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D-Day graves are restored for anniversary

WORK to replace thousands of headstones for British servicemen who died in the Normandy Landings has been completed as part of preparations for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Last week the last of more than 4000 headstones was re-laid at the Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy, marking the end of months of work ahead of the historic commemorations in June.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is working to replace thousands of fallen and damaged headstones at its cemeteries across France and beyond

This year it is marking both the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings and the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Just over 4000 headstones have been replaced at Bayeux, with more replaced at other sites including nearby Ranville, the first village to be liberated after the landings.

More than 8000 of the white stones have been replaced after years of weather damage left some of the inscriptions unreadable.

Work at Bayeux started in October and finished in February, with the final headstone laid last week.

William Moody, sector supervisor for Normandy for the CWGC, which looks after cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in 153 countries, said: "the key point for us … was to make sure that the cemetery would be as beautiful as it can be. We owe it to the veterans."

A special service will be held at Bayeux on June 6 - the anniversary of D-Day - with a huge turnout expected.

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