British Army, soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy, France, 6 of June 1944 (Crown Copyright, 1944) [880]

D-Day 75: More Details Announced

Information on Commemorative Events in Normandy and Portsmouth for June 6

The Ministry of Defence has announced further details of the D-Day 75 commemorative events for June this year, including the news that 4,000 Armed Forces personnel will salute Normandy veterans at events taking place in Normandy and Portsmouth.

75 years ago on June 6, soldiers from 14 Allied countries were involved in the largest invasion by sea in history, codenamed Operation Overlord, to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe.

More than 4,000 Armed Forces personnel will lead the British nation in marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day with major commemorative events in Portsmouth and Normandy in June.

“The Armed Forces are honoured to dedicate so many personnel and assets to this significant commemoration,” said Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter.

Serving soldiers, sailors and aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take part in the D-Day 75 commemorations.

National Commemorative Event on Southsea Common, Portsmouth

A major national commemorative event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth will be attended by D-Day veterans, VIP guests and service personnel.

Members of the public are invited to attend the commemorations in Portsmouth, where a flypast of 26 Royal Air Force aircraft will salute the veterans in gratitude for their service.

“Britain must always keep the legacy of that special generation alive,” said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Up to 300 veterans, who are now all over 90 years old, will leave Portsmouth on a specially commissioned ferry to attend events in Normandy on the following day.

Up to 11 Royal Navy ships will accompany the veterans as they depart Portsmouth to provide a spectacular salute on the eve of the 75th anniversary. HMS St Albans will accompany the veterans as they depart Portsmouth.

“I urge people to join our Armed Forces in showing that all of us, young and old, will never forget the price they paid for the freedom and peace we now enjoy,” added Mr Williamson

At 07:26 on 6 June, a British Army piper will play at Arromanches in Normandy to mark the exact moment the first British soldier landed on Gold Beach.

Later that morning, the Normandy Memorial Trust’s statue will be inaugurated by senior UK and French figures in a ceremony at Ver-sur-Mer.

Service personnel will then join veterans at Bayeux Cathedral and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery for The Royal British Legion’s traditional annual commemorative ceremonies.

Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter said: “Our forebears, who planned and executed Operation Overlord, and those who enabled it to happen by fighting in Italy, Africa and beyond, have the enduring respect of our Armed Forces. We will ensure the example of that special generation lives on.

Source: MOD

Image: British troops are seen here landing on the beaches of Normandy, France on the 6 of June 1944. On 6 June 1944, around 4,300 Allied personnel lost their lives serving their country in what would be the largest amphibious invasion ever launched. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, centred around the date of invasion, 6 June, known as “D-Day”. A series of major commemorations are planned to mark this historic occasion, with events planned in both the United Kingdom, and at various locations along the Normandy Coast.