Weymouth Town Council has allied itself with Nothe Fort for this year’s 80th D-Day anniversary – after it uninvited Dorset Council to the commemorative event.

The town council and the fort are ‘honoured’ that they have partnered with each other and have announced a series of special events to mark the anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.

This news comes just weeks after a funding row between the town council and Dorset Council that left town councillors furious at the lack of funding from the bigger local authority.

Weymouth and Portland was among the main points for troops to embark for D-Day and thousands of soldiers left from the quay, including the US First Division, the 'Big Red One', with many never to return.

There were also several hospitals in Weymouth to receive casualties who were evacuated from Normandy. 

Weymouth had been chosen to host an event to mark the anniversary on behalf of Dorset Council, but was only offered £1,500 to help run the event after a request of £4,500 was made.

It has now been announced that Nothe Fort will offer a unique experience for free to all visitors who secure tickets ahead of time  through The Nothe Fort website, which will include an exhibition highlighting the experiences of Weymouth residents and the role the fort played during D-Day and the Second World War.

The story will be conveyed through 3-D models, video presentations, newspaper reports, residents' memories, and historic images supplied by Weymouth Museum.  

There is also an immersive soundscape by sound artist, Joe Butcher, which visitors can engage with from Nothe Fort's observational tower.

The 3-D audio narrative for headphones includes memories from D-Day veterans and local people affected by the Normandy Invasion.   

Dorset Echo: US troops marching along Weymouth Esplanade US troops marching along Weymouth Esplanade (Image: NQ)

Weymouth Town Council’s Town Clerk, Jane Biscombe, said: “Weymouth is commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day on Thursday, June 6, with a host of activities including the exhibition, immersive soundscape and beacon lighting at The Nothe Fort. 

“During the day, ticket holders can explore the exhibition, attend talks, and enjoy entertainment at The Nothe Fort. The full schedule of what to expect will be announced over the next few weeks. 

“As night falls, the focus shifts to a beacon lighting event, where ticket holders will enjoy musical performances and witness the ceremonial lighting of the beacon alongside the reading of the international tribute, honouring significant historical events.

"Please keep an eye on our social media pages to keep up to date with everything that’s happening on June 6.” 

Chairman of The Nothe Fort, James Farquharson, added: “We are grateful to have been chosen to host these D-Day anniversary activities at The Nothe.

"Our team is committed to honouring the servicemen who sailed from here to secure Europe’s freedom and to help tell their story to today’s generation." 

For details of additional activities funded by Weymouth Town Council on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, visit the Council’s website