Gosport will commemorate D-Day 80 with a beacon lighting event on Thursday 6 June, followed by a civic event on Sunday 9 June, both open to the public.

6 June 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of Allied Forces mounting the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed in 1944. Around 4,000 ships and landing craft set down over 130,000 troops on five Normandy beaches, in action that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation. Stokes Bay and Hardway were chosen as embarkation points for tanks and support vehicles destined for Normandy.

Gosport Borough Council Leader Cllr Peter Chegwyn said: We should never forget those who fought so bravely for the freedom we enjoy today. I hope people will come to the two public events we are hosting in honour of those involved in D-Day, to show that their actions 80 years ago will always be remembered.”

Gosport will take part in the national beacon lighting on 6 June at 9.15pm, in celebration of the ‘light of peace’ that came out of the darkness of the war. The beacon will be sited on the slipway opposite Stokes Bay Sailing Club. The Mayor of Gosport, Cllr Richard Earle, will light the beacon, as the National Tribute is read by Mrs Arabella Birdwood DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant.

Then on Sunday 9 June, a D-Day 80 Civic event takes place at the foreshore at Hardway (Priory Road), next to Hardway Sailing Club, with an unarmed guard courtesy of HMS Sultan. A parade will step off from the junction of Quay Lane/Priory Road at 10.20am, led by the Royal Marine Volunteer Cadet Band.

Revd Emma McPhail will lead the service incorporating a two-minute silence at 11am with a choir from St John’s School in attendance. The Lord-Lieutenant will be represented by Admiral Sir Philip Jones GCB, DL.