The Hollis Memorial
In 2006 a train stop on a Normandy beach, mistaken for a German pillbox on D Day was unveiled as a memorial to Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis VC and the men of the Green Howards.
Aerial photographs taken before the landings showed what looked like a small German fortification at La Rivière, adjacent to Gold Beach. CSM Hollis later recalled: “As we were coming in I lifted a stripped Lewis gun off the floor of the landing craft and pelted a pillbox with a full pan of ammunition”. Only on advancing over the beach did the men discover that it was ‘only a bloody tram-stop’.
During the fighting on D Day, CSM Hollis won the only Victoria Cross to be awarded that day. He gained it for two actions of supreme valour, firstly for clearing a pillbox and trenches north of Ver-sur-Mer, and secondly for rescuing his comrades under fire in the village of Crépon.
Learn more about CSM Hollis.