British Normandy Memorial enters final stages of construction 030820 CREDIT normandymemorialtrust.org
WWII

British Normandy Memorial Approaches 'Final Stages' Of Construction

After a year’s work and the interruption of the coronavirus pandemic, builders in Ver-sur-Mer are adding the finishing touches.

British Normandy Memorial enters final stages of construction 030820 CREDIT normandymemorialtrust.org

The British Normandy Memorial commemorating the UK lives lost during D-Day is almost complete and ready to open to the public.

The Normandy Memorial Trust confirmed the site at Ver-sur-Mer, northern France, will be open to the public from the end of October.

Founding trustee Nicholas Witchell made the announcement, giving an update on the progress of the memorial's construction.

"After more than a year’s worth of work, the interruption of the coronavirus pandemic, our marvellous contractors and craftsmen are putting the finishing touches to it now," he said. 

"The paving is being laid, the inscriptions are being finished, the oak beams are being put into place.

An artist's impression of the D-Day Normandy memorial (Picture: Normandy Memorial Trust).

"We expect that come the end of October, construction will be completed and it will be possible to visit the British Normandy Memorial."

Mr Witchell added the site will be officially opened with a dedication ceremony next June, either on the 5 or 6 - the anniversary of D-Day.

He said the ceremony will be attended by Normandy veterans, as well as their families and those of the Normandy fallen.

The trust is also appealing to find relatives of the fallen in order to uncover and tell the stories of the 22,442 British service personnel named on the memorial's columns.

The trust's Chairman, Lord Peter Ricketts told Forces News: "If we're going to pass on that memory to future generations, what really matters, I think, is the personal stories behind them.

WATCH: Normandy Memorial Trust Chairman, Lord Peter Ricketts, speaks to Forces News presenter James Hirst about the memorial, and the appeal for personal stories behind the names of the fallen.

"And we've had, because of the publicity for the memorial, a lot of relatives very generously coming forward with memories, letters, pictures, stories, that bring to life the sacrifice and the courage of those who fell.

"And we want more people to do that, because I think that is what will make the memorial really interesting to younger generations to come."

The site overlooks Gold Beach, one of the main beaches where British forces landed on 6 June 1944.

It has been designed by the architect Liam O’Connor, who also created the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, and the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Cover image: The memorial is close to being completed (Picture: normandymemorialtrust.org).