Ranville War Cemetery is located on "Rue Airbornes" next to the church in the centre of the village, near to the Mairie and public library. It is easily found by following the green Commonwealth War Grave Commission signs. There is plenty of parking
The Cemetery is much more open than many of the other Commonwealth cemeteries in Normandy, with few trees except around parts of the perimeter. Although the familiar trademark features of all Hepworth-designed cemeteries are present, Ranville is not laid out in such an organised, symmetrical pattern.
Ranville was the first village to be liberated in France when the bridge over the Caen Canal was captured intact in the early hours of D-Day by troops of the 6th Airborne Division. Many of the division's casualties are buried in Ranville War Cemetery and the adjoining churchyard. Amongst the dead are 76 members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion who dropped alongside their British counterparts.
The Cemetery contains 2,235 Commonwealth burials, including 97 graves of unidentified casualties. There are also 330 German graves and several other graves including French and Polish war dead. The neighbouring churchyard contains 47 Commonwealth burials and one German grave.
Ranville War Cemetery also contains the grave of Lieutenant Den Brotheridge, most likely the first Allied casualty on D-Day. He was part of the glider force that captured Pegasus Bridge. He was hit by German machine gun fire and died from his wounds.