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Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire

D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion

D-Day 80 Anniversary Events

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2024 marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day when Allied forces undertook the largest invasion the world had ever seen. In 1944 Operation Overload saw the launch of over 4000 ships and landing craft and over 150,000 troops storm the five Normandy beaches - Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah and Omaha - in an event that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation. There are a host of events bringing the UK and its allies together to remember this shared history, many events will be free to attend and open to visitors and local residents to attend and pay our respects to the fallen-on D-Day.

Portsmouth in Hampshire has been chosen as the centre of the UK's National Commemorations, standing shoulder to shoulder with the international events to mark this occasion. Not all events will be happening over the 6th June weekend, with a number running across May and June. Commemorate this momentous event by heading out and getting involved in and showing your respect for those who lost their lives.

D-Day 80 Events - Lest we Forget

D-Day 80 Proclamation

The D-Day 80 Proclamation will take place on Thursday 6th June at 8 am and see Town Criers from across the South East and around the world including the United States of America, Bermuda, Canada, Australia, and many more making an official announcement in public to commemorate the start of D-Day.

These will include Chris Brown from Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Nigel Hopkins from Reading, Patrick Laws from Buckingham, Jonathan Rayner from Christchurch, Paul Goring from Rye, Faye Thompson from Petersfield, Michael Hickmott from Tenterden, David Peters from Guildford, Richard Plowman from Chichester, and Jean Pastlewaite-Dixon from Whitney to name but a few.  Click here to see the full list of town criers in towns and villages across the region taking part. 

D-Day Beacon Lighting

Beacons will be lit on both sides of the English Channel on the 6th June with the International 80th Anniversary D-Day Beacon will be sited at the British Normandy Memorial and five more being lit on the beaches used for landing: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. See below for other beacons being lit within South East England.  We are adding to this list all of the time, please check back for more sites and information. 

  • Portsmouth will have two beacon lightings, one at the HM Naval Base and one at Southsea Castle - these will represent the UK's principal beacon and will be lit at 9.15pm BST, all others highlighted below will also be lit at this time.
  • Guildhall Square, Southampton, Hampshire
  • Cliff Meadow, Bramley, Hampshire 
  • Civic Park, HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire
  • Cricket Field, Netley Abbey, Hampshire
  • Lepe Country Park, Hampshire (arrive at 8.15pm for 9.15pm lighting)
  • Whitehill Village Hall, Bordon, Hampshire
  • Fordingbridge Recreation Ground, New Forest (arrive at 8pm for 9.15pm lighting)
  • Yarmouth Town Centre Green, Isle of Wight 
  • Christchurch Quay, Christchurch, Dorset (6pm - 10pm, lighting at 9.15pm)

D-Day Attractions in South East England

Visit the UK's only museum dedicated solely to the Normandy Landings, D-Day Story, Portsmouth, with activities, talks, and the D-Day 80 in objects project, showcasing an object each day in the lead-up to the anniversary. There is no better time to visit.  

Southampton was transformed, like many towns along the South Coast, into a massive military camp. It was also involved in the development of the Mulberry Harbour ahead of D-Day. Discover more about Southampton's involvement in the build up to D-Day and the period that followed.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire, will be marking D-Day 80 showcasing the related D-Day parts of the attraction. You will also be able to enjoy D-Day films and talks at No.6 Cinema and explore the Royal Submarine Museum, Gosport where you can discover the crucial role the x-class submarines played in the lead up to D-Day.

Head to Dover Castle, Kent to learn about one of the biggest deceptions of all - Operation Foritude South, which spun a web of deception and gave the allied forces the best chances of success on D-Day. 

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London was one of the most highly rated naval training college in Europe.  During the Second World War, it provides training for around 27,000 officers including around 8500 Wrens between 1939 and 1945. 

Danesfield House Hotel, Buckinghamshire was requisitioned as a base in 1941 to develop the intelligence Section of the Royal Air Force - Reconnaissance and Photography Section.  They went on to provide intelligence vital to planning the D-Day landings.

Discover an immersive cinematic experience at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, which explores its secret D-Day role as the home of the World War Two Codebreakers to commemorate D-Day 80.

Did you know that Lepe Country Park in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire was used to launch the famous floating Mulberry Harbours that made it possible to load troops and artillery onto the boats. Visitors can still see their remains here and at the mouth of Langstone Harbour on the outskirts of Portsmouth. (please be aware that the far end of the beach at Lepe Country Park, near the D-Day remains is currently closed due to storm damage).

Explore Royal Victoria Country Park, Southampton, and see the remaining chapel which was once part of a miltary hospital, handed over to the American army in January 1944 to give the United States a medical base on the south coast of England ahead of the D-Day landings.

Descend into the air raid shelter at Didcot Railway Centre, Oxfordshire, and see the VIP Saloon which is reputed to have been used by General Eisenhower during the preparations for D-Day.

Number of results:

Number of results: 19

  1. Armed Forces Day

    Type

    Type:

    Special Events

    Portsmouth

    Portsmouth's Armed Forces Day event returns to Southsea Common on Saturday 8 June 2024.

    Dates

    From:
    8 June 2024Open 10:00 - 16:00
  2. D-Day 80 Commemoration

    Type

    Type:

    Special Events

    Portsmouth

    Portsmouth will be at the centre of the UK’s national commemorations for D-Day 80 this June.

    Dates

    From:
    5 June 2024
  3. Memorial Service and Parade D-Day 80

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Dover

    The memorial parade and service will take place on 8th June in Dover starting at Tommy Memorial statue and moving onto Marina Curve for service - all welcome

    Dates

    From:
    8 June 2024Open 11:00 - 11:00
  4. Steamship Shieldhall D-Day 80th themed cruise to Portsmouth Harbour

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Southampton

    Our D-Day 80 cruise will pass into Portsmouth Harbour, home to the Royal Navy - an exciting opportunity to view Britain's naval vessels and the dramatic skyline of Portsmouth, including Southsea; Clarence pier; Spice Island and the Spinnaker Tower,…

    Dates

    From:
    9 June 2024Open 11:30 - 18:00
  5. Operation OVERLORD from the Air with Chris Cox at Army Flying Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Lecture

    Near Stockbridge

    Join Chris Cox from Air Photo Services as she shows the contribution of the aerial perspective to the understanding of D-Day and its extensive preparations. Come along and be prepared for an interactive, illustrated daytime discussion.

    Dates

    From:
    3 June 2024Open 10:00 - 12:00
  6. Proms at the Kings

    Type

    Type:

    Music

    Portsmouth

    The Kings Theatre hosts a special night at the proms to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

    Dates

    From:
    9 June 2024Open 17:30 -
  7. D-Day Memorial Service

    Type

    Type:

    Special Events

    Southsea

    Portsmouth's civic commemoration of D-Day at The D-Day Memorial near Southsea Seafront.

    Dates

    From:
    6 June 2024
  8. D-Day 80 Anniversary Parade at Hardway

    Gosport

    Civic Parade to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings with an Unarmed Guard courtesy of HMS Sultan.

    Musical support will be provided by the Royal Marine Volunteer Cadet Band alongside a local school Choir.

    Revd Emma McPhail will…

    Dates

    From:
    9 June 2024Open 10:30 - 12:00
  9. D-Day Commemorative Beacon Lighting – Christchurch Quay

    Type

    Type:

    Free Event

    Christchurch

    On Thursday, June 6th, head along to Chirstchurch Quay and the Bandstand between 6pm and 10pm for a commemorative beacon lighting event. This community-focused event will bring together local schools, businesses, organisations and charities to…

    Dates

    From:
    6 June 2024Open 18:00 - 22:00
  10. D-Day 80: D-Day Walking Tour from Tudor House & Gardens, Southampton

    Type

    Type:

    Guided Walk

    Southampton

    Southampton played a monumental role in the embarkation of troops and equipment during Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy which began on 6th June 1944: D-Day. Over the next year, three and a half million service personnel passed…

    Dates

    From:
    9 June 2024Open 11:00 - 12:30
    From:
    9 June 2024Open 14:00 - 15:30
  11. D-Day 80 Events at Fort Nelson

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Portsmouth

    D-Day 80 will be marked at Fort Nelson with a host of events including a special exhibition, artillery trail and a D-Day weekend.

    Dates

    From:
    24 May 2024to1 Dec 2024Open 10:00 - 17:00
  12. Daedalus D-Day 80

    Type

    Type:

    Special Events

    Lee-on-the-Solent

    80th D-Day Anniversary Celebrations are happening over the 8-9 June on the historic former WWII airfield HMS Daedalus, Lee on the Solent; a significant place in the part of this anniversary as it was the single busiest airfield on D-Day with 435…

    Dates

    From:
    8 June 2024to9 June 2024Various Opening Times
  13. Friends of New Forest Airfields D-Day Exhibition at Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

    Type

    Type:

    Exhibition

    Exbury, Southampton

    In 2024 the country is commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-day and as part of the commemorations, Friends of New Forest Airfields (FONFA) is taking the opportunity to promote understanding of the great events that took place and the people…

    Dates

    From:
    1 June 2024to9 June 2024Open 10:00 - 17:00
  14. D Day 80 Party in the Park

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Ascot

    This community event will comprise fairground rides, an appetizing range of food outlets (including fish, chips and mushy peas) and live music on the stage including a 1940s sing a long.

    Dates

    From:
    6 June 2024Open 16:00 - 22:00
  15. Official D-Day 80th Anniversary

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Hungerford

    A weekend for all, with Commemorations, Parades, Bands, the arrival of the military vehicle convoy, Displays, Veterans and a full programme.

    Dates

    From:
    29 June 2024to30 June 2024Open 10:00 - 16:30
  16. In Conversation With...

    Type

    Type:

    Talks

    Chatham

    On the 80th anniversary of this momentous event, head to Chatham Historic Dockyard for an evening and talk that aims to revisit the naval side of the D-Day story, focusing on the efforts of Allied sailors which ensured the success of the initial…

    Dates

    From:
    6 June 2024Open 18:30 - 20:00
  17. Secrets of D-Day with Paul Beaver at Army Flying Museum

    Type

    Type:

    Lecture

    Near Stockbridge

    Deception, Double-Agents and D-Day - join us for a fascinating talk with Paul Beaver as he uncovers all the secrets of D-Day. From government communications and cypher school to photographic and aerial reconnaissance, the ghost army, culminating…

    Dates

    From:
    10 June 2024Open 19:00 - 20:30
  18. Southwick Revival D Day Story

    Type

    Type:

    Heritage & History

    Southwick

    The Southwick Revival returns in 2024, to mark the anniversary of the D-Day operation.

    Dates

    From:
    8 June 2024to9 June 2024
  19. Steamship Shieldhall D-Day 80th themed cruised to the Solent (Lepe)

    Type

    Type:

    Water Based Activities

    Southampton

    Operation Overlord, launched on D-Day - 6th June 1944 - was the largest military invasion in history, with 156,000 troops landing on the Normandy beaches on the first day alone. On D-Day itself, Southampton was the embarkation port for British and…

    Dates

    From:
    8 June 2024Open 14:00 - 18:00