The programme of events will take place over four days and commenced with a Drumhead Service on Southsea Common. The service gives thanks for those that put their lives at risk serving their country and acknowledged the sacrifice made by so many during the war. Her Royal Highness Princess Anne led the service and took the salute from a tri-service parade of serving personnel, veterans and cadets.
An amphibious display by the Royal Marines followed with a storming of the beach, to demonstrate how modern operations would be conducted if circumstances required that capability. The Commandos launched from HMS Bulwark which then fired a full gun salute towards Portsmouth.
The RAF’s Red Arrows then closed the day with a stunning display over the Solent.
A flotilla of Royal Navy and allied nation ships have now set sail from Portsmouth to the Normandy coast, led by HMS Bulwark.
The remaining free events, open to all members of the public, are happening until 8 June at Southsea Common and include military parades, a D-Day Remembrance service, a 1940s vintage market, parachute display and a classical concert in tribute to D-Day veterans.
Portsmouth Naval Base played a very vital part in the D-Day landings. Many of the specialist ships used on D-Day had been modified at the dockyard. It was also an embarkation point for troops stationed on the base and at Whale Island. The naval base is still as important to day as the home of the Royal Navy and base port for ships including the Type 45 Destroyer, Minehunters, Type 23 Frigates and HMS Illustrious. Portsmouth will also be home to the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.
It’s a real honour to be able to sponsor and support such a meaningful event. Looking back at such landmarks in our history is so important and we are delighted to be able to play our part. The commemorative events provided a poignant tribute to the veterans of the D-Day landings.