D-Day Revisited is proposing a commemorative garden installation to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. The ‘D-Day 75′ Garden will be exhibited on the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which will take place 20th-25th May.
Following the show it is the dearest wish of the surviving veterans that the garden be relocated to a permanent site at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer in France. The cost of relocating the garden and ongoing maintenance is included in the sum.
We hope the ‘D-Day 75′ Garden will provide a unique opportunity for us all to celebrate our wartime generation and for visitors to speak with the veterans and hear their incredible stories. We are therefore appealing to the public to help to raise £290 000 to bring this garden to life and create a lasting tribute to our treasured veterans.
Just £5 will pay for two of the 10 000 ‘Sea Thrift’ plants which are intrinsic to the garden design. Whatever amount you feel able to give will be hugely appreciated.
Designed by multi RHS gold medal winner John Everiss and backed by the RHS and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the ‘D-Day 75′ Garden is also fully supported by the families of Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery and General Dwight D ‘Ike’ Eisenhower.
D-Day 75 Garden Design
A garden installation to allow the visitor to pause, reflect and learn…
Two life-size sculptures will bookmark the entrance to the 32m x 12m ‘D-Day 75’ Garden and narrate the scene which unfolds behind them. To one side a veteran, modelled on Bill Pendell MM, is sitting on a stone plinth proudly wearing his medals and beret. Hand carved from a single block of Millstone Grit by renowned sculptor Thomas Dagnall, Bill looks across at a fragile, dreamlike metal figure of himself as a 22-year-old pausing before rushing out of the water and up the beachhead.
In this moment the 75 years which separates one man from another is bridged and spectators are invited to consider how it must feel for veterans to reflect on the intense experiences they endured on D-Day and the days that followed.
Beyond veteran Bill, a further 15 stone plinths stretch out towards the Royal Hospital Chelsea, each bearing a word or sentence that captures the D-Day experiences of 15 veterans. The plinths will be surrounded by a carpet of over 10 000 Armeria Maritima (‘Sea Thrift’), which would have been seen by the troops as they embarked on the south coast of England and again as they pushed inland off the Normandy beaches.
Behind young Bill, four waves break on the beach, each progressively taller than the last. Four similarly fragile figures struggle out of the water desperately trying to avoid shell holes and defensive obstacles placed by the occupying forces.
Next year’s anniversary will be the final opportunity for the public to come together and commemorate the D-Day Landings alongside any significant number of men and women who experienced the world-defining operation first hand. Let’s make it an event to remember!
If you would like to make a contribution to the project but prefer to do so by post, please make your cheque payable to “D-Day 75 Garden” and send it to: D-Day Revisited, The Armoury Building, Hawarden Aviation Park, Flint Road, Chester, CH4 0GZ.
We thank you for your support… #dday75garden