This morning saw me on the beach at Rhyl to photograph preparations for a special commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the allied landings in Normandy.
The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.
Around 06:00 hrs volunteers armed with stencils and rakes began creating a memorial with the silhouettes of hundred of bodies in the sand.
The memorial will only last for a few hours, high tide is 13;56 hrs today and at the time of writing this post it was already 70% towards it height of 7.4 metres.
Although I took many close-ups of the volunteers working I felt it was appropriate not to show them today and so have gone for more general photographs. Here you can see the way the silhouettes are created.
Carved from a single piece of timber by a local chainsaw artist, Ian Murrray, the life-size image of a WW2 “Tommy” will form the centre piece of the memorial on the beach.
Silhouettes soon started to appear all over the beach as the volunteers worked to get them created as fast as possible.
Unfortunately you can’t get away from the footprints
As I’m finishing writing this, further afield in Normandy, over two hundred British veterans of D-Day are laying poppy wreaths at the Commonwealth War Graves Bayeux Cemetery in a fitting tribute to their fallen comrades.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Extract from For the Fallen – Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)