heroes of Normandy is an archive and database providing factual, statistical, historical information and a permanent memorial for ALL those who fell, or were fatally wounded in Normandy during the Second World War. Information and data that can provide a valuable resource for historians and those interested in the Normandy battlefields and also provide a place of remembrance or commemoration for relatives, friends and comrades of the fallen.
Why are casualties from the German forces included in the archive?
Only by proving the combined data and information, from many and varied sources, about ALL the fatal casualties in Normandy, can we provide a unique and accurate archive for historians. Thereby enabling an accurate as possible detailed assessment of battle casualties, intensity of fighting and the ultimate cost in human life of those who fought, attacked and defended Normandy during the Second World War.
Why do those who served in the German forces have individual memorial pages?
To further the act and demonstration of reconciliation shown by many since the end of the Second World War, the Fallen Heroes of Normandy feel that anyone who died, or who was fatally wounded, regardless of nationality, race, creed, colour, religion, political leaning or moral character should be provided with their own individual memorial page. Thereby providing future generations with an opportunity to better appreciate all the elements and characteristics of human nature, and ultimately the true horrors and cost of war to all those involved in conflict.
Why are the German SS unit casualties included in the archive, when some may be war criminals?
The Fallen Heroes of Normandy is an archive and database providing factual, statistical, historical information and a permanent memorial for ALL those who fell, or were fatally wounded in Normandy during the Second World War. Information and data that can provide a valuable resource for historians of all nationalities for anyone interested in the Normandy battlefields.
The archive may also provide a place of remembrance or commemoration for relatives and comrades, of any nationality, of the fallen. It is a matter of historical fact that ‘war crimes’ were committed by some people, in both the Axis and Allied forces.
As the Fallen Heroes of Normandy is an historical archive of factual and/or appropriately referenced material, we do not seek, or aim, to pass judgement on any of those who are named or commemorated on the website, our aim is purely to provide an archive of historical information and a place of memorial or commemoration for the fallen.
Is the word heroes really appropriate for all those who are commemorated on this website?
We use the word ‘heroes’ in our title to indicate that all those commemorated on this website may be a hero to another person; all were a relative, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend or comrade to someone.
‘Hero’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as someone who is... 'noted or admired for nobility, courage, outstanding achievements, etc... a great warrior.'
'Warrior' is defined as someone who is... 'a person experienced or distinguished in fighting.'
As it is impossible to determine the specific heroic qualities of everyone who served in Normandy, we feel that the title Fallen Heroes of Normandy is appropriate as a generic title to cover all those who fell in Normandy during the Second World War and is a reflection of their experience or devotion to duty to their comrades, relatives or respective homeland forces.
It is not the intention of the archive and website to cause any offence or be disrespectful to anyone.
Access to the website and archive is free and a matter of personal choice for all. If anyone disagrees, or feels offended, with the inclusion of men from the German armed forces alongside those of the Allied forces, we politely suggest they exercise their right not to use this archive and website.
Why have you used a poppy as part of the graphic design for the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website?
The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance, is a concept that became popular in 1920, when the National American Legion adopted the poppy as their official symbol. It was an American poet, Moina Michael, who in tribute to Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' campaigned to have the poppy adopted as a national symbol of Remembrance. This led to the National American Legion adopting the poppy as their official symbol of Remembrance.
The poppy has, since 1920, also been adopted by the The American Legion Auxiliary, Earl Haig Fund, Earl Haig Fund Scotland, Royal British Legion, Royal British Legion Scotland (Poppy Scotland), Royal Canadian Legion, Australian Legacy, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association and many other charities, military veteran's groups and organisations around the world. The poppy is now acknowledged as a universal symbol of remembrance.
In keeping with this tradition, but to ensure our poppy design is not confused with the two-petal, four-petal and multi-petal poppies used by many other charities, veteran's groups and organisations, we have designed a distinct three-petal poppy to form a small part of the graphics for this memorial archive and website. Thereby clearly demonstrating the remembrance aspect of this project.
The concept of the three-petal poppy is based upon representation of the land, sea and air operations that formed the various battles in Normandy during the Second World War.
Copyright and Use of Material from the Website.
Copyright and intellectual property rights remain with their respective owners for all material published on this website. Copies of photographs and documents are received in good faith and published accordingly. Photographs that are believed to be out of copyright, or that are in the public domain and are deemed to be 'orphan work', may not be credited if the author, or authors, are unknown.
Any person submitting material for the archive and website, do so on the understanding that no payment will not be made for the use and publication of this material or images by the Fallen Heroes of Normandy. Moreover, such persons submit such material and images in the clear knowledge that the material and images may be published without charge on the website or in educational and display material compiled and published by the Fallen Heroes of Normandy in the future.
As an archive of historical material, we seek to credit or acknowledge all items published where the author, or authors, are known. If anyone believes we have published material without the correct authorisation, or without the correct copyright or acknowledgement, please contact us with the relevant details, quoting the webpage(s) in this archive that which such an image appears, and provide proof of copyright ownership or details of correct acknowledgment. We will then be pleased to make the relevant corrections.
We will always publish, where known, the source of any photograph that is collated and submitted to the archive, to help anyone trying to trace respective copyright and intellectual property rights.
In the event of an image being published, without the permission of the copyright holder, and the copyright owner seeks the removal of that image from the archive, please contact us with details, and quoting the webpage(s) in this archive, on which such an image appears, along with all relevant proof of copyright ownership. We will then remove the image(s) in question from the website.
How to Link to the Fallen Heroes of Normandy
If anyone would like to add the Fallen Heroes of Normandy link to their website
Please consider using the following banner and description for a link to our website:
How can a new memorial page be added to the archive and website
Only the Fallen Heroes of Normandy team can add new memorial pages to the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website.
For any new memorial pages to be added to the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive, full details about the individual should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the casualty is American, please email to email@example.com.
Please include (where known) the following:
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth
Date of Death:
Place of residence:
Service (army, naval, air force):
Regiment, Service, Corps:
Unit, Ship, Squadron:
Honours and Awards:
Place of Burial/Commemoration:
Previois Place of Burial:
Please also email any photographs, documents, letters etc., etc., that could also be added to their memorial page.
Please note: that the criteria for a new memorial page to be added the the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website are:
'A person, of any nationality, who died or received mortal wounds, in, above, or along the coastline, of Normandy, France between 1939 and 1945, during the Second World War.'
This includes any person who is buried, or commemorated on an official war memorial to the missing, in Normandy, France, or are buried or commemorated on an official war memorial to the missing in any other country, providing they were killed, or received mortal wounds in, above, or along the coastline of Normandy, France between 1939 and 1945.
A memorial page will also be created if someone dies after 1945, providing it has been officially determined that they have died from the wounds they received between 1939 to 1945, in, above, or along the coastline of Normandy, France.
For example, assuming the above criteria is established, the following fatal casualties would be provided with a memorial page on the Fallen Heroes of Normandy archive and website:
Persons who were repatriated to their home country for burial or cremation (such as one of the, estimated, 14,000 Americans who were repatriated to the United States of America from the Normandy battlefields after the Second World War).
Persons who were evacuated back to the United Kingdom, but subsequently died of their wounds, and are now buried or commemorated in the United Kingdom.
If you have a question that is not covered in this section, please email your queston to: