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D-Day Story, Portsmouth

D-Day Story, Portsmouth

D-Day 75 in Hampshire

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2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and with Hampshire playing a prominent role in Operation Overlord, the county will see a number of major special events, concerts and exhibitions taking place
Hampshire was the starting place for many troops travelling to the beaches in Normandy and many locations throughout the county were used as temporary bases before D-Day.  Today you can visit many of these sites including Southwick House and the D-Day Map Room where the planning and execution of Operation Overlord took place.
On the 5th of June, the worlds eyes will fall onto Portsmouth who are leading the UK’s D-Day commemorative events with the MOD hosting a major national commemorative event on Southsea Common for veterans, personnel, and heads of state including Donald Trump. For those unable to attend the event will be televised on the BBC and on big screens around Portsmouth.


D-Day events in Hampshire

On the 5th of June, the world’s eyes will fall on Portsmouth who are leading the UK’s D-Day commemorative events.  Government is hosting a major national commemorative event on Southsea Common for veterans, personnel and heads of state.  It will feature over 4,000 military personnel, 11 Royal Navy vessels and multiple aircraft, including the Supermarine Spitfire.  The event will be televised on the BBC and on big screens around Portsmouth.
Following the national event, Portsmouth will also play host to the first Portsmouth Revival Festival, featuring a sunset concert and a live screening of the events in Normandy, plus fireworks and film screenings of family classics.
Find out more about D-Day 75 events in Portsmouth
Step back in time on the 8th and 9th June at the Southwick D-Day Revival.  This is a unique opportunity for visitors to commemorate the 75th anniversary in the village which was at the nerve-centre of Operation Overload. This fantastic event will include exclusive D-Day Map Room visits to Southwick House.
On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June, Lee-on-Solent will be host a weekend of D-Day festivities.  HMS Daedalus was the busiest airfield on the South Coast during D-Day and throughout the weekend there will be static aircraft display, fly-pasts, live entertainment, vintage cars, stalls and much more.
In the north of the county at Highclere Castle the annual Battle Proms Picnic Concert will mark the 75th Anniversary on the 3rd August. A full programme of classical music from the 60-piece concert orchestra, complemented by toe-tapping vintage vocals and a display by The Grace Spitfire which is accredited to shooting down the first enemy aircraft over the Normandy beachhead on D-Day. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Visit The Watercress Line on Sunday 15th June and be transported back to war time with their War on the Line event. Enjoy unlimited travel onboard a steam train and hop off at each station to explore period displays, music, vintage vehicles and stalls.
A full guide to Hampshire’s D-Day events can be found below.


D-Day attractions in Hampshire

As well as a jam-packed programme of special D-Day commemorative events, Hampshire is home to several attractions with D-Day connections that can be visited all year round.
The D-Day Story on Southsea seafront is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the Allied invasion in June 1944. The museum contains exhibitions, galleries and interactive displays telling the story of D-Day from a military and civilian viewpoint.
Visit Southwick House where the planning for Operation Overlord took place and see the large specially produced wall map on which progress of the operation was plotted. This is a unique experience and visits must be booked in advance through The Royal Military Police Museum.
Lepe Country Park in the New Forest National Park was used to launch the famous floating Mulberry Harbours and visitors can still see their remains. This picturesque country park offers a great day out for the whole family, with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be marking D-Day 75 by highlighting stories, events and D-Day related parts of the attraction. And No.6 Cinema within the Dockyard will be showing several D-Day films and talks.  At the Royal Navy Submarine Museum throughout June you can discover the crucial role the x-class submarines played in the build-up to D-Day.

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