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Plans to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day take shape

Plans have been drawn up to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Weymouth.

Weymouth Town Council will fund various activities on Thursday 6th June to coincide with the 80th anniversary of D-Day. This date is etched in Weymouth’s history as the town was a departure point in June 1944 for thousands of Allied troops, mainly Americans. They left Weymouth Harbour to play their part in one of the biggest military operations in history.

Commemorating their efforts, Weymouth will take centre stage to put on a show which includes a D-Day immersive soundscape for the Nothe’s observational tower. An outdoor big screen and seating to broadcast the national commemorations being shown on TV, either at Nothe Gardens or along the seafront. 

A WWII British aircraft static display which is hoped will include a Spitfire, a Hurricane, or another aircraft for members of the public to view either along the seafront or at Nothe Gardens. The Town Council is also working with local tour guide Dave Allan to offer D-Day walking tours and boat tours around Weymouth.

A Weymouth Museum presentation to be shared with the town’s school children during assemblies in June. The images would be taken from the museum’s collection with supporting notes to be used by teachers for KS2 and KS3. 

Grants up to £350 per group to go towards supporting community-based events or activities, with a total of £3,500 up for grabs. The money can be used to fund costs such as food, refreshments, decorations, entertainment, equipment, activity materials, displays, insurance, venue hire, and marketing costs. Contact office@weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk for more details on how to apply.

This is on top of events previously agreed including a beacon lighting at the Nothe Fort, a 1940s-themed van serving up portions of the seaside classic fish and chips, also at The Nothe. This ties in with National Fish and Chip Day which has been moved to June 6th this year to coincide with the special D-Day anniversary. 

A bid for a RAF flypast which if successful will be visible across the Isle of Portland and Weymouth Bay at approximately 11am on the 6th but is weather dependent and subject to national commitments. 

The Nothe Fort is also developing an exhibition highlighting the human cost of D-Day, designed to be family-friendly. The story will be conveyed through models, video presentations, newspaper reports, voice recordings of residents’ stories, and images from Weymouth Museum. 

A static display of military vehicles either on Weymouth’s seafront or at the fort to showcase some of the vehicles that are normally involved in the Town Council’s Armed Forces Weekend event. If the vehicles are available this will be free to visit and take photos. 

A local Weymouth Punch and Judy operator will also be designing a WWII / D-Day themed show, which will be free to watch on the seafront in its regular location. 

Funding of £12,800 has been earmarked for the commemorations.

The D-Day celebrations are in addition to Weymouth Town Council’s annual Armed Forces Weekend which also takes place in June over the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd.

Weekend highlights include displays, music and awareness stands on the Saturday, the main service and parade of military vehicles on Sunday, and a flag raising ceremony on Monday 24th at the New Town Hall.


Notes to Editors

The latest information and updates about the ongoing construction works will be shared by Weymouth Town Council’s website, Facebook, and X pages.