2019 marks 75 years since the Normandy Landings which took place on 6th June 1944, also known as D-Day. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front and the subsequent liberation of Nazi-controlled Europe.
Three of the most influential people during Operation Neptune (AKA D-DAY), and World War II in its entirety, were Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and of course, King George VI. Each of these historical figures played a vital role in the Allied victory and delivering speeches that inspired the nation and boosted morale in the trenches and on the battlefield. Below we take a look at the part they played, as well as those monumental speeches.
For Winston Churchill, D-Day 6th June 1944 was the culmination of four years of struggle, hardship and frustration. Shortly after the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, Churchill had started planning for the invasion of Europe. At the time it was no more than a dream, with Britain expecting an imminent invasion by Germany. With the entry of the USA into the war, Stalin urging the opening of a second front and Britain’s growing military power and confidence, the dream became a reality. Churchill had rallied his stricken country. Now he was about to lead them to victory.
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old”.
Winston Churchill – 4th June 1944
Field Marshal BERNARD MONTGOMERY
By D-Day, Field Marshall Montgomery had proved to be a great and inspirational leader, one of the finest and most experienced battlefield generals of World War II. In 1942 he was made commander of the 8th Army and led them to victory in North Africa and on into the invasion of Italy. For D-Day, and the subsequent battle for Normandy, Montgomery was made commander of all Allied ground forces. Despite setbacks, he once again showed his outstanding qualities of leadership. On 4th May 1945 Montgomery accepted the German surrender at Luneburg Heath. He later served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander until 1958.
“On the eve of this great adventure I send my best wishes to every soldier in the Allied team. To us is given the honour of striking a blow for freedom which will live in history; and in the better days that lie ahead men will speak with pride of our doings. We have a great and a righteous cause. Let us pray that “The Lord Mighty in Battle“ will go forth with our armies, and that his special providence will aid us in the struggle. I want every soldier to know that I have complete confidence in the successful outcome of the operations that we are now about to begin. With stout hearts, and with enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forward to victory“.
General Bernard Montgomery – 5th June 1944
KING GEORGE VI
On 6th June 1944 George had been King just eight years, ascending the throne in December 1936. For almost five of those years his country had been at war. Despite coming unexpectedly to the throne and his pronounced speech impediment, he had proved a popular and inspirational leader. He remained in Britain to face the horrors of the blitz and the hardships of war with his people, a calming and steadfast figure through the years of peril. On the evening of D-Day, George VI spoke to the people of Britain and the Empire and Commonwealth of the need to pray, not now for survival, but for victory.
“At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nationwide, a worldwide vigil of prayer as the great Crusade sets forth. If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, both now and in the future not remote, the predictions of an ancient song may be fulfilled: “The Lord will give strength unto His people, the Lord will give His people the blessing of peace”.
King George VI – 6th June 1944
To mark the 75th anniversary we are proud to announce we have issued a strictly limited Brilliant Uncirculated £2 Coin Set – click here to see more information on the D-Day 75th Anniversary Leaders Three Coin Set >>
Each year, The Royal Mint marks important British anniversaries, events or accomplishments on our coins and today we are delighted to reveal the UK’s new coin designs for 2019.
Scroll down for a first look at all five of the brand new designs…
The 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria £5
After ascending to the throne in 1838 Queen Victoria’s reign became the longest reign of a British monarch at the time. She oversaw a time of great change and expansion of the British Empire. This £5 coin has been issued to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of her birth and depicts some of the momentous changes in the British Empire witnessed under her rule, including advances in the industrial revolution due to the power of steam and the invention of the telephone and penny-farthing bicycle.
The 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings £2
On 6th June 1944 the largest seaborne invasion in history took place. The operation began the liberation of German occupied France during World War II, and D-Day, as it came to be known, laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. This £2 coin has been issued to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings and its success which paved the way for the surrender of Nazi Germany. The coin features the 5 beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, where the invasion took place.
The 350th Anniversary of Samuel Pepys’ Last Diary Entry £2
Samuel Pepys is recognised as the most famous diarist who ever lived, providing valuable first-hand accounts of life in 17th century London and the English Restoration period. His private diary, which he kept from 1660-1669, also provides important eyewitness accounts of landmark events in British history, including the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. This £2 coin has been issued to mark 350 years since Pepys’ last diary entry and features one of his famous diary excerpts written in shorthand.
The 260th Anniversary of the Formation of Wedgwood £2
After Josiah Wedgwood founded the company in 1759, Wedgwood quickly became a pioneer for British pottery, taking it from a craft to an international industry. Largely taking inspiration from ancient cultures and mythologies the company was responsible for creating the ceramic bodies Queen’s Ware (1762), Black Basalt (1768) and Jasper Ware (1774) which remain famous today. This £2 coin has been specially designed by the Wedgwood designers to celebrate 260 years since the establishment of the company.
The 160th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p
The prolific writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his incredibly popular detective stories featuring the fictional Sherlock Holmes. It is said his works revolutionised the crime genre, and despite Doyle sharing an ambivalent relationship with his famous character, Holmes appeared in 4 novels and 56 short stories, resulting in Doyle becoming one of the best-paid authors of the time. This 50p coin has been issued to mark 160 years since the renowned author’s birth, and features his iconic character Sherlock Holmes.
All of these designs are stunning and there’s no doubt that these coins will only become more desirable in the years to come.
Let us know in the comments which coin is your favourite!
If you’re interested…
You can secure the brand new 2019 coins in the Brilliant Uncirculated coin pack.
Each coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated finish and is ready to display in an informative presentation pack. This pack features the definitive circulating coins and 5 new commemorative coins issued for 2019.
As 2018 draws to a close, here at Collectors Gallery we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to look back at some of the incredible coins that were released in the last 12 months.
From innovative new minting techniques to absolutely stunning designs, 2018 has been quite a year for coin collectors!
We’ve chosen some of the most popular coins from the past 12 months, which you can see below. But we NEED YOUR HELP in deciding what coin is to be crowned the collector’s favourite.
Please decide from the following coins and vote for your favourite in our poll at the bottom of the blog.
The Bumble Bee and Bloom 5oz Fine Silver Proof Coin
This coin truly is a WORLD FIRST. It features an amazing interactive component: a moveable bumble bee, which spins around the rose-gold plated bloom using gyroscopic technology. You just have to tilt the coin to watch the bee fly!
However, this is not just a world first in minting technology, but also a spectacular work of art that has made a gorgeous addition to many collections.
The High Relief Day of the Dead Skull Silver 1oz Coin
Sure to send a shiver down your spine, this intricate coin is nearly a centimetre in depth. The third release in the Skulls coin series, the Day of the Dead Silver Skull coin is struck using the most innovative of modern minting techniques to create the incredible 3D effect and fine detail of the elaborate calavera designs. Struck from 1oz of fine silver with an antique finish, this coin has to be seen to be believed.
The Official Star Wars Ultra High Relief Death Star Silver 2oz Coin
This officially licensed Star Wars 2oz Fine Silver coin provides the ultimate collector’s item for any Star Wars fan.
Featuring an incredibly detailed depiction of the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, this unique 2oz fine silver coin has been finished to a Proof standard. With an ultra-high relief and concave design, this Silver Proof coin sets itself as the unrivalled Star Wars commemorative in the Collectors world.
The Death’s Head Hawkmoth Black Proof Silver 2oz Coin
The first thing you’ll notice about this hauntingly beautiful coin is the shadowy black proof finish and the unusual shape of the coin, both of which are achieved using expert minting processes that haven’t been around for long.
Struck from 2oz of pure silver, the coins unexpected thickness gives the Hawkmoth’s ordinarily fragile body a haunting intensity.
For the first time EVER, a brand new technique called ‘lapping’ has been used to create a bright, reflective surface on the wings which contrasts beautifully against the black proof finish – the glint as it catches the light will have you believing the Hawkmoth has come to life…
The Official AC/DC Black Ice Album Cover Black Proof Silver 2oz Coin
AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide and have been given the title of “The greatest rock and roll band of all time.”
So it seems only right that to celebrate 10 years since the release of one of AC/DC’s most iconic albums, an officially licensed coin, struck from an impressive 2oz of fine silver with a striking black proof finish, has been issued.
It features the cover of AC/DC’s 2008 album ‘Black Ice’. The coin combines selective colour with intricate engraved design and high relief using state of the art smart minting.