Wednesday, December 19, 2018

One man's quest to find out about Sgt Timothy J Hayes

Sgt Timothy J Hayes
Sgt Timothy J Hayes
In the summer of 2013, one man walked among the graves in the American section of the cemetery in Normandy. He stopped at a grave and planted a small American flag. He wrote the name of the soldier's grave he had found in his notebook. When he returned home, he went to the internet to search for information on the soldier. 

He was fortunate. He found Sgt Timothy J Hayes in the search results.

Rose Turco had provided me the information on all the street signs that had been placed on the corners or in the Franklin neighborhoods where the soldiers had lived. The World War II Fallen Heroes project had taken place in 2011.

Sgt Hayes' sign was at the corner of Cross and Summer. I had posted the World War II information following VJ Day in August 2013. This is what the man, Trip Lewis, was able to find.

Trip Lewis is an American living and teaching in New Brunswick, Canada. He wrote in October 2013 to send me the photo of Sgt Hayes' grave and the flag he placed. He also had a chance to stop in Franklin in December 2013 as he was driving down the coast to visit family over the holidays. We met at the corner of Cross and Summer.

It was an overcast winter day but special. Trip and I met and chatted for a few minutes, took a couple of photos, and he headed back on the road.

Trip Lewis
Trip Lewis

Sgt Timothy J Hayes
Fallen Hero: Sgt Timothy J Hayes

I had not heard from Trip until this weekend when he wrote:
Dear Steve, 
We met almost 5 years ago in Franklin after I had contacted you about information that you had about a soldier from Franklin, Sergeant Timothy J Hayes that had died from wounds received on June 6, 1944, on Franklin Matters. I wanted to first again thank you for meeting me that Day in December 2013 - it was a special moment to stand under the sign on Cross Street in Franklin and learn more about Timothy Hayes. 
I am reaching out to you because I again had the opportunity to visit France this past July - and as part of our group’s itinerary, another visit to the Normandy American Cemetery. Though we had not planned it until the day before, I was able to do more than just visit Sgt Hayes this time and plant a flag at his grave - in fact, I ended up doing a short biography of him for the members of our group, teachers and students from across Canada, and introduce all of them to what I know about him and his service. 
I was able to record this on video (only recently having the time to get back and edit all of the video content from the trip); if you are interested in watching, the link to the video is provided. We also did a grave stone rubbing which I have brought home and framed.
Given your help in meeting me in Franklin back in 2013, I wanted to share this video with you - many thanks for your help. I hope someday to again visit Franklin!

Trip and Rose have been in contact via email so this story continues to develop.

The video:

More about the Gregg Centre can be found online

Sgt Hayes page (the original posting that Trip found)

The Fallen Heroes Series can be found

Sgt Timothy J Hayes is also honored with a post on the recently dedicated Veterans Walkwa
Sgt Timothy J Hayes is also honored with a post on the recently dedicated Veterans Walkway


  1. Very interesting story. My mother was married to Sgt Timothy Hayes. She remarried a Newfoundlander and had 3 children in Franklin.