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The ‘silhouetted army’ at Hampton Court Palace in November now destined for Normandy for D-Day commemorations


Fort Nelson hosted the Standing with Giants farewell event for Normandy yesterday


The amazing silhouetted soldiers which filled the garden of Hampton Court Palace are being moved to the British Normandy Memorial overlooking Gold Beach to mark the poignant 80th anniversary of D-Day, it was confirmed today.

The 1475 stark figures represent each of the servicemen who died in the Second World War on June 6th 1944.

The ‘silhouetted army’ is due to arrive by ferry in France today where a team of volunteers will spend two weeks installing them in the fields of Normandy Memorial.

The figures were were designed by Dan Barton of the Standing with Giants charity and were last seen on the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and proved to be a massive visitor attraction.

The Normandy Memorial, at Ver-sur-Mer, was opened in 2021 and is where the main British ceremony for the 80th anniversary of D-Day will take place on June 6.

Yesterday, they were taken by four lorries to the first of the send-off events, held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the birthplace of Britain’s wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill.

A military band played and prayers and a blessing were conducted by the Vicar of Stanton Harcourt, Reverend Jo Hurst.

Mr Barton hopes the figures will help to allow people to ‘pay their respects to those that have given us our freedom’.

The silhouettes, once installed, can be visited through this spring and summer as part of the D-Day 80 commemorations.

Former head of the Army General Lord Dannatt, who is chairman of the memorial’s trustees, yesterday said the anniversary is a time to reflect on Britain’s ‘ongoing interest in the collective security of Europe’.

He said the King is expected to attend the memorial site in Ver-sur-Mer if he is well enough, as he continues treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, alongside fellow heads of state including French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden.

The King will also open the new Winston Churchill Centre for Education and Learning on the memorial site, Lord Dannatt said, adding that it is important ‘future generations, particularly children and young people, know the story of D-Day’ and understand Britain’s role in the war.


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