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D-Day 80th anniversary to include Portsmouth commemoration, RAF flypast and Royal British Legion remembrance service





A series of events will take place across England and France in June to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The Ministry of Defence has started to unveil the UK’s plans to honour those who took part in the Normandy landings.

The 80th annniversary of D-Day will be marked by the nation at the start of June
The 80th annniversary of D-Day will be marked by the nation at the start of June

D-Day was the Allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Code-named Operation Neptune, it made up the largest seaborne invasion in history and played a crucial role in eventually liberating Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

It was an operation on an unprecedented scale – involving more than 155,000 troops supported by 11,500 aircraft, and 6,900 naval vessels in an assault on five Normandy beachheads: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

The UK will commemorate the 80th anniversary on Wednesday, June 5 and Thursday, June 6 with a series of major events, the government has confirmed.

There are plans for an RAF flypast on June 5. Picture: Keith Heppell.
There are plans for an RAF flypast on June 5. Picture: Keith Heppell.

June 5

On Wednesday, June 5 thousands of people will be invited to join D-Day veterans, armed forces personnel and VIP guests in Portsmouth for a major national commemorative event.

Veterans, says the MOD, will be at the heart of the occasion, which will also feature an RAF flypast and military musicians.

There are plans to broadcast proceedings live across the UK, while further details on how to register an interest in attending, which may be organised through a public ballot, is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

June 6

A national service of remembrance will be held on June 6 at 2pm at the UK’s National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Hosted by the Royal British Legion, veterans, and descendants of fallen soldiers are among those who are being invited to express their interest in attending in an official ‘hosted event area’.

The Arboretum, says the MOD, will also be open as normal on June 6, and all visitors are welcome to watch the D-Day 80 Service of Remembrance from within the grounds.

This service will take place on the same day as one in France at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.

That memorial contains the names of the 22,442 servicemen and women under British command who fell on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944.

Events will also take place in France close to Normandy’s beaches. Image: Stock photo.
Events will also take place in France close to Normandy’s beaches. Image: Stock photo.

Keeping up-to-date and registering interest

A D-Day 80 website has now been launched by the MOD so that the public can keep up-to-date with official plans as the anniversary comes closer and more events are added to the programme of official commemorations.

While veterans of the Normandy campaign and their families are being invited to register with the Royal British Legion if they would like to attend its commemorations of the 80th anniversary in June.

This will include both D-Day events in France and at the official remembrance service in Staffordshire at the Arboretum.



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