A new British Normandy memorial will be unveiled on Friday 4th September 2020 in Ver-sur-Mer. The names of over 22,000 soldiers will be inscribed on it.
The site at Ver-sur-Mer overlooks Gold Beach where British troops landed on D-Day. This new memorial is designed to provide a permanent focal point for reflection and remembrance in honour of those who lost their lives.
Many feel that a permanent memorial is long over-due in Normandy. There are some sculptures to British troops to the west of Sword Beach at Ouistreham. And, in June 2019, a D-Day garden was installed on the cliffs at Arromanches to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. You can read about the Arromanches D-Day garden here. However, this new project is very much welcomed by veterans and their families.
Part of the memorial has been revealed already. The sculptor David Williams-Ellis was commissioned to create a piece for the ceremony held on 6th June 2019. This high-profile event was attended by Prime Minister Theresa May and President Emmanuel Macron. Williams-Ellis created three soldiers in bronze representing leadership and comradeship. The sculpture was shipped to France and formed the centrepiece of the commemoration event.
The sculpture will stand in front of a neoclassical memorial designed by architect Liam O’Connor. The memorial is a walled forecourt with colonnades and gardens on either side. 160 columns will be inscribed with the names of all the 22,442 service personnel under British command who lost their lives during the Battle of Normandy. Also honoured will be tens of thousands of French citizens who also died.
Until the opening ceremony on 4th September, the site remains a construction site. For a construction update, video and information on expressing an interest in attending the opening event visit this Normandy Memorial Trust website page.
There is also more information about the project on the Normandy Memorial Trust website. You can find out how to donate to the project too. Although funding and sponsorship are underway, a second phase of the project is being planned. This would culminate in a Visitor and Education Centre being opened at some pointt in the future. Following the opening ceremony, the British Normandy Memorial will be open to the public from 5th September.Let's be social
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