D-Day 70: Families watch Normandy events on big screen in Southsea

Donna Baldwin with her son Rhyley-Jay enjoying a picnic on Southsea Common.
Donna Baldwin with her son Rhyley-Jay enjoying a picnic on Southsea Common.
Tanks being removed from the D-Day Museum earlier this year

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FAMILIES have descended on Southsea Common to watch live coverage of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day taking place in Normandy.

Big screens have been set up for those eager to keep up to speed with everything going on during the major occasion.

People who have made it down to the seafront are soaking up the atmosphere as they enjoy picnics and reflect on the drama that unfolded decades ago.

Donna Baldwin, 31, from Cosham, went down to the common with her son Rhyley-Jay, three, for a picnic.

She described being moved to hear on the big screens a British soldier recalling giving morphine to a wounded German soldier who had been held prisoner during the Second World War.

‘You don’t normally hear about things like that,’ Donna said. ‘I was shocked by it.

‘It’s just been a nice day out, they’ve got everything here.

‘It’s nice to see the old uniforms and to hear the memories.’

Alan Johns, 67, and wife Christine, from Petersfield, were at Southsea Common in 1940s costumes as a way of paying their respects.

‘We couldn’t go to France, so we thought we would bring France to us,” Mrs Johns, 66, said.

Mr Johns added: ‘Listening to what the veterans went through brings tears to my eyes.’

This evening from 7pm there will be short films shown on the common featuring D-Day veterans, a free screening of The Longest Day on big screens across the site and a live performance by The Poppy Girls.