During a visit to the Major Generals Parade in London cadets from North Wales were took time to visit the ‘D-Day 75 Garden’ as the Chelsea Flower Show. They were able to talk to the team involved with the garden and the proposal to transfer the garden to Arromanches Normandy after the flower show in time for the D-Day 75 commemorations in. Arromanches was the site of one of the British landings and the location of one of the Mulberry Harbours sections of which still lie off the beaches.
The ‘D-Day 75 Garden’ was exhibited at the Royal Hospital Chelsea during this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, in May. It will now been gifted to the town of Arromanches, Normandy in a ceremony on 6th June 2019. Designed by multi RHS gold medal winning John Everiss, the ‘D-Day 75’ Garden allows visitors to pause, reflect and learn. Two life-size sculptures 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 sits on a stone plinth proudly wearing his medals and beret. Hand carved from a single block of Millstone Grit, he looks across at an ethereal image of himself as a 22 year old, constructed from thousands of individually welded metal washers. The young figure pauses before rushing up the beachhead, with fellow comrades struggling to get ashore behind him. Four waves break on the beach through a series of Cor-Ten steel angled poles, designed to represent ‘Rommel’s asparagus’ placed by the occupying forces to ensnare landing craft. In this moment the 75 years which separates one man from another is bridged and visitors 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
During the Cadet D-Day75 commemorative visit cadets were able to catch up with the garden team who were busy recreating the garden on a headland overlooking Arromanches in Normandy.
Cadet Elise Faragher from Tywyn Detachment who was on the London and Normandy trips said “The London trip was mind blowing, I loved the trooping of the colour parade and it was lovely and emotional at the gardens and the Chelsea pensioners. I really enjoyed the trip and I learnt a lot and then seeing the garden being rebuilt again in France was very thought provoking.”