Here’s how Gosport will celebrate D-Day 75th anniversary

GOSPORT, which played a crucial role in D-Day, will hold the region's first major 75th anniversary commemoration on the weekend of June 1-2.  

Stokes Bay will host an exciting range of entertainment, displays and military re-enactments, marking the borough's central role in the events of 1944.

German POWs being marched through Grove Road in Gosport to the detention centre June1944 just after D-day. Picture: Galerie Bilderwelt

Daytime events are free and will run from 10am to 5pm, including living history recreations and arena displays by specialist company Pike and Shot Events.

The programme, brought together by Gosport Borough Council, is planned to include flypasts by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a sailpast of historic vessels, a landing craft demonstration, a replica Spitfire and Hurricane, demonstrations of Second World War weapons and a vintage market.

There will also be tanks and other vehicles used during the war, a British paratroopers display, live music performances, history talks and presentations and a bar and food concessions.

Saturday night will see a dance night with music from the 1940s-style Kalamazoo Dance Band from 7pm to 10.30pm.

On Sunday there will be a special parade with a guard from HMS Sultan, leaving Stokes Bay Sailing Club at around 10.45am for a civic remembrance service on the promenade by the Canadian memorial at 11am, attended by VIPs.

Many Canadian as well as British troops embarked from Stokes Bay, and their role is recognised in the official logo for the borough's commemorations.

A council spokesperson said: ‘The role of our borough in the Allied invasion of Normandy was a major one, hugely important to the whole effort.

‘We're very proud to be holding this event, to mark the sacrifice of so many service personnel and the contribution of the local community 75 years ago.

‘It will be a great family weekend, but we will also be pausing for solemn remembrance.’

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.co.uk or from the Tourist Information Centre.

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