Stoke & Staffordshire

D-Day landings memorial unveiled at National Memorial Arboretum

Normandy veterans in front of memorial Image copyright National Memorial Arboretum
Image caption The Normandy Veterans' Association is being disbanded

A memorial built to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings has been unveiled by the Duke of Gloucester.

Hundreds of veterans attended a service of dedication at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire.

The memorial also marked the Normandy Veterans' Association retiring their colours and disbanding.

Funds for it were raised by The Spirit of Normandy Trust in conjunction with the association.

The new 30ft (9m) long Normandy Campaign Memorial is based on the Normandy coastline as seen from offshore and made of granite to represent the severity of the task facing the invasion force.

The memorial replaces a structure installed 15 years ago at the arboretum by the Normandy Veterans' Association which had started to deteriorate.

The new memorial is a permanent tribute to all the men and women of the Allied offensive which turned the tide of World War Two.

The 1944 landings - involving 156,000 troops - were the first stage of the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

By the end of D-Day on 6 June 1944, the Allies had established a foothold in France - an event that would eventually lead to an end of the war in Europe.

More than 4,000 British, American and Canadian troops lost their lives on the first day of the battle.

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