The poignant ‘D-Day: Soldiers of Sacrifice’ sculpture will be visiting The Black Watch Castle and Museum from Friday 29th May until Sunday 12th July; the first time the sculpture has visited Scotland.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery and commissioned by The D-Day Story museum in Portsmouth the sculpture commemorates the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and provides a lasting tribute to the lives lost in the first 24 hours of the Normandy landings.
Anne Kinnes, CEO at The Black Watch Castle and Museum explains,
“It is a great privilege to be the first location in Scotland to welcome the D-Day: Soldiers of Sacrifice sculpture. We are grateful to The D-Day Story for loaning us this incredible artwork and honoured to be in a position to share the story it represents with our visitors.”
Renowned artist Alfie Bradley created the statue to represent Lieutenant Den Brotheridge who served with the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during the Second World War. Lieutenant Brotheridge is widely believed to have been the first Allied serviceman killed on D-Day.
The structure is made from steel rods, steel sheets, welding wire, resin and 4,413 replica bullets. Each bullet representing his comrades in arms who fell in battle later that day. The soldier’s form is crouched down as if to throw a grenade, but instead he is releasing a dove; symbolising peace and acknowledging that these soldiers’ deaths were not in vain.
Alfie Bradley, artist and sculptor commented, “Working on the sculpture has been such a meaningful project. Den Brotheridge was 28 when he died, the same age I was whilst working on this project. I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying it would have been to land on the beach in Normandy that day. The more I’ve read up on D-Day the more I realise how grateful we all should be for their heroic sacrifice.”
Jane Barnard from The D-Day Story said,
“We are delighted to be able to continue to keep the memory of D-Day alive and to share the story of Den Brotheridge and his comrades by bringing the sculpture to Scotland for the first time. Our aim is to honour the wishes of the veterans who wanted us never to forget this epic event. We hope visitors to The Black Watch Castle and Museum who see the sculpture will pause and reflect on the unbelievable amount of bravery shown both on the 6th June 1944 and at the Battle of Normandy.”