Battle Honour CAEN

Sun, 07/09/1944
2 RUR Caen
2 RUR in Caen.

The Battle Honour CAEN is emblazoned on The King's Colours of The Royal Irish Regiment and was awarded for those actions leading to the liberation of the city of Caen in Normandy, France.

Following the D-Day Normandy Landing, the 3rd Infantry Division was involved in the operations to advance to and capture the city of Caen in Normandy. The 2nd Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles was in the Division's 9 Infantry Brigade battling towards the city. On the afternoon of 7 July, the Battalion, during its day’s rest at St Aubin d’Arquenay, heard that it was to have the honour of leading the advance into Caen and pursuing the Germans to the River Orne.

Before the Battalion moved into Caen, the first British unit to enter the town was in fact an RUR platoon patrolling deep into the town led by Lt Brian Burges. He was shot through the shoulder by a sniper and, despite his wound, led his platoon back and out of Caen.

At 0930 hrs on 9 July 1944, as the final phase of a Brigade attack, 2 RUR with B Company leading, advanced slowly into the battered ruins of the town. Systematically, and with guides from the local French resistance, the Battalion located and dealt with snipers and small groups of retreating enemy; it found no organised resistance, although D Company did receive two casualties.

BHCAENWhen the main body of the Battalion reached the centre of the town, French families draped their national flag from doors and windows and crowds appeared offering wine to celebrate the triumph of their liberators. One French veteran remained long in the memory of those who met him when he disclosed that in his past he had been a regular at Mooney's bar in Belfast.