80th Anniversary of D-Day Commemorations

Events to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings are taking place across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) on Thursday 6 June.

The BCP area played a pivotal role in the D-Day landings – the campaign to liberate Europe and defeat Nazi Germany, with Allied forces launching a combined naval, air and land assault on 6 June 1944.

In the months leading up to the landings, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Dwight D Eisenhower and Britain’s Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Ground Forces Commander in Chief, met at The Carlton Hotel in Bournemouth to discuss strategic battle plans whilst visiting troops stationed nearby.

Christchurch was also significant in the war efforts, with the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force establishing a base there in 1944.

In Poole, local companies were instrumental in supplying boats and associated materials needed for the D-Day war efforts, and the town was the third largest embarkation point for the Normandy landings with thousands of troops setting sail from the harbour, bound for the beaches of Normandy on 5 June 1944.

Bournemouth and Poole’s Charter Trustees are working with BCP Council to honour local efforts with events on Thursday 6 June in Bournemouth and Poole, while a further event will be held in Bournemouth on Saturday 8 June to mark the momentous occasion.

Cllr Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Communications and Culture, BCP Council said:

“This year marks 80 years since the D-Day Landings took place, and it’s important that we remember the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom.

“This moment in history paved the way for the Allied Forces to advance and liberate Europe, and we will forever be in their debt.

“I encourage everyone to come and take part in our local events – or watch the national D-Day commemorations at home and reflect on the enduring legacy left by this event, and over our local towns, which show the ultimate strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.”

Christchurch Town Council is planning an event at Christchurch Quay in the evening of 6 June.

Bournemouth

Thursday 6 June 2024:

11am – Wreath laying at the War Memorial

9pm – Tribute from the new Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr George Farquhar, at the Beacon Lighting

9.15pm – Beacon Lighting at the Jon Egging Memorial

Saturday 8 June

3 – 8pm – Vintage entertainment in the bandstand in the Lower Gardens

5.30 – 6pm – Procession from Westcliff Gardens to the bandstand

6.15 – 6.25pm – Speech from Cllr George Farquhar, Mayor of Bournemouth and Chaplain

Poole

Thursday 6 June

10.15 – 11.15pm – Royal British Legion event with the new Mayor of Poole, Cllr Pete Miles in attendance. Events including laying a wreath at the Dolphin Quay Plaque

6.30 – 8.30pm –Vintage entertainment & poetry reading from local schoolchildren on a stage opposite the Poole Arms. Vintage military vehicles (TBC)

8.30 – 9.15pm –A flotilla of local professional vessels led by Poole Harbour Commissioners – please watch this from Poole Quay and not other vessels on the water

9pm – Sea Cadets March from Baiter Park to the Beacon lighting arriving at 9pm

9.15pm–Beacon Lighting near the stage opposite the Poole Arms

NB: 10.00am – 11.30pm Road Closure on the Quay

Christchurch

Thursday 6 June

6 – 10pm –Event by Christchurch Town Council featuring live music, local food, fun fair rides, face painting and a ‘history hub’ curated by local historians.

6pm – Town Crier’s proclamation from the King

6.30pm – Church bells ‘Ringing out for Peace’

9.15pm – Scouts light the Jubilee Beacon