Silhouettes of D-Day soldiers erected at British memorial in Normandy

The 1,475 two-metre tall statues will portray British soldiers who died on the beaches on the day of landing

Silhouette installation of British soldiers on a beach in Normandy, as part of the Normandy War Memorial
The statues are currently being installed, and will be in place to visit until the end of August

Statues commemorating the 1,475 British soldiers who died on D-Day are being installed at a Normandy war memorial, as part of a moving tribute in the run up to the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

The two-metre tall metal statues portray British servicemen in a number of different stances outside the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer (Calvados).

The statues will be installed in the meadows between the Memorial’s stone panels – that list the names of service people who died during the campaign – and the coastline.

Each statue represents a fallen British serviceman during the first day of the D-Day campaign, who died during fighting at Sword or Gold beach, with the final statues being installed before the end of the week.

They are all black, creating an emotional silhouette of troops on the landscape.

The installation will remain in place until the end of August, where they will return to the UK.

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Statues represent soldiers who ‘paid ultimate price’

British association Standing With Giants organised the installation of the silhouettes, made wholly with recyclable materials. 

They were fabricated in the UK, before being shipped over at the beginning of April to the British Normandy Memorial. 

Around 100 silhouettes were originally put up by the Standing With Giants association in the UK to celebrate Armistice in 2019.

The installation received over 10,000 visitors, and the idea of using them at the Normandy Memorial was considered as part of D-Day commemoration plans.

“I believe that everyone wants to say thank you to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom,” said Dan Barton, founder of the association, to Ouest France

You can find more photos of the silhouettes being installed on the Standing With Giants official Facebook page.

Read more: Tiny Normandy commune to mark crucial role in D-Day landings

It is possible to purchase a ‘tribute’ to a loved one to put next to the silhouette on a plaque.

You can find information on how to do so on the Normandy Memorial website.

More than 22,000 servicemen and women under British command died during the overall Normandy Campaign, the first step towards the liberation of France in 1944. 

A number of major events related to the 80th anniversary of France’s liberation in World War Two begins today (April 16) at Vassieux-en-Vercors (Drôme). 

Primary focuses will be on the D-Day landings in Normandy, as well as the work of French Resistance members.

Read more: Plans for 80-year D-Day commemorations in Normandy and Provence