Like much of Europe and all of France, Corsica was occupied during the war. On the 16 September 1943 it became the first part of Metropolitan France to be liberated. Some 12,000 local partisans known as the Maquis drove out the occupying German and Italian forces. After this the island, sometimes referred to as USS Corsica, became a vital strategic air base for the allied forces.
The memorial in Biguglia is funded and maintained by the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission. It is maintained to the highest standards and is an idyllic and peaceful spot for a memorial. The graves are predominantly for British forces but also include nine Australians, one South African and a Canadian soldier. They ranged in age from just 19 to 43 years.
We read each of the headstones and interestingly the very first one we looked at was James Hillier - the same surname as my mother in law's maiden name!
This is the only Commonwealth war cemetery in Corsica. It is a fitting tribute to and commemoration of the fallen as well as a timely reminder of the terrible cost of conflict.