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D-Day fallen remembered with 1,475 silhouette statues for 80th anniversary

British servicemen who were killed on D-Day will be remembered through a series of handmade silhouette statues.

Artist Dan Barton has led a team of volunteers on the For Your Tomorrow project, which features 1,475 silhouettes.

Each statue represents a serviceman who died under British command on 6 June 1944.

They will be taken to Normandy next month and remain on display until the end of August.

Dan Barton led
Image: Dan Barton says it’s likely to be many veterans’ last major anniversary

Mr Barton says he is funding the installation on a “shoestring budget” and that it’s likely to be the last major anniversary the veterans will be around to see.

“Most of the survivors are 98, 100-odd you know, so sadly that is an end of an era for me. So I think it’s hugely important.”

The D-Day landings saw the Allied forces mount a huge invasion of Nazi-occupied France that ultimately tipped the course of the Second World War in their favour.

More on D-day

Private George Hanks
Image: Paul Harris says his farm worker grandfather ‘joined up to do his bit’ but never came home

Paul Harris’s grandfather, George, fought in Normandy and was killed on 7 August 1944.

He says seeing the silhouettes in person brings him closer to his grandfather.

“He gave his life like so many others,” says Mr Harris.

“He who was just a regular guy, just a labourer – a farm worker, he wasn’t a fighting man at all. He joined up to do his bit for the country and never came back.

“You and I have never been asked to go off and do what they had to do. I don’t know that I could.

“I guess you would. You’d have to man up and do it. How awful to go off to a country you’ve never been to before.”

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D-Day veteran ‘depressed’ over wars

Read more:
D-Day – Story of the 24 hours that changed the world
Veteran recalls D-Day as his name is added to memorial wall

More than 1,000 volunteers and 80 different groups, including teams of Scouts and Guides, have helped the project.

The statues have been crafted from more than 25 miles of recycled steel and alloy and decorated with more than £10,500 worth of black paint.

They will travel to Normandy on 5 April in crates decorated with 22,000 poppies crocheted by Women’s Institute members from across the country.

Each poppy represents a serviceman under British command who died in the Battle of Normandy.

The convoy will travel from Blenheim Palace to Portsmouth, and then on a ferry across to France.

Sky News Source