WITH three weeks to go until the 80th anniversary of D-Day, more details have been announced about commemorative events planned across Weymouth, Portland, and Dorchester.

Weymouth Town Council, Portland Town Council, Dorchester Town Council, Weymouth Museum, the Castletown D-Day Centre in Portland, The Nothe Fort and other partners are working together to put on a packed programme of events, both in the run up to D-Day 80, on June 6 itself, and into the weekends of June 8 and June 22.

From musical performances to boat tours, exhibitions, immersive theatre performances to beacon lightings and talks bringing the history to life; timetables confirming everything planned across the three towns so far have been revealed.

In a joint statement, partners said: “The roles that our three towns played in D-Day, the largest naval, air and land operation in history will never be forgotten.

"Weymouth and Portland harbours were key embarkation points for the Normandy landings.

"With so many American GIs swelling the population of Dorchester and the surrounding villages during these preparations, it’s fitting that we should come together 80 years’ later to commemorate the Allied troops and honour the fallen.

“Be sure to join us at one of the many events planned for D-Day 80 in Dorset, with more details still to be announced. 

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

Mayor of Weymouth, Cllr Jon Orrell, said: “As the newly elected Mayor of Weymouth, it gives me a great sense of pride to see all the events that have been lined up to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

"Weymouth played such a vital role in the historic Normandy landings. Remembering the efforts of the allied troops is important, as this operation changed the course of history.”

Cllr Sheila Miles, Mayor of Portland, said: “On June 6 1944, thousands of American troops departed from Portland Harbour.

"Together with British and Allied forces, D-Day resulted in the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. It is fitting that we commemorate this important, historical event.”

Details still to be confirmed include a bid for a Battle of Britain flypast which if successful will be visible across the Isle of Portland and then Weymouth Bay. Timings are to be announced, subject to national commitments and are weather-dependent. 


On June 3, the Jubilee Clock will be lit in red, white and blue to commemorate D-Day and will remain lit throughout the week

On June 4, Weymouth's Salvation Army band will perform a concert on the promenade, near the US memorial at 7pm.

A display of military vehicles will be in position at the Nothe Gardens all day on Thursday, June 6.

Weymouth chippy Bennetts will be serving fish and chips between 4pm and 8pm from its van at the Nothe Gardens.

An outdoor big screen at the gardens will broadcast national coverage and historical footage relevant to the era between 3pm and 9pm.

The Nothe Fort will be hosting entertainment, exhibitions and an immersive soundscape throughout the day, followed by an international tribute and a beacon lighting event.

Various time slots are available between 4pm and 9.30pm which can be booked on the Nothe Fort website.

The beacon lighting will take place at 9.15pm.

Other planned events include walking tours, a D-Day walking trail and a specially adapted Punch and Judy show on Weymouth Beach, with times still yet to be announced.

A Battle of Britain memorial flight flypast is also planned for the Weymouth Cenotaph, but this is subject to national commitments and weather conditions.



On Portland,  June 6 will begin with a D-Day proclamation at Castletown Beach at 8am.

This will be followed by a service of Remembrance at 11am in Victoria Gardens and then a wreath laying service at the Cenotaph at New Ground.

Between 3pm and 9pm The New Ground will also have a large outdoor screen with D-Day films playing.

At 6.30pm, there will be a bell ringing ceremony for peace at St George's Church, St John's Church and All Saints Church.

At 9.15pm, The New Ground will host an international tribute and beacon lighting.

The Portland Museum will also be open between 10.30am and 4pm with a D-Day exhibition, the museum will be free to enter for Portland residents, with last entry at 3.30pm.

Coastline Cruises boat rides will run between Weymouth and Portland throughout the afternoon, departing from Portland Harbour from 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

St John's Church will also have a viewing of the American D-Day flag all week from Monday, June 3 until Saturday, June 8.

At the D-Day Centre in Castletown, there will also be a range of hands-on events.

Military vehicle enthusiasts will be able to watch a convoy of authentic Second World War vehicles that will arrive at the centre at 12.30pm. Following a 90-minute static display, the convoy will be depart for the 2pm service at the Portland cenotaph.

Vehicles will then be on display at the top of the island, near the Portland Heights Hotel, until 3.30pm.

Visitors can get the chance to handle authentic Second World War uniforms, weapons and equipment, as well as an opportunity to climb aboard the museum’s Sherman tank.

The centre also includes a full-size replica Spitfire, a Bofors 40mm gun, a range of interactive audio-visual displays and a D-Day bunker.



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

On 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.

On June 8, 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.

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.