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War Graves guardians take over new £30m Normandy memorial

An aerial photograph of the memorial site
25 August 2021
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The impressive new memorial to Britons killed liberating Normandy in 1944 will be cared for by the guardians of the nation’s war dead.

From October, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes over maintenance of the British Normandy Memorial, which was dedicated in June.

The monument at Ver-sur-Mer, overlooking what was codenamed Gold Beach in 1944, has been created over the past five years as the sole site of memory honouring all 22,442 men and women under British command lost in the Battle for Normandy between June 6 and late August.

One in ten of those casualties was a sailor or Royal Marine.

They and their comrades feature on the roll of honour, spread across 160 columns which line the walkways leading to the centrepiece of the £30m: a courtyard and statue of three troops charging ashore.

Now the memorial is open to the public, the commission has been appointed to ensure its upkeep with gardeners, stonemasons and other specialist staff taking on the routine maintenance, inspections and care of the iconic site.

“Our local teams will ensure the British Normandy Memorial remains a fitting place for families and visitors to pay their respects,” said Claire Horton, Director General of the War Graves Commission.

“Our century of expertise in caring for some of the world’s most important memorials and commemoration sites stands us in great stead to ensure the sacrifice of all those who fell here is never forgotten.”

The memorial has been funded by the LIBOR penalties imposed on banks, fundraising by veterans and the public and private donations.

“Our local teams will ensure the British Normandy Memorial remains a fitting place for families and visitors to pay their respects."

Claire Horton, Director General of the War Graves Commission

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