PEGASUS BRIDGE 6 JUNE 1944
The story of what happened at the cafe of M and Mme Gondree at Pegasus Bridge is probably the best known of all the happenings on the British beaches.
Alongside the cafe is the bridge over the River Orne canal and early on the morning of 6 June 1944 the gliders of the Ox and Bucks under the command of Major John Howard landed on the opposite bank - the first allied soldiers to arrive in Normandy.
In celebration M and Mme Gondree dug up 99 bottles of champagne which they had hidden in the garden.
After the war the cafe was adopted by veterans of the airborne forces and became a centre of pigrimage. Following the deaths of M and Mme Gondree the cafe was taken over by their daughter Arlette.
Nearby is the splendid Airborne Memorial Museum. In its grounds is a replica Horsa glider and parts of the original bridge. The many memorials and details of the CWGC Cemetery at Ranville are given in our Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide D-Day Normandy Landing Beaches.