Harstad Cemetery in Norway

Harstad is on the north-east coast of Hinnoy Island on the Vaagsfjord, 55 kilometres north-west of Narvik. During the Second World War, Norway was of strategic importance to the Germans. Their invasion on 9 April 1940 was sudden and widespread and despite Allied intervention, the entire country was under German occupation by early June. Thereafter, Allied activity in Norway was confined to raids and special operations, with the Commonwealth air forces providing support to Norwegian resistance groups until the German capitulation in May 1945. There are no Commonwealth war cemeteries in Norway, those who died there being buried in civil cemeteries and churchyards. Harstad was used as the military headquarters and main port of disembarkation for the expeditionary force sent to northern Norway in April 1940 and was repeatedly attacked by German aircraft throughout the entire operation. Harstad Cemetery contains 33 Commonwealth burials, one of them unidentified. The cemetery also contains plots of other Allied war graves. There is 1 grave from the 1,531 servicemen lost with our ships, that of Jack Pilkington, HMS Glorious. Commonwealth War Graves SectionCommonwealth War Graves Section Photos courtesy of Harald Isachsen of HarstadPhotos courtesy of Harald Isachsen of Harstad
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