National Memorial Arboretum announces D-Day 75 commemorative programme

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 13:41

The Normandy Campaign Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, has announced a programme of commemorative activities to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the allied invasion that began with D-Day on 6 June 1944, a vital step toward the liberation of western Europe.

D-Day 75 Anniversary Broadcast
5 June - 9.15am – 1pm

Heroes’ Square at the Arboretum will be home to a large screen showing live BBC coverage of the commemorative events taking place in Portsmouth. Free entry.

D-Day 75 Service of Remembrance
6 June - 10.15am

The National Memorial Arboretum and The Royal British Legion will hold a Service of Remembrance to mark D-Day 75 in Heroes’ Square led by the Honorary Arboretum Chaplains. Culminating in a 2 min silence, the service will be followed by a small procession to the Normandy Campaign Memorial for a wreath laying ceremony featuring veterans, invited dignitaries and school children. The service will be attended by key figures from Normandy Veteran societies and the French Honorary Consul for Birmingham. Free entry, open to all members of the public.

D-Day: Vessels of Victory
25 May – 15 September

The Merchant Navy Wood at the Arboretum is now host to D-Day: Vessels of Victory, a commemorative art project in memory of all those who served in Operation Neptune, the waterborne invasion commonly known as D-Day. Visitors are invited to decorate one of 6,939 wooden vessels, each representing an allied craft involved in the operation, which will then be added to the ‘sea’ of ships in the wood. £2 per vessel.

29 May to 1 September

Seventy-five years since the Normandy beach landings, this reflective exhibition at the Arboretum is a tribute to those who were part of Operation Overlord in 1944. Photographer Stuart Wood has captured the true essence of service and sacrifice in this collection of portraits and photographs of D-Day landing veterans. Free Entry.

Operation Overlord: Heroes of D-Day Guided Walks
6 June to 11 November (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1.30pm)

Visitors can enjoy an extensive walk around the Arboretum to discover some of the memorials with links to this watershed moment in the Second World War, seventy-five years since Operation Overlord and D-Day. They will hear about the Normandy Landings, the Glider Pilots, the Special Operations Executive and many more fascinating stories. This walk takes approximately one hour and covers a large proportion of the site. £3.00 per person.

Sarah Montgomery, Managing Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “D-Day was a turning point in the course of the Second World War, it was the moment the allied forces established a foothold in occupied France and was a significant step toward the liberation of western Europe from nazi rule. Our comprehensive programme of commemorative events and activities to mark the 75th anniversary of this momentous occasion provides a variety of ways for people to join us as we pay tribute to all involved including the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom.”