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Plymouth commemorate D-Day 80 anniversary

War memorial
American war memorial at Saltash Passage

Plymouth will be honouring the memory of thousands of British and Allied Servicemen who were based in the city as part of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June.

To commemorate and remember those who served, there will be a memorial service at Saltash Passage on 6 June from 10.30am, which will be organised by the Federation of Ex-Services Associations. The Federation is a small group of local people with a desire to support local Veterans and service-related organisations.

The Lord Mayor will lead a delegation of Civic Leaders together with the Royal Navy and ex-service personnel.

The Federation are holding an additional event at the American memorial in the grass area alongside the Tamar Bridge Carpark on 2 June at 10.30am to 11am,  this is to mark the 80th Anniversary of the troops leaving their camp to board their ships.

In Plymouth a beacon will be lit on the evening of 6 June at the Royal Citadel, at 9.15pm. The Lord Mayor and military personnel will attend the event and members of the public will be able to see the beacon from the Hoe.

You can see a full list of events and activities and lots more information about Plymouth's role in D-Day on our D-Day 80th anniversary web page.

In November 1943, the US Navy set up an advanced amphibious base in Plymouth ahead of the Allied invasion of Europe. In January 1944, a temporary camp for around 2,000 men opened on Vicarage Road as a training camp in preparation for the Normandy Landings and remained operational until August 1945.

Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy landings made up the largest seaborne invasion in history.

On 6 June 1944, an estimated 36,000 soldiers of V and VII Corps left from Saltash Passage for Omaha and Utah Beaches. The concrete slipway or landing hard that was built for the US soldiers to join their landing craft remains.

Councillor Tina Tuohy, Lord Mayor of Plymouth, said: “It is so important that we as a city stop to remember those who made those sacrifices 80 years ago. The location of Saltash Passage to hold a memorial service is crucial in remembering those soldiers who departed for Normandy from this very spot, some of them never returning.

“We will be lighting a beacon on the evening of the 6 June, to remember and honour those who served for their country.”