The (CWGC) Commonwealth War Graves Commission is offering to help those who cannot make the journey to France to mark the D-Day anniversary by offering to lay commemorative markers on the graves of the fallen on behalf of their families.
In today’s unique circumstances families of deceased solider cannot make the journey to France to pay tribute to the World War Two fallen due to the COVID 19 restrictions. Instead CWGC gardeners will place tributes on the graves on behalf of those who cannot travel ahead of the anniversary of D-Day on 6th June 2020.
The D-Day landings in June 1944 were the single largest seaborne assault ever undertaken, involving 156,000 Allied soldiers being put ashore with countless sailors and airmen at sea and in the air. British figures estimate 2,500 to 3,000 killed, wounded, and missing, including 650 from the Sixth Airborne Division.
The total number of casualties that occurred during Operation Overlord, from June 6th (the date of D-Day) to August 30th (when German forces retreated across the Seine) was over 425,000 Allied and German troops. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties.
People whose military family members are buried and commemorated in any of the 18 CWGC cemeteries in Normandy, or commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial and many churchyards and village cemeteries in the region, can request a tribute by filling in a form on the CWGC website before 31 May. [Link to CWGC Form]
The markers read ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’, a quote chosen by Rudyard Kipling, the CWGC’s first literary advisor, to reflect the Commission’s work.
Xavier Puppinck, CWGC’s France area director, said: “When we welcomed thousands of veterans and visitors to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day we couldn’t have imagined how different things would be just one year later.
“While it is sad that we cannot host any large gatherings this summer to pay respect in person, we can still pause and remember.”
You can also post a last message of remembrance for your military ancestor on the Forces War Records Dedication Wall. Just upload your ancestor's photograph, include a short dedication and then share with your friends and family
Do you have any D-Day heroes in your family? Maybe you are researching them and your family's military history - search the Forces War Records site and fill in the missing pieces...