This week, work begins on the first and long overdue memorial to the 22,442 British servicemen who died during the Normandy Campaign.
The Gold Beach site is already marked by David Williams-Ellis’s sculpture of three servicemen, which was unveiled during the service there to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
‘It was the most moving day of my life,’ says Williams-Ellis. ‘Standing shoulder to shoulder with the veterans and looking out at where they landed was extraordinary. Theresa May was in tears, we all were. The Americans, Canadians and French all have their memorials and yet we, who contributed over 50% of the men who died, have had none till now. It’s why it’s so important that we find the extra five or six million needed to complete it. Most of the veterans are nearing the end of their lives and with them will go our living history. When I think so many of the brave men were younger or the same age as my youngest son, who’s 22, it really brings it home how important it is for my children’s generation to commemorate and honour all those brave young British troops who gave their lives to free Europe.’