Portsmouth City Council looks to ‘keep D-Day commemorations alive’ despite coronavirus lockdown

THE 76th anniversary of D-Day will still be marked in Portsmouth despite lockdown restrictions.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 7:19 pm
Updated Friday, 15th May 2020, 12:21 pm

Last year saw thousands of people gather on Southsea Common to commemorate the 75th anniversary with the Queen and world leaders including President Donald Trump attending.

This year, with veterans unable to gather, the D-Day Story Museum is looking to share stories about the city’s pivotal role role in the landmark event which took place on June 6, 1944.

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Portsmouth veteran, John Jenkins, who sadly passed away in December, receives a standing ovation during last year's D-Day 75 commemoration. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

As part of the commemorations, people are being asked to share photographs and memories from last year’s event when the world’s attention focused on Portsmouth - one of the main embarkation points for troops heading to the beaches of Normandy.

With many wounded servicemen evacuated to Portsmouth for hospital treatment, some of whom are now buried in local cemeteries, the city is synonymous with the allied invasion of Operation Overlord.

German prisoners of war also arrived on British soil as they disembarked at the city’s harbour.

Councillor Steve Pitt, deputy leader at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘As we reflect on our history during these poignant times, it's more important than ever to remember the stories of those who gave us the freedom that we treasure.

‘We hope people will join us in marking D-Day 76 by sharing their images of D-Day 75 as we think about how different our commemorations in Portsmouth are this year, but how vital it is to keep our veterans' D-Day stories alive.’

Anyone who would like to get involved can do so by emailing accounts and photographs to [email protected]

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