Bretteville-sur-Laize War Cemetery is situated on the main road between Falaise and Caen on the N158. It lies about 14km from Caen and just north of the village of Cintheaux. The village of Bretteville is 3km south west of the cemetery. The Cemetery is probably most easily seen from the air thanks to the enormous red maple leaf design built in to the surface of the car park area. Parking is ample although a short walk is required to get to the entrance of the Cemetery.
Bretteville-sur-Laize was created as a permanent resting place for Canadian soldiers who had been temporarily buried in smaller plots close to where they fell. There are 2,958 graves including 87 unidentified burials. Most of those resting at Bretteville died during the latter stages of the Battle of Normandy around Saint-André-sur-Orne in July 1944 and in the battle for the Falaise Pocket in August 1944. Almost every unit of the Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the cemetery.
Outside the entrance to the Cemetery is a memorial in the shape of a maple leaf dedicated to Gérard Doré considered to be the youngest Canadian soldier to be killed during the Battle of Normandy. He volunteered for Royal Canadian Artillery at the age of 15, and was just four week shy of his 17th birthday when he was killed at the Battle of Ridge Canopies on 23rd July.
When visiting Bretteville-sur-Laize, it is worthwhile to remember that the Polish Cemetery at Urville-Langannerie is just 5km to the south along the N158.