As the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings draws closer, join us in Portsmouth, the centre of the UK commemorations.
Gunwharf Quays, previously HMS Vernon, was of key historical relevance on D-Day as both the base for Force S and the home of Motor Torpedo Boats. As part of the largest amphibious assault in history, ‘Force S’ was the naval group that landed 3rd British Division on Sword Beach. While the Motor Torpedo Boats had the vital role of protecting the flanks against enemy naval attacks.
We have collated some exciting events for your diary:
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd June
D-Day Revisited: The Historic Dockyard will have many free WW2-themed events and activities. These will include: Military re-enactments, a display of WW2 vehicles, historical naval vessels including a DUKW, a military band, 1940’s musical performances and much more! On the Sunday only there will be a special visit from the Veterans.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyards: 10am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 5th June
Commemorative event: Major national event, with 300 veterans and 14 heads of state expected to attend, telling the story of D-Day accompanied by a local choir and orchestra. Followed by a flypast of 26 aircraft including the Battle of Britain memorial flight and Red Arrows.
At 6.30pm, MV Boudicca will depart for Normandy carrying the D-Day veterans, passing Southsea Castle at around 7pm.
Southsea Common: 11.30am
Lighting the way to D-Day: Find out about the crucial role British X-class Submarines performed in paving the way for the D-Day landings. A presentation will take place every Wednesday in June at the Royal Submarine Museum next to a genuine X-24 submarine.
Gosport: 1pm - 2pm
Wednesday 6th June (D-Day)
Remembrance Service: The Royal British Legion will lead a service taking place at the D-Day Stone, opposite South Parade pier in Southsea, inviting the people of Portsmouth to pay their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on this day 75 years ago.
Coverage of the main service in Normandy will be provided via the big screens on Southsea Common.
Friday 7th June
Education and Legacy: School children from several local schools performing songs specific for D-Day supported by the Royal Marines band.
At 5pm a Military concert band will perform, followed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at 6pm.
Southsea Common: 10.30am
Saturday 8th June
Revival event: Entertainment and activities for all the family with many things to see and do! Music & dancing, arena displays, military & vintage vehicles, tanks, 1940s vintage market, fairground rides and film screenings. Why not come along dressed in your latest 1940’s fashion!
Red Arrows flypast at 3.45pm.
Heroes concert starting at 7.30pm including the Military Wives, D-Day Darlings and more, finished by a fireworks display supported by Gunwharf Quays at 10pm.
Southsea Common: All-Day
Sunday 9th June
Revival event: A continuation of the 1940’s themed festivities from the Saturday with Community group performances on the main stage throughout the day.
Southsea Common: 10am - 6pm