The British Normandy Memorial was officially inaugurated on June 6th 2021 in Ver-sur-Mer after 6 years of work. The memorial pays tribute to both the British armed forces, who played a crucial role during the D-Day Landings in June 1944, and the Norman civilians who lost their lives during the battle.

Tribute to 22 442 men and women

The British Normandy Memorial stands outside the village of Ver-sur-Mer and overlooks Gold Beach, one of the three beaches where the British forces landed on June 6th 1944. It pays tribute to over 22,000 men and women who lost their lives on D-Day and the weeks that came after. Sailors, pilots, soldiers, civilians, market losses… All the men and women from other nations who fought under the British command are commemorated. The site is a memorial to the Brits who died on Normandy soil, a land home to one of the biggest British military cemeteries in France, in Bayeux, alongside the Ranville cemetery.

British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer

A British memorial facing the sea

British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer

The memorial is designed by the British architect Liam O’Connor, the brains behind the Bomber Command in London’s Green Park and the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. It has several features: the D-Day Sculpture by the British sculptor David Williams-Ellis; a crown and shield designed and made by French sculptors Christophe Charbonnel and Valentine Herrenschmidt; the D-Day Wall bearing the names of all those who died on June 6th; 160 stone columns bearing the names of all those who died between D-Day and the Liberation of Paris in August 1944.
The memorial is the fulfilment of a lifetime’s work for British veterans who wanted to see the sacrifice of their comrades recognised just like the other nations. The site was actually chosen by veterans at a consultation in April 2017.

French and Norman civilians

Since Normandy set the scene for a blood-drenched battle that involved countless civilians, the French citizens who lost their lives as the battle to liberate Europe played out in Normandy’s towns and villages have not been forgotten. A French Memorial dedicated to French civilians has also been built to commemorate the 20,000 civilians who died during combat in Normandy.

Transmission

British Normandy Memorial

Just like the memorial sites of the Normandy American Cemetery or Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, the British Normandy Memorial would like to welcome anyone who wishes to pay tribute to the people who died fighting for France. Future generations can visit the site to grasp what exactly happened here and understand how Great Britain fought for Europe’s freedom.

Preservation

Countless veterans campaigned for the memorial which was inaugurated on the symbolic day of June 6th 2021 by Lord Llewellyn, the British Ambassador to France, 77 years after D-Day. The British Normandy Memorial is the result of 6 years of hard work by the Normandy Memorial Trust founded by Nicholas Witchell and based in London. The Normandy Memorial Trust welcomes people to be part of the site’s preservation and become a guardian of the memorial.

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The British Memorial in figures

  • 18 hectares – the size of the memorial
  • 700m – the distance between the memorial site and Gold Beach
  • 38m – distance above sea level
  • 3700 tons of stone required to build the memorial
  • 7m – height of the memorial courtyard walls
  • 160 – the number of pillars bearing
  • 22,442 names in chronological order of death
  • 22,442 men and women under British command who lost their lives during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy
  • 30 million pounds (approx. 33 million euros) were raised to build the memorial by the British government (LIBOR scheme) and private patrons

Find out more

Visit the Normandie Tourisme website for full information about the sites, museums and memorials exploring D-Day and the battle that followed.

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