British Normandy Memorial
The Memorial will record the names of the approximately 21,000 British personnel who lost their lives in the landings and the campaign which followed. Liam O'Connor Architect
Charles Bergen Studios will be responsible for designing five three foot by five foot waterjet cut stainless signs that will direct visitors to the five invasion beaches. Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno, and Sword Beach. The sculptural signs part artifact, sign and art will both direct visitors to the five beaches as well as tell the story of what happened on each beach on DDay.
The stand out activity on D Day at Gold Beach was the role of the specialist vehicles in getting the British off of the beach. The role of Hobart's Funnies--the Crab or Flail Tank, the AVRE with a 110 mm Mortar/Petard Cannon; as well as the duplex drive D Day Tanks gave the British an unexpected advantage and helped them get the upper hand against the Germans at Gold Beach on DDAY.
In the attached drawing the tanks are featured. From top to bottom and left to right are the Flail Tank clearing mines off of the beach, an AVRE with with a 110 mm Petard Cannon, and then a dual DDAY Tank with skirt lowered but still attached. All three tanks are providing significant support to the infantry to help them make their way off the beach to land. At the upper right are two of the fortified houses on the beach which the Germans had developed
On the upper left is a silhouette of the British cruiser Ajax which along with the Argonaut disabled Three of the four guns in a large emplacement at the Longues-sur-Mer battery early in the morning on DDAY.
On the left hand of the artwork are the insignia of the British XXX Corps the 50th Infantry Division, the 8th Armoured Brigade, the 56th Infantry Brigade and the No. 47 Commando. I modified the double T insignia of the 50th Infantry Division by adding three rivers in order to hold the two T's in space.
This artwork will focus on the landing of the Special Service Brigade with Lord Lovat and his bagpiper Bill Millin. In addition, the 13th and 18th Hussars and the role of the Sherman Tanks.
At Utah one of the important events was that Theodore Roosevelt Jr (the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt ) landed with the first wave about a 1/4 to 1/2 a mile away from where they were meant to land. He came ashore, looked at this map and realized where they were. He is then is quoted as saying "We are going to start the war from right here!" The image will be of a commander with a map pointing the way off the beach.
At Omaha Beachh there are two very important things here.
this beach was very long. A total of four km. The artwork will have a panorama type image that will show the D'Day Tanks and the Infantry moving past the obstacles.
At Omaha Beach the Iconic photos of Robert Capa have memorialized this battle in a way that the other beaches were not. Capa was the only photographer landing with the first wave on Omaha Beach. His photos give a really up close view of the landing. Inspired by these eleven action filled images the Omaha artwork will have images of the Landing Crafts getting ready to land and then landing.
Topography had a large influence at Juno Beach. The Canadians landed on a relatively narrow strip of beach where the Germans did not have a lot of defenses. The topography was low sandy hills-definitely not flat -- and therefore easier to land on with better cover which made it difficult for the Germans to defend. This is not to say that the Canadians had an easy time of it in France as they battled their way west. Canadian soldiers where captured by the Germans and murdered and they also faced fierce fighting. The Juno Beach signage might depict those events--a fairly straightforward landing but then fierce fighting after D Day.
TITLE: British Normandy Memorial
MEDIA: Waterjet cut stainless steel
DIMENSIONS: 60” x 36” x 1/2”
LOCATION: Normandy, France
PARTNERS: Liam O'Connor Architect
The download the full project sheet click here.