News story

Portsmouth launches D-Day 70 events

The Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council have launched a programme of summer events to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Royal Navy commandos preparing to demolish obstacles on one of the Normandy beaches [Picture: Imperial War Museum]
Royal Navy commandos on one of the Normandy beaches (library image)

On 6 June, it will be 70 years since D-Day, one of the most significant events of the Second World War. Portsmouth was one of the key strategic locations across the south coast where thousands of allied troops left for the beaches of Normandy.

This year the city aims to be the UK focus again as it commemorates the actions of troops with a line-up of impressive events taking place from May through to June. With few surviving veterans, this year is an opportunity to capture the stories and images of those who took part.

Able Seaman Sarah George with Frank Rosier
Able Seaman Sarah George from HMS Richmond with D-Day veteran Frank Rosier [Picture: Crown copyright]

Councillor Lee Hunt, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said:

Portsmouth and surrounding areas were transformed leading up to D-Day; the seafront was declared a restricted zone and thousands of international and British troops came into the city.

We want to honour the actions of all men and women involved and it’s important surviving veterans and those who played vital roles in the operation take centre stage.

This is why it’s so important Normandy veterans and their families contact us so we can make sure they’re invited as guests of honour. With a range of events aimed at commemoration, and also harnessing the spirit of community during the conflict, we hope many residents and visitors will join us.

Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond will be among a flotilla of ships sailing to Normandy for the commemorations.

Veterans in Normandy
Veterans pictured in Normandy (library image) [Picture: Jack Pritchard, Crown copyright]

Able Seaman Sarah George will be among 170 sailors on board. She said:

It’s a very proud moment to be able to meet Normandy veterans and mark the anniversary. It’s very important people actually listen to these stories and remember that a lot of people did lose their lives.

Normandy veterans are urged to contact Portsmouth City Council’s events team to make sure they’re invited to all the events by calling 023 9283 4109 or by email to

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the D-Day Museum’s website will become the definitive source of information for all 70th anniversary-related events across the south of England.

Event organisers are encouraged to add their event to the D-Day Museum website anniversary events calendar.

Published 10 April 2014