WATCH: D-Day 75 re-enactors march through Portsmouth to commemorate our brave Second World War soldiers

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Thousands of allied servicemen marched through Portsmouth in June 1944 on their way to Normandy. Many of them would never return.

Eyewitnesses stood by the roadside to watch the men, who boarded ships and landing craft ahead of a seaborne invasion which would change the course of the Second World War.

Picture: Malcolm Wells

Picture: Malcolm Wells

75 years on, on June 6 2019, Portsmouth residents and schools showed their appreciation for those brave D-Day soldiers by supporting re-enactors as they followed two of the exact routes the soldiers, sailors and airmen took.

READ MORE: Did one of Portsmouth’s fallen D-Day heroes live on your street?

The re-enactment, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the transformation of The D-Day Story, began at the Mountbatten Centre at 8am where the troops followed the two routes.

They met again at South Parade Pier where a lone piper played. They later joined the city’s Remembrance Service at the D-Day stone opposite the pier.

Picture: Malcolm Wells

Picture: Malcolm Wells

Hundreds of Portsmouth residents, as well as schoolchildren from across the city, lined the route and sung songs from the era as the troops marched by.

READ MORE: Read a special e-version of The News’ 48-page commemorative supplement 

Councillor Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture and city development, said: ‘We wanted to invite all residents to share this moving commemoration by supporting along the route, and joining the service at the D-Day stone.

‘119 men from Portsmouth were killed between D-Day and the end of the Battle of Normandy. We will remember them.’ 

For more information and a map of the routes the re-enactors followed visit the Portsmouth City Council website.