Many veterans wondered if there was something different about the place this year. Indeed there was. A few years ago, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission noticed many of its Second World War graves were deteriorating at a much faster pace than those from 1914-18. It turned out that as Britain emerged from chaos in 1945, Whitehall – shamefully – requisitioned all top grade Portland stone to repair government buildings. The commission ended up with the cast-offs. So it has spent two years and £4million replacing 8,000 of the most vulnerable Normandy graves.
The Labour government of Major Clement Atlee did that.