His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO unveiled the memorial in the presence of around 500 veterans and invited guests. The service of dedication was led by The Right Reverend Richard Moth MA JCLKC*HS, Bishop to the Armed Forces, and The Reverend (Major) Mandy Reynolds CF, National Chaplain of the Normandy Veterans Association. Immediately prior to the service, veterans watched the flypast of a Dakota and Spitfire.
Funds for the fitting new memorial were raised by The Spirit of Normandy Trust in conjunction with the Normandy Veterans’ Association as a permanent tribute to all the men and women of the Allied offensive which turned the tide of World War II. The memorial replaces an earlier structure installed at the Arboretum by the Normandy Veterans Association 15 years ago, which had begun to deteriorate.
Designer and sculptor, Ian Stewart CM, designed the new 30 feet long memorial, which is based on the geological undulations of the Normandy coastline as seen from offshore and constructed of granite to represent the severity of the task facing the invasion force.
David Baines MBE, President of the Normandy Veterans Association, said: "This wonderful memorial will remind people, particularly a younger generation, of what life was like in 1944 and how the occupation of Europe was put to an end."
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