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Unveiling of commemorative stone marks Commando raid

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BOTH British Commandos and the Germans they killed during the Second World War were commemorated by the unveiling of a stone monument in Sark.

Left to right: Standard bearer John Hunt, Seigneur Major Christopher Beaumont, John Appleyard, half brother of Major Appleyard, who led Operation Basalt, and Lt-Col Reginald Guille, who was himself an Army Commando. (Picture by Sue Daly)

The engraved granite memorial stands on the Hogs Back on the south-easterly cliffs where Commando raid Operation Basalt landed on 3 October 1942.

An unveiling ceremony was attended by John Appleyard, the half brother of Geoffery Appleyard, who led the raid. Members of the Wood family from Herm, who are cousins of Mr Appleyard, were also in attendance as well as members of the public.

The engraving on the front of the four-foot-tall stone lists the names of all known soldiers on the raid. Two spaces are left until official confirmation can be given as to the men’s identities. The monument is also inreads to be in memory of Sark woman Frances Pittard, who gave the raiders information and newspaper clippings about the Germans.

The stone also includes a detailed map pointing out the areas where the Commandos landed and carried out the operation. It is hoped that the monument will increase military history-related tourism in the island and is expected to be a feature on next year’s Sark tourism map.

On the side panel of the commemorative piece are the names of the three German soldiers who were killed during the raid.

Full story in Friday's Guernsey Press

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