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A Unique Event for HOG Chapters both in the UK and Europe

Welcome to Normandy 80

Standing with Giants creates large-scale outdoor remembrance art installations, made from recycled materials, handmade by volunteers. These installations provide a meaningful space for people to visit and reflect, grieve, and discuss. These displays bring people together so that they may remember those who fought for our freedom, both past and present.

My relationship with Dan Barton, curator of these amazing spectacle’s is very simple. He lives in the same village where I grew up, Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire. His workshops are also there. We’ve known each other for quite a while.

I’m a Charter member of Swansea’s Black Mountains Chapter ( BMC) and we’ve been supporting the villagers of Stanton Harcourt with their annual November Remembrance Sunday services for several years. The event has grown, with more villagers taking part and we are also joined by our HOG friends at Thames Valley Chapter. It’s unique as we have 2 services – one in St Michaels Church and one at the site of RAF Stanton Harcourt.

Having a cuppa with Dan during the summer on Armed Forces Day he mentioned he’s been asked by the trustees of the British Normandy Memorial ( BNM ) in Normandy to provide a unique display. It’s for the 80th Anniversary of the D Day Landings. The 1500 figure display ( !! )  will be by far the largest he’s done - will last until Autumn 2024.  He then got to the meaty bit - would I be able to help him with a motorcycle escort ?  from Oxford to Portsmouth. Being an avid fan of the artwork, I stuck my neck out and said yes, I would, but then thought I’d better call on a fair number of HOG Chapters to hit his target of 200 bikes. Knowing HOG members some wouldn’t be satisfied with just a little ‘’Ride Out’ so I threw in ‘’Can we come over and give you a hand putting it them all up ?’’ 

We also thought it would be mint to bring them all back via a flotilla of small boats… 

On reflection, it seems I’d grown quite a long neck…

But then again, we could be on to something quite unique ? 

Alan Holland – Black Mountains Chapter, Wales – Summer 2023. 

The Concept are 2, very straight forward ‘’Ride Outs’’.

Ride 1

It’s simple – each participating UK HOG Chapter will arrange a normal ‘’Ride Out’’ to meet @ Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, Oxfordshire and escort the lorries via the A34 to Fort Nelson, Portsmouth. The date is set - Friday 5th April 2024

Everything is as a normal procedure HOG Ride, with each Chapter appointing their Road Crews to look after respective Chapter members. We will travel in ‘’Chapter’’ formation behind the Lorries and the UK leg will end @ Fort Nelson. We look to arrive mid afternoon. The Target is 200 bikes.

Ride 2

For those that wish to, then travel to France to catch the overnight ferry Portsmouth – Caen and meet up with our European HOG friends in France on the morning of Saturday 6th April.

Invitations have been sent out to HOG Chapters in the Channel Islands, France, Belgium, and Holland. Again, we will escort the lorries to the BNM . We will request that we go the ‘’scenic way’’ on a route TBC and be led by our friends across the water. As an Act of Remembrance, it would be fitting that we all ‘’Ride Together’’.

On arrival at the memorial, a Memorial Service is planned with local dignitaries. We will begin unloading the Lorries and preparing installation – under the direction of Dan and his team. 

Sunday onwards the installation will continue. 


As we’ve previously said we could be onto something here – but we won’t succeed without the support of HOG Chapters – both in the UK and in Europe. We need everyone to get behind this, after all… 

80 years ago, our forefathers joined together, and on the 80th Anniversary it would be amazing if HOG members, both from home and abroad did the same.

‘’We Will Remember Them’’

Check out the Normandy 24 website for regular updates.

Team Normandy 80 @ Black Mountains Chapter, Wales.


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