Over 4,000 replica bullets have been used to create a breathtaking tribute sculpture for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, unveiled at Salford Quays.
Alfie Bradley is the artist of the Soldiers of Sacrifice statue which represents Denham Brotheridge, the first Allied soldier thought to have been Killed In Action on D-Day, June 1994.
The sculpture which was unveiled at Salford Quays, Media City, on 4 March has been funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The statue appeared for one day only in the Blue Peter Garden, Media City on the first leg of a tour around England and Normandy, before making its final stop home at the D-Day Story Museum in Portsmouth.
Jane Barnard from The D-Day Story museum said: “We’re thrilled to be commemorating the 75th year since the D-Day landings, with such a poignant and meaningful sculpture.
“We have chosen locations close to the heart of Den and World War II and it’s fantastic that his daughter has been able to join us for the tour – her stories of her father are truly captivating.
“We hope everyone finds solace in the story of Den and the unbelievable amount of bravery all the servicemen showed during D-Day”.
Mr Bradley described his feelings at having been given the opportunity to create the piece.
“I feel very lucky that I’ve been given the opportunity to create such important pieces
“Hopefully it will make people think and make people remember the lost ones and the heroes of our country.”
The statue which forms itself crouching down on one knee, holds a dove in one arm as a sign of peace, and stands itself on top of a bed of bullets said to represents all the other allied forces that passed away on D-Day, during the invasion of Normandy.
The dove’s wing which have been crafted to replicate that of a glider plane, represent Mr. Brotheridge’s position as a glider pilot.
Mr. Brotheridge died from wounds he received while landing in occupied Europe on D-Day. At the time his wife Maggie had been pregnant with daughter Margaret in Smethwick, Birmingham.
Daughter Maggie, who is now 75, will accompany the statue of her father as it makes its way around England and Normandy. She will also be on hand to tell the story of her father’s life.
Mr.Bradley, 28, acknowledged the fact that Mr. Brotheridge was only his age when landing on the beach at Normandy in June 1994. He says we should all be grateful for the work of the soldiers and the sacrifices they made at the time for our country.
“This has been such a meaningful project, and I’ve loved working with The D-Day Story to create this lasting tribute to the heroes that gave their lives for us in World War II.
“Den Brotheridge was 28, the same age I am now, when he died. I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying it would have been to land on the beach in Normandy that day, and the more I’ve read up on D-Day over the last few months, the more I realise how grateful we all should be for their heroic sacrifice”.
The statue of Mr.Brotheridge will remain in Media City until the end of today before heading on to Liverpool tomorrow morning.
— Laura Crompton (@LauraACrompton) March 4, 2019
D-Day Soldiers of Sacrifice tour venues:4 March: The Piazza, Media City, Salford; 5 March: Liverpool Parish Church (Our Lady and Saint Nicholas); 6 March: Villa Park, Birmingham; 7 March: Waterloo Station, London; 8 March: Bletchley Park, Bletchley; 9 March: South Parade Pier, Portsmouth; 10 March: Pegasus Beach Bridge, Normandy, France; 11 March: The D-Day Story, Portsmouth.
All images are credited to: Steve Crawshaw Photography