D-Day casualties to be honoured with monument unveiled on anniversary
The casualties of the D-Day landings are to be remembered by a special monument which the Government is contributing £20 million towards.
The memorial to those who died in the Normandy campaign will be erected at the site of fierce fighting which took place during and after the Allied landings in France in 1944.
The monument will be unveiled on the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.
It will carry the names of the estimated 21,000 members of the British armed forces and Merchant Navy, as well as those from other nations who fought alongside them, who lost their lives in the campaign.
A fundraising appeal will now be launched by the Normandy Memorial Trust, supported by the Royal British Legion, to add to the Government's contribution to the project which comes from LIBOR fines levied on the banking industry.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: "We must never forget the courage, sacrifice and selflessness of the British servicemen and women who gave their lives in the D-Day landings.
"Located close by the beaches where they began the liberation of Europe, the Normandy Memorial will be a fitting tribute to them and a place where people can gather to reflect on their extraordinary achievements.
"Its unveiling on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019 will provide a timely reminder that we should never take our freedom for granted."
Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "This will be a fitting reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by British men and women on D-Day for the freedoms we enjoy today.
"We have a duty to ensure their names will be remembered for generations to come. It is only right we support this project as we look forward to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019."
George Batts, former national secretary of the Normandy Veterans' Association, said: "It has been the dream of Normandy veterans for many years for there to be a British memorial in Normandy dedicated to all those from the British armed forces who lost their lives in the D-Day landings and in the Normandy campaign which followed.
"This generous commitment by Her Majesty's Government will finally enable us to realise this ambition in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June 2019."
The memorial will also pay tribute to several thousand sailors and airmen who were lost at sea, and those who died from their wounds after being brought back to the UK for treatment.
It is hoped many of the remaining veterans, and the families of those who fought, will attend the unveiling ceremony planned for June 6 2019.