Fundraising art project at National Memorial Arboretum commemorates Operation Neptune

Published on: Tue, 09/07/2019 - 08:47

Operation Neptune

The National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, has started a fundraising art project that commemorates those involved in Operation Neptune, the waterborne invasion commonly known as D-Day. Vessels of Victory forms part of the site’s summer-long programme D-Day related activities following the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June.  

For £2, visitors can decorate one of 6,939 wooden vessels, each representing an allied craft that was involved in the operation. The 150-acre site costs £3 million a year to operate and the funds raised by the activity are going toward meeting these expenses and ensuring that the Arboretum remains free-to-enter.

The decorated vessels are varnished before being planted in Merchant Navy Wood, creating a wonderful display among the trees. Members of the public are invited to visit the site and decorate the wooden models until 1 September, and Vessels of Victory will remain on display until 15 September 2019.

Philippa Graty, Fundraising Officer at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Vessels of Victory offers visitors the opportunity to participate in a collaborative art project while raising funds to support the Arboretum. Operation Neptune was a key moment in the course of the Second World War and thousands of vessels and crew were essential to the successful invasion of Normandy and subsequent liberation of western Europe from Nazi rule. All proceeds from this activity will be used to grow and develop the Arboretum, ensuring that we remain a beautiful and befitting space where our visitors can explore, discover and remember.”