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Press release

A memorial art installation to soldiers killed in the D-Day landing is coming to Stowe Gardens

A group of silhouettes of Second World War era soldiers can be seen against a colourful sky at dawn with orange light reflecting from light clouds.
An art installation commemorating D-Day will come to Stowe Gardens | © Jules and Bean

A memorial installation to soldiers killed in the D-Day landing on 6 June 1944 will be coming to the UK for exhibition in September where it can be seen in full for the first time.

The artwork, For Your Tomorrow – the People’s Tribute, is currently on display in Normandy but will be at the National Trust’s Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire - the UK’s official host of the commemoration.

Open to the public from the end of September until mid-November 2024, the large-scale art installation consists of 1,475 silhouettes of WW2 military personnel.

For Your Tomorrow – the People’s Tribute was created by community artist, Dan Barton with the number of figures in the display representing the number of fatalities under British command on 6 June 1944. The work is currently installed at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, France where it will remain over the summer before coming to Stowe.

The figures will be installed in several areas of the 245-acres of landscape gardens at Stowe.

Tanya Brittain, General Manager of the National Trust gardens at Stowe says, “It’s an honour to be chosen as the official UK host location for the British D-Day 80 memorial exhibition, For Your Tomorrow – the People’s Tribute.

“This September will be an opportunity to remember family, friends and colleagues lost in conflict situations over the past 80 years. Stowe has a rich military history and we look forward to welcoming visitors this autumn to experience this poignant outdoor art installation against the stunning backdrop of the Stowe’s historic landscape gardens.

“The 18th-century landscape garden at Stowe is well known for its many historic buildings and statues and has also featured in many well-known films and TV series. The Capability Brown designed landscape is renowned for its precise placement of eye-catching monuments to create the picture-perfect view. Its beautiful avenues, temples and lakes will provide an impressive outdoor gallery space and backdrop for this celebrated artwork.”

Artist Dan Barton has delivered several impactful military-based displays since founding Oxfordshire-based charity Standing with Giants. The life-size figures are constructed entirely by volunteers, using recycled building materials and create meaningful spaces for people to visit and reflect.

“Our ethos at Standing with Giants is to value life, to understand and appreciate why we have our freedom, and to remember and pay tribute to those who have fallen so we can live the lives we have today. Using outdoor art is a great way to do this,” said Standing with Giants Founder, Dan Barton.

The silhouettes are designed to represent the military personnel from all the major services but in addition, two bespoke figures of nurses have been included. They are of Sister Mollie Evershed and Sister Dorothy Field who died while helping to save 75 men from the hospital ship SS Amsterdam which sank off the Normandy beaches on 7th August 1944. Both were given posthumous commendations for their actions and are the only two women commemorated on the British Normandy Memorial.

At Stowe there will be no additional charge to see the installation during opening hours, which is free to National Trust members. In addition to normal opening hours, there will be sunrise (6am to 8am) and twilight (5.30pm to 7.30pm) visits available on select dates, for which there will be an additional charge.

A small number of pieces which make up the installation was seen at Stowe last year during a trial ahead of the work being displayed in Normandy for the D-Day 80 commemorations. September will be the first time the full-size installation has been seen in the UK.

The full installation weighs in excess of 30 tonnes and will take around 15 days to set-up with the help of 30 volunteers each day.