Appeal For Tributes To War Dead Ahead Of D-Day Anniversary

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is offering to lay tributes for those who cannot travel to its cemeteries in Normandy.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is appealing for tributes to commemorate the Second World War dead ahead of the 76th anniversary of D-Day. 

Every year, veterans and relatives visit the CWGC's cemeteries in northern France to remember those killed on D-Day and the other pivotal battles of 1944.

However, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, social distancing measures and travel restrictions mean many are unable to visit.

Instead, the CWGC is offering to personally lay tributes at its graves and memorials on behalf of relatives and veterans, as part of its Remembering Normandy scheme.

The place markers will bear the words, ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’, and will be placed in time for the anniversary of D-Day on 6 June.

Xavier Puppinck, the CWGC's France area director, said: “When we welcomed thousands of veterans and visitors to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day we couldn’t have imagined how different things would be just one year later.

“While it is sad that we cannot host any large gatherings this summer to pay respect in person, we can still pause and remember.”

D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in military history (Picture: PA).

The commission is also encouraging the public to post their messages to the wartime generation online using #ShareYourTribute.

It comes as major commemorations this summer are either being cancelled or hosted virtually. 

The CWGC has said more than 1,000 digital tributes have been shared so far and that they will be displayed on a digital 'Wall of Remembrance'.

More than 22,000 Commonwealth war dead are buried in 18 CWGC war cemeteries in Normandy.

More graves are found in churchyards and cemeteries throughout the region.

Tribute requests can be submitted online, according to the CWGC. 

Cover image: Veterans lay wreaths at Bayeux Cemetery on the 75th anniversary of D-Day (Picture: MOD).