Frankton Memorial

Le Verdon-sur-Mer, France

Baca Architects
The Royal Marines Association
Main Contractor:
Albion Stone Restoration
Portland Stone:
Grove Whitbed
Scope of Project:
Free standing Masonry for the Memorial

The Memorial commemorates Operation Frankton more popularly known as 'The Cockleshell Heroes', the epic WWII raid on enemy shipping in Bordeaux, in November 1942. 

A team of ten courageous Royal Marines were launched by the submarine HMS Tuna into the Atlantic Ocean at night, from which they paddled 60 miles up the river Gironde, to Bordeaux, to cripple or destroy six enemy ships. Only two men survived, assisted by courageous French citizens at a very high risk of arrest, deportation and execution. Four blocks of Portland Grove Whitbed symbolically followed the journey from the UK to France where they rise from the ground like the emerging Royal Marines, standing up for freedom and overlooking the Gironde. 

The staggered blocks create a dynamic ensemble, growing bolder to the front. The blocks are adorned with polished plaques that commemorative the heroism and retell the story. Symbolically the four stones represent four figures emerging from the sea.

Malcolm Cavan presents a photograph to the Albion Stone team to commemorate the involvement in the memorial