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Portsmouth plans final gathering of D-Day veterans from around the world for 75th anniversary

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The UK's largest commemoration of the D-Day veterans will be hosted by the city of Portsmouth, in what is likely to be the last ever large-scale gathering of these veterans from around the world.

Of the estimated 16 million men and women who fought in World War Two, only around half a million remain, and the priority now is to ensure that their stories are preserved for posterity.

Portsmouth played an important role in the D-Day landings as the centre of D-Day staging - one of the main embarkation points for troops. Thousands of troops of multiple nationalities were located throughout the city in the lead up to D-Day, and hundreds of ships and landing craft gathered in the Solent. Wounded men from D-Day were evacuated to Portsmouth for hospital treatment and our cemeteries have hundreds of D-Day troops laid to rest in them. 

Memorial wall

Ahead of the 75th anniversary, the Day-Day Trust and D-Day Story Museum have joined forces to invite friends and relatives of those who took part in the campaign to commission the engraving and installation of a brick bearing the name and unit (regiment, ship or squadron) or organisation of the person they wish to honour and remember.

It is suggested that the first name by which he or she was ordinarily known is used, without rank or initials. In addition, regiments, Corps, ships, squadrons and civilians supporting organisations can record their participation by having their crest or logo installed on the wall. The cost is £100 for a Memorial brick and £500 for crest or logo.

The ambition is to  fill all 10,000 bricks on the Memorial Wall to permanently express our gratitude for the service of those veterans, it allows visitors, friends, and family to consider how it must feel for veterans to reflect on the intense experiences they endured on D-Day and the days that followed.

(images courtesy of D-Day Story/ D-Day Trust)

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