Hermanville-sur-Mer lies 13 kilometres north of Caen on the road to Lion-sur-Mer (D60). On the opposite side of the road to the church is the entrance to "Rue du Cimetière Anglais". The Cemetery is around 300 metres along this road. There is plenty of parking just across from the entrance gate.
Hermanville is located just behind Sword Beach where the British 3rd Division landed on D-Day. In the pavement outside the entrance to Hermanville War Cemetery is a large reproduction of the unit insignia of 3rd Division - an inverted red triangle inside a larger black triangle. It makes the entrance very easy to spot.
Originally known as Sword Beach Cemetery, many of those buried at Hermanville died on D-Day or during the first few days of the Normandy Campaign. However, there are also burials of naval personnel, Royal Marine Commandos and armoured units involved in Operation Goodwood. The cemetery contains 1,003 burials, including 103 graves of the unknown.
There are three graves of French servicemen. Their headstones of white crosses are in stark contracts to the more familiar British and Commonwealth headstones. In addition, a number of the British graves belong to Jewish soldiers. These can sometime be seen with stones or rocks placed atop the headstone. This is a Jewish tradition which symbolises the permanence of memory and legacy. Whilst flowers will eventually wither and die, the stones will remain.