The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is offering to lay commemorative markers on the graves of the fallen on behalf of their families as we commemorate D-Day in lockdown.
Since the families of deceased soldiers cannot make the journey to France due to coronavirus restrictions, CWGC gardeners will place the tributes on their graves ahead of the anniversary of D-Day on 6 June.
People whose family members are buried in any of the 18 CWGC cemeteries in Normandy, or commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, can request a tribute by filling in a form on the CWGC website before 31 May.
The markers read ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’, a quote chosen by Rudyard Kipling, the CWGC’s first literary advisor, to reflect the Commission’s work.
Xavier Puppinck, CWGC’s France area director, said: “When we welcomed thousands of veterans and visitors to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day we couldn’t have imagined how different things would be just one year later.
“While it is sad that we cannot host any large gatherings this summer to pay respect in person, we can still pause and remember.”
Members of the public can also post digital tributes to those killed in the Second World War on the CWGC’s online Wall of Remembrance, and share them on social media with #ShareYourTribute.
The 1944 Allied landings in Normandy were the largest seaborne invasion in history and ultimately allowed the Allies to liberate Europe.
But they came at a high cost. More than 22,000 Commonwealth war dead are buried in the CWGC’s Normandy cemeteries, while the Bayeux Memorial commemorates 1,800 men and women whose final resting place is unknown.
Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine