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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Roy Graham Lilley

In memory of:

Sergeant Roy Graham Lilley

August 14, 1944

Military Service

Service Number:







1st Hussars, R.C.A.C.

Honours and Awards:

British Empire Medal

Additional Information


November 17, 1918
St. Thomas, Ontario


September 6, 1939
London, Ontario

Son of George Douglas and Ruby May Lilley of Glencoe, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 366 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

XXV. H. 5.


This cemetery lies on the west side of the main road from Caen to Falaise (route N158) and just north of the village of Cintheaux. Bretteville-sur-Laize is a village and commune in the department of the Calvados, some 16 kilometres south of Caen. The village of Bretteville lies 3 kilometres south-west of the Cemetery. Buried here are those who died during the later stages of the battle of Normandy, the capture of Caen and the thrust southwards (led initially by the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions), to close the Falaise Gap, and thus seal off the German divisions fighting desperately to escape being trapped west of the Seine. Almost every unit of Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the Cemetery. There are about 3,000 allied forces casualties of the Second World War commemorated in this site.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Photo of Roy Graham Lilley– From the Star Weekly, September 30, 1944:
"Serg. Lilley was a guy everybody loved.  He didn't come back from that one. He climbed into his tank like the rest and went careening down the Laison valley, the great gun on his tank blazing away.  But enemy gunners drew a bead on the tank of Sergt. Lilley and sent a 50-millimetre shell crashing through its hull, mortally wounding the sergeant.  He had only seconds to live.  The tank was ablaze.  But he had one more job to do. The turret had stopped in such a way that the big gun was directly over the driver's hatchway and the driver was pinned inside.  The electric motor that traverses the turret had been shot out.  So Sergt. Lilley, with his last ounce of strength, swung the great turret around the driver's hatch.  The driver scrambled to safety. Sergt. Lilley tumbled out of the turret to the ground.  A few seconds later he died.  And today around the 2nd Armored Brigade they'll tell you that he was the best N.C.O. in the army - both officers and men will tell you that."
  • Memorial
  • Photo of Roy Graham Lilley– Portrait of Sergeant Lilley during World War Two
  • Group Photo– Sergeant R. G. Lilley is located in the middle of this photograph.
  • Group Photo– Roy (top left) with his men.  He was referred to as their "beloved sergeant".   Each time he left for a mission he would say "be seeing you"

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