Seventy-five years to the date where the first British soldier landed in Gold Beach, Normandy a new D-Day memorial has been unveiled overlooking the location.
The memorial has documented the names of more than 20,000 British servicemen who lost their battle during the D-Day Landings at the Battle of Normandy. The statue depicts three soldiers advancing across the beach.
Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, and Normandy veterans were present for the inauguration service.
Opening the service, a lone piper played a lament at the spot where the first British solder is known to have landed on Gold Beach, Normandy.
An emotive scene, Pipe Major Trevor Macey-Lillie, of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners) performed Highland Laddie atop of the remaining Mulberry Harbour in the town of Port Winston.
Performing the lament at 7.25am, this marks the exact time the landing took place. Across the UK and France commemorations began. Including, the opening of the new memorial.
Mrs May, who went onto lay a wreath on the memorial alongside President Macron, made a statement praising the veterans who served for the Allied Forces.
She said: “It is incredibly moving to be here today, looking out over the beaches where one of the greatest battles for freedom this world has ever known took place.
“And it is truly humbling to do so with the men who were there that day. It’s an honour for all of us to share this moment with you.”
Upon laying the wreath, seven veterans and four children – including Sir Winston Churchill’s great-great grandson John Churchill – followed the leaders to also lay wreaths.
Mrs May continued: “Standing here as the waves wash quietly onto the shore below us, it is almost impossible to grasp the raw courage it must have taken that day to leap from the landing craft and into the surf despite the fury of battle…
“If one day can be said to have determined the fate of generations to come in France, in Britain, in Europe and the world, that day was June 6, 1944.”
The ceremony was concluded with a piped lament from Trooper Kurtis Ranking, of The Royal Dragoon Guards.
There is still work to be done to the memorial before competition, which, when finished, will record the names of the 22,442 members of the British Armed Forces who lost their lives during the D-Day Landings.