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Britain’s D-Day dead get their own memorial

The centrepiece sculpture for the first permanent memorial to the 22,442 British men who died in the D-Day landings and Battle of Normandy will be unveiled near Arromanches on the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6.

The rest of the memorial site now has planning permission after a public enquiry. Construction is expected to start in late June and take a year.

The sculpture will be unveiled at a small ceremony for guests including veterans by, it is hoped, the UK prime minister and French president.

The Normandy Memorial Trust hopes it will draw many British visitors in the future.

Its president Lord Ricketts said: “There are wonderful cemeteries, but unlike Americans or Cana­dians who have national memorials with all the names of those who died, we’ve not had that.

The veterans were keen to have a place where all their mates who died under British command are remembered together.”

It will be funded by a government grant as well as donations (to donate visit normandymemorialtrust.org).

For the 70th anniversary all of the most senior British royals came to France but this is not so far confirmed for this year. The US President will attend commemoration events in Normandy after a state visit to the UK.

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