Lancaster bomber to fly over Southampton for D-Day

Lancaster bomber to fly over Southampton for D-Day anniversary

An Avro Lancaster PA474 will take to the skies over the city on June 6 before flying over the Bargate Monument at around 11.28am. 

The aircraft is one of the last two remaining airworthy examples of the legendary four-engine heavy bombers and will serve as a memorial to members of RAF bomber command, including 55,573 who died during World War II.

The flypast comes as a host of events are sed to be held across the city to commemorate 80 years since the 1944 Normandy landings. 

Southampton’s Town Crier, Alan Spencer, will begin the city’s commemorations at 8am with a special proclamation on the Civic Centre steps acknowledging the Allied Forces who initiated Operation Overlord.

READ MORE: How will Southampton mark 80th anniversary of D-Day?

A commemorative service will be held at around 7.30pm at Holyrood Church in the city centre, which was destroyed by enemy bombing during the Blitz in November 1940.

It will be conducted by The Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Winchester and attended by the Lord Mayor of Southampton, veterans, and contingents from the 17 Port & Maritime Regiment.

Following the service, The Regiment, the RLC Corps of Drums and Army Band Tidworth will lead a parade through the city centre to commemorate this historic occasion.

The parade will make its way through the High Street, passing the Bargate, and will conclude in Guildhall Square.

When the troops arrive in Guildhall Square, the Lord Mayor of Southampton will light the D-Day 80 Beacon as part of the National Beacon Initiative, orchestrated by Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR.

Daily Echo: Lord Mayor of Southampton Dave Shields.Lord Mayor of Southampton Dave Shields. (Image: LDRS)

The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Southampton, Councillor David Shields said: “The 80th Anniversary of D-Day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the valiant heroes who fought for our freedom with unparalleled bravery and sacrifice and to delve deeper into the pivotal role that our city played in the Second World War.

“I encourage the people of Southampton to attend the service and parade as well as enjoy the unique activities available to explore our city’s significant contribution, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of our shared history.”

Archie Parsons from Southampton Royal British Legion added:“Southampton played a crucial and relatively unknown part in the Second World War, and it is incredibly important that we continue to remember those that fought and lost their lives.

“Commemorative events such as these bring the city together and I look forward to working with everyone involved for the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.”

Other events and activities taking place throughout the week:

Talks, Walks and Tours:

  • Go Jauntly: Self-guided D-Day Walk – available to download via smart phone app stores.
  • Thinking Thursdays: D-Day 80 Civic Centre and D-Day Guided Tour I Thursday 6 June at 11am
  • Talk – Wartime Knitting Thursday 6 June | 2pm – 3.30pm | Southampton Central Library
  • D-Day 80: D-Day Walking Tour I Sunday 9 June at 11am
  • Southampton Heritage Guides on a City walk to include the D-Day Wall, beacon, Town Quay Park and end at Westgate Tower, where there will be a D-Day exhibition I Saturday 9 June
  • SEE Southampton Heritage Guides are organising a Talk by Jack Wilson on Southampton, the Blitz and D-Day at Portswood Library I Wednesday 12 June at 7pm

D-Day themed cruises:

Steamship Shieldhall is the largest working steamship in Britain and as a member of the National Historic Fleet she serves as a sea going tribute to Britain’s maritime heritage.

It is operated by a team of dedicated volunteers, rightly proud of Shieldhall’s No 1 TripAdvisor ranking in Southampton, you too can experience the golden age of steam on their special D-Day themed cruises on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June.

  • Sat 8 June | D – Day 80 Theme Cruise to the Solent
  • Sun 9 June | D – Day 80 Theme Cruise to Portsmouth Harbour

Southampton D-Day Embroidery Display

The D-Day Embroidery and special information panels highlighting D-Day topics including the Mulberry Harbours and the 14th Major Port, will be on display throughout June at SeaCity Museum where they can be viewed by visitors to the café. 

Visit the American Wall

The ‘D-Day Wall’ or ‘American Wall’ as it has become known, is a 19-metre length of brick wall at the lower end of Western Esplanade in Southampton, etched with the names of American soldiers that passed through Southampton. What three words location: waving, union, venue.

Visit Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky Museum is known as the home of the Spitfire which was designed and built in Eastleigh and Southampton and played its part in D-Day. There will be plenty for everyone to see and do at Solent Sky across 8-9 June between 10am – 5pm.

Southampton Stories

You can find out more about Southampton’s role in D-Day on the Council’s Southampton Stories website which features content from Southampton Museums and Archive collections including first-hand accounts, photographs and oral history recordings.

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