D-Day Vets’ Last Battle: Raising Money for National Memorial

How the memorial will look once done.
How the memorial will look once done.

Even after WWII and the Normandy Landings, these D-Day vets still have a last campaign to fight for – raising the needed  £65,000 to have their national memorial come into being.

Earlier appeals have already raised the needed £50,000, short of £15,000; they need to have the exact amount to make sure the said WWII memorial to be in place in time of the 70th anniversary of the June landings.

But the D-Day vets are hopeful. As the spokesman for the Spirit of Normandy Trust said, the organization which is running the appeal:

“Though we have not achieved the target, we have raised enough to get the project under way.”

93-year-old Don Sheppard was a Royal Engineers’ sapper when he became one of the 60,000 British as well as 94,000 American and Canadian troops who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Shortly after his 20th birthday, he was sent and fought in Sicily, Italy and North Africa and was even in the Battle of El Alamein.

Now, Mr. Sheppard, considered one of the D-Day vets and residing in Basildon, Essex, is the chairman of the Normandy ­Veterans’ Association in their Southend and District Branch.

 “There was a tremendous number of battleships. As we were running towards the beaches the noise was greater than at El Alamein.

“Rockets were flying over our heads, the seas were pretty rough and we were getting strafed by a couple of German fighters. A lot of the guys were falling,” he recounted of the June landings.

D-Day invasion had entrenched a western front attack in Germany as the Russians aided the Allies by pressing through the enemy from the east.

The planned 29-foot D-Day memorial is going to replace a much older monument at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffs.

The new memorial is shaped from granite which is cut in China and will be shipped to Britain in eight segments. Inscriptions will then be made in  Basingstoke, Hants before being taken to Staffordshire this coming spring.

The new D-Day monument will display a map and a plaque of bronze outlining the landings’ history once done.

Help these D-Day vets raise the needed money for their D-Day landings’ monument by visiting Spirit of Normandy Trust’s website.

– Express reports

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE