The first stage of a memorial to WW2 Combined Operations has been completed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire at a cost of £11,000. A similar amount is required to fully fund Stage II of the project which includes the cost of the dedication and information plaques, the dedication ceremony, fees and annual maintenance.
To help with this, military war artist, David Thorp, has generously donated his painting “Combined Operations – A Normandy Beachhead” to the memorial fund. This may be raffled in due course but meantime prints of different sizes, including a limited edition run of 73, are available through the Combined Operations website.
The website was conceived by Geoffrey Slee from Edinburgh in the spring of 2000 following numerous discussions with his father in law who had served in Combined Operations during WW2 providing radar cover in specially equipped landing ships off the beaches of Normandy. Internet search engines drew a blank so Geoff read a few books, taught himself to design and construct websites and published a few pages later that year. Of that time he said, “ – and that’s where it would have ended had it not been for the contributions of articles, photos and other material from veterans and their families, mainly from the UK but literally from around the world.”
With ever increasing website visits and messages of support and encouragement he launched a memorial fund raising effort in 2004 without a memorial site or design! Despite this unpromising start a fitting memorial with many symbolic associations is now located in a tranquil setting on the banks of the River Tame in the Nation’s premier place of remembrance.
Visit www.combinedops.com and click through the “Memorial” link in the page banner to the memorial sub web.
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