An Oxfordshire artist who has hand-made the components for 1,500 soldier silhouettes over the last four years has been given permission to display them above the beaches in Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Normandy Memorial Trust was so impressed with Dan Barton's vision that they unanimously voted yes to the installation being placed between the British Normandy Memorial and Gold Beach.

The huge installation to be called "The People's Tribute For Your Tomorrow" will cover an area of approximately 38,000 square metres.

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There will be one soldier for each life lost under the British command on D-Day on June 6, 1944.

Mr Barton and a small group of volunteers founded a charity called Standing with Giants in 2019 to create large scale art installations using recycled building materials and provide meaningful spaces for people to visit and reflect.

They have displayed installations at sites such as Blenheim Palace, Waddesdon Manor and in Broad Street and South Park in Oxford.

The community project started after he made and placed 101 life-size soldiers' silhouettes and 75 poppy wreaths on a hill above the M40 motorway.

Approximately 10,000 people trekked across the fields to visit in two weeks, raising £25,000 for The Royal British Legion.

While on the hill, he conceived the idea to take a huge tribute to Normandy.

To make the 1,500 soldier silhouettes required 25 miles of steel and alloy cut, fabricated, and painted, 7,000 sturdy pegs weighing well over a ton, 10 and a half miles of guy lines, cut to length, and 12,000 knots.

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Mr Barton and his wife Janette and family also built a purpose-built workshop at Stanton Harcourt, near Witney, so that others could come and help assemble the figures.

The installation is due to arrive in Normandy from April 6 and will take two weeks to set up by 20 to 30 volunteers. It will remain on the site until mid-August.

Mr Barton said: "I am truly humbled that we have been allowed to do this.

"I know from personal experience the reaction that we receive from the public over and over again that there's a need within us to give thanks for our freedom."

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Mr Barton is now looking for volunteers to help and time is tight as the installation will leave Oxfordshire on April 5.

Some of the groups that have signed up so far are wild water swimmers, the Red Arrows mechanics, Scouts groups, and even the D-Day Darling Juniors.

He said: "We're aiming to get 80 different organisations and community groups through the workshop, we're looking for family groups as well.

"It's absolutely wonderful to see the response of the people who are coming to help assemble the figures.," he said.

To take part, go to