D-Day

Plans To Commemorate D-Day 75th Anniversary Released

More than 4,000 personnel will be involved in the commemorations in both the UK and France.

With less than 50 days to go, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced the details of its plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

It 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.

Royal Marines wading ashore on 6 June 1944 (Picture: Crown Copyright).
Royal Marines wading ashore on 6 June 1944 (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “75 years ago, troops from 14 allied countries united together, many on the south coast of Britain, before launching the historic operation to liberate Occupied Europe.

"Britain must always keep the legacy of that special generation alive.

"I urge people to join our Armed Forces in showing that all of us, young and old, will never forget the price they paid for the freedom and peace we now enjoy.”

On 5 June, D-Day veterans, VIPs and serving personnel will attend a national commemorative event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth where much of the invasion sailed from.

HMS St Albans will escort the ship carrying the veterans across the channel (Picture: MOD).
HMS St Albans will escort the ship carrying the veterans across the channel (Picture: MOD).

A total of 26 aircraft from the RAF will fly over the south-coast city where 300 veterans will embark on their journey to Normandy on board the Royal British Legion's specially chartered ship.

HMS St Albans, a Type-23 Royal Navy frigate, will escort the ship to Normandy along with four smaller Royal Navy vessels.

Commemoration events in Portsmouth run from 5-9 June, while across the country there are also events at the National Memorial Arboretum and Imperial War Museum Duxford.

In Normandy, airborne landings and a visit to Bayeux, the first town liberated by allied forces, are also on the itinerary.

The Red Arrows will take part in a flypast (Picture: MOD).
The Red Arrows will take part in a flypast (Picture: MOD).

The MOD is encouraging any veterans who would like to attend the events, who still have not come forward, to contact the Royal British Legion. 

The Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Nick Carter, said: “The Armed Forces are honoured to dedicate so many personnel and assets to this significant commemoration.

"Our forebears, who planned and executed Operation Overlord, and those who enabled it to happen by fighting in Italy, Africa and beyond, have the enduring respect of our Armed Forces.

"We will ensure the example of that special generation lives on.”