On a narrow side road in the Bolderwood area of the New Forest and tucked away in the treeline, is a simple looking wooden cross, backed by a Canadian flag and surrounded by weatherworn photos and poems. It stands as a poignant memorial to the Canadian troops who were stationed in the New Forest during the build up to D-Day, many of whom lost their lives on that day and the subsequent months.
Due to its close proximity to the south coast and the embarkation points for Normandy, the New Forest saw a huge influx of troops before the planned re-occupation of France.
Troops from all Allied nations gathered in the south of England, training and preparing for the big push, while the necessary equipment was manufactured and assembled for the journey across the Channel.
Secrecy was a necessity, and the coverage provided by the trees of the forest kept many of the activities hidden from enemy planes flying overhead.
THE CANADIANS IN THE NEW FOREST, HAMPSHIRE
The Canadian Third Infantry were one of the battalions who arrived in the area in early 1944. Their chaplain looked around for somewhere to hold services for the men, and found Mogshade Hill, a scenic place with views over the hills and nearby Highland Water.