British Normandy Memorial Trust Honors D-Day Sacrifice with New Learning Centre

“It’s crucial to ensure that the British story of D-Day is properly told,” says General Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff and chairman of trustees of the Normandy Memorial Trust. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the significant role of the British forces in the Normandy campaign, led by Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery.

A brand-new learning centre, named the Winston Churchill Centre for Education and Learning, is set to open on June 6 at the existing British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer. This initiative aims to honor the sacrifice and success of the nearly 25,000 British soldiers who landed on “Gold Beach” during the D-Day operation.

The centre will feature two educational galleries curated by the Royal British Legion, showcasing stories of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Additionally, an installation of 1,485 giant silhouettes by Standing with Giants pays tribute to the servicemen who lost their lives under British command on D-Day.

Nicholas Witchell, founder of the Normandy Memorial Trust, highlights the significance of this year’s 80th anniversary commemoration as the last opportunity for Normandy veterans to participate in such an event. With the opening of the new building, expected to be done by King Charles III, the memorial will serve as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by these brave men.

The heart of the centre will feature a specially-commissioned painting by artist Jan Erika, depicting Sir Winston Churchill and elements symbolizing the wartime era. The artwork aims to provoke reflection and remembrance, especially concerning the youthfulness and bravery of soldiers like Private Bobby Johns, who gave their lives for their country.

General Lord Dannatt stresses the importance of educating younger generations about the true cost of war and the values of freedom and democracy that were fought for during World War II. As the last D-Day veterans pass on, the new learning centre will serve as a beacon of remembrance and a call to prevent further conflicts.

For those interested in supporting the British Normandy Memorial and learning centre, donations can be made at britishnormandymemorial.org/donate.