Silhouettes of 1,475 servicemen and two women who died on D-Day installed

The giant silhouettes of 1,475 servicemen and two women who died on D-Day have been installed at the British Normandy Museum ahead of the 80th anniversary commemorations.

The figures, designed by Dan Barton of the Standing with Giants charity, were transported earlier this month to France from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, via Fort Nelson in Portsmouth – where the silhouettes have previously been displayed.

A team of 30 volunteers have spent two weeks installing the silhouettes at the memorial overlooking Gold Beach which was one of the key landing points and where they will be open to the public throughout the summer.

As well as the silhouettes representing the personnel from all three services, two bespoke figures have been created to represent nurses Sisters Evershed and Field, who died while saving 75 men from a sinking hospital ship.

D-Day 80th anniversary
A view of the Standing with Giants silhouettes which create the For Your Tomorrow installation at the British Normandy Memorial, in Ver-Sur-Mer, France, as part of the 80th anniversary of D-Day. The 1,475 statues honour each of the servicemen who fell on D-Day itself and stand in the shadows of the memorial overlooking Gold Beach, where many of them landed almost 80 years ago (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Project co-ordinator Janette Barton told the PA news agency: “It’s so emotional, we came over to the memorial last night as the sun was setting and sat and watched the sun go down and our volunteers felt it was like a meadow of souls.

“It’s incredible, I’m lost for words because it’s been such an emotional journey.

“Visitors, both French and English, have been saying how incredible it is and that we must never forget and the younger generation, the children are asking questions of their parents.

“We have still quite a lot of work to do as we have to put the guy lines in because they are quite exposed up here.

“Our volunteers have been incredible, working long hours in tough conditions but no-one has complained, we feel honoured and privileged to be here and hope the veterans can see them when they come over.”

To support the project, the public can sponsor a plaque in honour of a loved one for £150 which will be placed in front of a giant and remain at the memorial site for at least five years.

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