Last week I became aware of the British Normandy Memorial (Registered charity 1168973).
The memorial will stand on a commanding site overlooking ‘Gold Beach’ near the town of Ver-sur-Mer. It was along this coastline that thousands of troops under British command landed on June 6, 1944.
The memorial will feature a landscape setting with a central ‘memorial court’ and a ‘cloister garden’ formed by stone piers onto which the names of those who died will be inscribed.
It honours the more than 22,000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who died during D-Day and the following Battle of Normandy.
The Normandy Memorial Trust has launched a fund-raising campaign to assist with the completion of the memorial and the wider project to ensure that Britain’s sacrifice on D-Day and in the Battle of Normandy is never forgotten.
Among the Trust’s plans is the development of educational facilities so generations of the future can understand the profound significance of the United Kingdom’s contribution to securing Europe’s freedoms.
In 1944 Jim Radford was a 15-year-old ‘galley boy’ serving with the Merchant Navy on the seagoing tug Empire Larch. On the morning of June 6, his first deep sea trip, took him to Normandy to help build the Mulberry Harbour, allowing the Royal Navy to transport personnel, vehicles and supplies onto the beaches.
Twenty-five years later Jim returned to find a very different scene. Children were playing where soldiers had died and Jim was moved to tears. His emotional song ‘The Shores of Normandy’ tells that story and has been released to raise funds for the British Normandy Memorial.
You can view Jim singing his song on YouTube at the Albert Hall in 2014 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
To donate to the British Normandy Memorial Fund one can Text ‘DDAY 10’ to 70470 to donate £10 or Text ‘DDAY 20’ to 70470 to donate £20 or through the website http://www.normandymemorialtrust.org