D-Day 74 event

D-Day 75: What Events Are Marking The Anniversary Of The Normandy Landings?

D-Day 74 event

A number of aircraft were flown over Normandy during last year's commemoration events (Picture: US Army).

It is 75 years since the D-Day landings in Normandy.

The commemorations will be one of the biggest mobilisations of the UK Armed Forces in recent years involving the Royal Navy, Army and the RAF.

More than 4,000 personnel will take part in the commemorations in both the UK and France, along with at least 11 Royal Navy vessels and multiple aircraft including the Red Arrows and the Spitfire.

The plans for the anniversary were first announced in April and include a number of events taking place in Portsmouth from 5 to 9 June.

Her Majesty The Queen will be joined by US President Donald Trump to watch the start of the commemorations on Southsea Common on 5 June. 

5 June in the UK

  • 11:30am: A D-Day 75 National Commemorative Event will take place on Southsea Common. Veterans will join serving personnel for live music, performances and flypasts. Members of the public will be able to watch on big screens.
  • 12:45pm: A Royal Navy frigate will fire a gun salute which will be followed by a flypast of 25 RAF aircraft, past and present, including the Red Arrows and a Spitfire.
  • 4:00pm: The Red Arrows will perform a display over Southsea Common.
  • 6:25pm: MV Boudicca will set sail from Portsmouth to Normandy with 300 veterans on board, retracing the journey personnel made in 1944. The ship will be escorted by HMS St Albans plus four other Navy vessels. A flotilla will also sail past in salute.
  • 7:40pm: The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will fly over Portsmouth to mark MV Boudicca's departure.
	Royal Marine Commandos going ashore during D-Day
Royal Marine Commandos going ashore during D-Day (Picture: PA).

5 June in France

  • Wednesday morning: Veterans will gather between Pegasus Bridge and Pegasus Memorial Museum for a service.
  • 2:00pm (3:00pm local time in France): Personnel from the Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade will drop from RAF Hercules aircraft and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s C-47 Dakota over Sannerville in Normandy. They will be joined by French Army paratroopers to recreate the airborne landings of 1944. 30 Dakota aircraft will drop veterans and reenactors into Normandy.

6 June in the UK

  • 10:30am: The National Memorial Arboretum will hold a remembrance service, with coverage of events in France shown on a big screen afterwards. Screens at Southsea Common and Portsmouth Guildhall Square will show events taking place in Bayeux, the first town liberated by the Allies.
A US military cemetery in Normandy
A US military cemetery in Normandy (Picture: US Army).

6 June in France

  • 6:26 am (7:26am local time in France): British Army personnel will mark the exact moment the first British soldier landed on Gold beach with a Lone Piper playing on the Mulberry harbour at Arromanches in Normandy. ​​​​​​
  • In Ver-Sur-Mer, The Normandy Memorial Trust’s D-Day statue will be inaugurated in the presence of senior leaders, military musicians and Armed Forces personnel.
  • Later in the morning: Bayeux Cathedral will host a service, followed by a ceremony at Bayeux War Cemetery featuring a tri-service guard of honour.
  • 2:15pm (3:15pm local time in France): British veterans will parade into the square in Arromanches for a series of informal events. There will be music from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
  • 3:25pm (4:25pm local time in France): Veterans will arrive as music and parachute displays take place plus a Red Arrows flypast and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
  • 10:30pm (11:30pm local time in France): Events in Arromanches will conclude with a firework display.