Private PETER SANDERSON (photo added)

Serviceman Headstone image Serviceman grave marker Serviceman thumbnail
Rank Private
Forenames PETER
Surname SANDERSON (photo added)
Initials P
Place of Birth Unknown
Date of Birth Unknown
Date of Death Monday, 12 June 1944
Age 19
Nationality British
Service Number 14219502
Force British Army
Service/Corps/Regiment Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps
Unit / Ship / Battalion / Squadron 9 Parachute Battalion (6th Airborne Division)
Military Honours and Awards
Place of Burial/Commemoration RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY
Roll of honour
Grave/Memorial Location IA. J. 20.
Previous Place(s) of Burial BOIS DES MONTS, CALVADOS, NORMANDY

Additional Information

Private Peter Sanderson, undated,
(Lance Corporal at time this photograph was taken).



Location: Bois des Monts, Château St Côme, Bréville, Normandy, France.


On the morning of the 12th June 1944, just after first light, the Germans continued with sporadic shell and mortar fire. By noon, this had intensified and the whole area was being subjected to continuous enemy fire. At 1500 hours the bombardment intensified still further and lasted for a further 45 minutes. This was followed immediatly by a determined infantry attack supported by armour and Mk IV tanks and SP guns...


The Germans continued with concentrated mortar and artillery fire in support of their infantry and armoured attack. During the shelling Lieutenant Slade was seen walking about boosting his men's morale by waving a sword he had taken from the Château St Côme. He gave the order to stand fast and make all shots count. The Padre, The Reverend Captain John Gwinnett, also raised morale when he came out from the cover of the Bois des Monts driveway, crossed the road and hung the battalion's flag on the trunk of the tree situated on the right-hand corner of the entrance leading to the château.


Tree upon which the battalion's flag was hung.
to the right, a memorial to 9 Parachute Battalion.


German tanks were starting to come up the road from Bréville in support of the infantry... They were heading directly for 9 Parachute Battalion's position around the entrance to the château and the top of the sunken lane. When the Germans were within 20 yards (18 metres) 9 Parachute Battalion let loose with everything they had left. The machine-guns, positioned by the entrance to the château, and along the sunken lane, opened up, along with the mortar bombs, grenades, PIAT projectiles and small arms fire into the German lines.


The sunken lane.


Corporal McGuinness had his machine-gun positioned near the diveway entrance to the château and Corporal Bailey's machine gun was in the wood, both facing Bréville. Opposite, Private PETER SANDERSON had his gun covering the château. His position unfortunately received a direct hit from a mortar round killing nineteen year old Private Sanderson and wounding his comrades.1


My gun was brought up to the crossroads [driveway], Bailey's was in the wood, both facing Bréville. Sanderson, a good lad, was right opposite us, his gun facing the château; he was killed with a mortar bomb, his mates were wounded.

Corporal Jim McGuinness, 9 Parachute Battalion.2


Entrance to the Château St Côme.


1. Extract from Merville Battery & The Dives Bridges, pp141-143. Published by Pen & Sword Book Ltd 1999 - 2011, 4th edition, by Carl Shilleto
2. Quote from The Day the Devils Dropped In. p187. Published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd 2002, 2003, 2nd edition, by Neil Barber


Acknowledgements and Credits
Source of original data: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Headstone photograph: Carl Shilleto
Cross marker photograph:  
Individual photograph: Carl Shilleto via Family of Peter Sanderson
Additional photographs provided by: Carl Shilleto
Additional information provided by: Carl Shilleto and Neil Barber



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What other people have said

Uk manchester

Philip geraghty

We are who we are today for this brave bunch of young men... Never forgotten always remembered

On Thursday, January 9, 2014

juan muñoz gomez


On Wednesday, January 8, 2014