TIMINGS have been announced for the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Dorchester.

Weymouth and Portland will be taking the lead in hosting the events for the 80th anniversary of D-Day on behalf of Dorset Council, but there is also a packed schedule of events planned for the county town.

Dorchester played a big part in the preparations for D-Day.

The population of Dorchester and the surrounding villages swelled with the influx of American GIs in the run-up to the event.

Tanks lined the streets, soldiers filled the pubs, and children enjoyed the sweets handed out by the American soldiers. Officers were positioned at the Keep Military Museum.

Despite objections from the Dorchester community, the American military insisted on keeping the black and white GIs separated whilst they stayed in the area.

However, there are wonderful stories of friendships, parties and sharing of songs and stories between the black GIs and Dorchester residents to remember.

On Thursday, June 6, a beacon lighting event will be held on Salisbury Field from 8.30pm until 9.30pm.

Admission is free with no booking required and will include a performance of gospel songs by Dorchester schools and the Cloud 9 chorus, readings by US soldiers, excerpts from Private Terry Parker's Illicit D-Day Diary and an international tribute.

Ahead of the day, the first event of the year will be on Saturday, May 11, with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra performing wartime hits from the 1940s.

Admission is £35 (£33 for members and concessions) and the doors open at 6pm for a 7pm start.

Then on Saturday, May 25, a D-Day Dance will be held at the Dorchester Army Reserve Centre between 6.30pm and 10pm.

The nostalgic evening of dancing is hosted by The Keep Military Museum as part of its D-Day programme. Admission is £20.

Also on Saturday, May 25, a week of half-term activities will begin at Shire Hall Museum.

On Saturday, June 8, after D-Day the town centre will host an immersive theatre trail with performances across the town.

Admission is free and the trail will run from 1pm until 4pm.

A D-Day Dinner Evening will also take place on the same day at 6.30pm.

The Dorchester Army Reserve Centre will host a black-tie dinner evening with a two-course meal and the opportunity to handle genuine D-day artefacts. Admission to be confirmed.

Finally, on Saturday, June 22, The Armour and Embarkation event will take place on Weymouth Avenue from 3.30pm.

A convoy of over 100 wartime vehicles, including tanks, motorcycles, jeeps, and trucks, recreates the build-up to the D-Day landings.