Southsea Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of D-day with a Host of Events

A few highlights from the 2014 70th D-Day Anniversary in Portsmouth City.

Southsea will become a hub of activity this June when the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings – or D-Day – is commemorated. 

D-Day began on 6 June 1944 when allied forces launched a combined naval, air and land assault on occupied Europe. It was the largest invasion ever assembled, with 156,000 allied troops arriving on five beaches in Normandy. 

Southsea and Portsmouth have many connections to this vital operation that led to the liberation of Europe. Portsmouth was the main departure point for military and naval units going to Sword Beach in Normandy. Troops boarded landing craft from South Parade Pier; and troops were camped in the woods to the north and east of the city.

To commemorate this important part of our history, Portsmouth is playing host to a range of family-friendly events.

Wednesday 5 June

A major commemorative event on Southsea Common attended by D-Day and Normandy veterans. A flypast of 26 RAF aircraft - including Spitfire will take place.

In the afternoon, there will be a Red Arrow flying display above Southsea Common.

In the evening, the MV Boudicca will leave Portsmouth for Normandy, carrying 300 veterans. 

Thursday 6 June

A Remembrance Service at the D-Day Stone in Southsea, close to South Parade Pier.

A big screen on Southsea Common will show live coverage of events occurring in Normandy, including an evening of music and entertainment from the beaches of Arromanches.

Friday 7 June

A performance on Southsea Common of a special composition performed by Portsmouth Music Hub.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will perform its own composition, inspired by the memories of D-Day veterans.

A children’s film screening will be aired, having been chosen by public vote.

Saturday 8 June

The Portsmouth Revival will take place on Southsea Common, including music and dancing from the 1940s, military and vintage vehicles, a 1940’s vintage market and film screenings.

In the evening, there will be a Sunset Concert for Heroes, a free 1940s-themed concert including the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir and the D-Day Darlings. Throughout the weekend local events provider Love Southsea Markets will be in attendance with local traders and vintage feel.

Fireworks on the seafront.

Sunday 9 June

The Portsmouth Revival will continue.

Saturday 22 June

The Polish D-Day story
D-Day Museum (included in the admission price)
Discover the role that Poland’s military played during the Normandy landings. 

Sunday 23 June

D-Day on your doorstep
D-Day Museum (included in the admission price)
11am–12pm
A quirky theatre performance telling the human story of Portsmouth families during D-Day. The play is based upon letters sent home to Portsmouth from overseas troops.