Le Petit Lac Cemetery, Oran
Oran is a port on the Mediterranean coast and was one of those chosen for the landing of American contingents of the Allied invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch, in November 1942. The naval force was British. The assault landings in the harbour were resisted by the Vichy French, with heavy Allied casualties, but the landings on either side of the port were successful.
Le Petit Lac Cemetery is on the south-east of Oran, over two miles from the centre, and the name is derived from a lake which was once in the area. The cemetery was originally a large war cemetery, formed early in 1945 by the Americans, for the burial of all Allied servicemen. After 1945 all but the Commonwealth burials (`Commonwealth' including foreigners who were serving in the Commonwealth forces) were removed, but in 1950 the French re-opened the cemetery as a French National Cemetery. The Commonwealth Plot is still in its original site about 200 yards from the entrance, and is hedged off from the main cemetery. It is a small cemetery, but is remarkable for the numbers of different nationalities buried in it. It contains nearly 200 British burials, 15 Canadian, five Australian and small numbers of New Zealand, South African, Indian, West African, Belgian, Nether- lands, Norwegian, Polish and Yugoslav.
|The text on this page has been taken from Courage Remembered, by Kingsley Ward and Major Edwin Gibson.|