A bridge too far....
Pirvate Elias Sterio
Date: June 13th 1944
Location: Le Pont de la Guillette, Normandy, France
Unit: 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

Dear Mrs Sterio
By now you will have had offical notification of the death of your husband so I am permitted to write to you on behalf of the officers & men of A Co we offer our deepest sympathy in your loss which was also our loss as he was a good soldier & well liked by all. Although there is little to tell, I know you would like to hear how it happened.

We had been ordered to capture an enemy position & your husband was with the leading platoon. The Germans allowed the first men through & then fired on the larger body of men. You will be thankful to know that he suffered no pain as he died immediately. There is nothing else to say except that he did his duty gallantly & no man can do more.

Yours very sincerely
R. Edwards Capt.
A Co.

This letter is was delivered to Mrs Bridget Sterio, Elias' wife on June 22nd 1944. Elias Sterio was born in Swansea Wales UK in 1919. He came ashore on D Day, 6th June 1944 at about 11am with the 6th battalion Durham Light Infantry. (A Company)

On the 13th of June 1944 they were walking down the Bayeux to Tilly sur Seulles road to help liberate Tilly sur Seulles. At Le Pont de la Guillette they were ordered to the right, down a lane to clear a German position. The Germans were waiting in farm buildings.

Elias Sterio was in the front batch of men,  the Germans waited until a larger body of men were in site then opened fire. He was killed instantly at Le Pont de la Guillette, just north of Tilly Sur Seulles.

He now lies at peace at Tilly. He left a wife and a one year old baby (Mary). Le Pont de la Guillette is now peaceful but could do with a memorial to those brave men who lost their lives there on that fateful day, 13th June 1944.

Brian Jenkins, his nephew

Personal Photographs

The Durham Light Infantry Badge.

"Le Pont de la Guilette" is the bridge near Tilly-Sur-Seulles, where Elias Sterio got killed by enemy machinegun fire on June 13th 1944.


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