Broadmayne to relive its history as embarkation camp ahead of D-Day landings

BACK IN TIME: Filming of   the Second World War army camp in Broadmayne

BACK IN TIME: Filming of the Second World War army camp in Broadmayne

First published in Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A DORSET village is set to relive its history as a major embarkation camp ahead of the D-Day landings 70 years ago.

Events are being held across the weekend in Broadmayne to remember its previous existence as the D5 camp, where American troops gathered before embarking for Normandy from Weymouth and Portland.

Re-enactors from all over the country will be arriving today and setting up a military camp to recreate D5 and in the evening there will be entertainment at the New Inn at West Knighton.

The main event on Saturday will see a 1940s village fete at the village hall and neighbouring field with history, games, sports, crafts, military vehicles, music, ferret racing, 1940s hair and makeup, a beer tent and a barbecue.

The local history group will also be giving a talk in the morning, followed by a remembrance service on the playing field and in the evening the village hall will host a 1940s dance.

On Sunday military vehicles will head off from the camp to join the Veterans Day parade in Weymouth.

As part of the event local production company Bright Buttons has also been shooting a documentary featuring re-enactors and there will be a vintage cinema evening in the village hall on Sunday evening with a screening of Will Hay’s classic film Oh, Mr Porter!

Steve George from the Broadmayne World War Two Society, which has been organising the event, said it was great to celebrate the village’s past and the impact that period had on the local community.

He said: “It was a small village of 200 people and all of a sudden there were more than 3,000 American troops based here for six months. It had a huge effect on the village.

“The idea is to take us back to 1944 and we will be decorating the main street and the streets at the crossroads so it’s going to be a sea of red white and blue.”

Mr George said many of the people attending the Weymouth at War events would also be staying at the military camp in Broadmayne and attending the dance event in the village hall on the Saturday evening.

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