D-Day remembered in free Eastleigh event

A free family event, themed on two significant anniversaries of World War 2, takes place in Eastleigh town centre in September.

Following the success of last year’s Eastleigh Remembers, which marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, the military theme continues this year with a free, day-long event commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  The event also coincides with the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War in September 1939.

The colourful day of activities – on Saturday 14 September, from 11am to 5pm – will bring entertainment, military vehicles, music, dance and educational events to the Leigh Road Recreation Ground, which was a holding area for American troops in the run-up to D Day in 1944.

Entertainment includes the SUP Theatre Company presenting, ‘For the Fallen’; Abstract Dance, Lindy Club swing dance, storytelling, Charlie Chaplin Living Statue, Huge Bubble Shows, face painting, ferret racing, vintage military vehicles, swing boats and even a vintage pop-up hairdressers.

Music on the bandstand and around the site will come from Dame Vera Lynn tribute artist, Diane James; the Victory Sisters, Romsey Old Cadets Carnival Show Band, The Spitfires – 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band;  Marchwood Military Choir, Sticky Toffee Jazz, the Dave Baker Trio, Simon Cattermole and the 10 Bob Notes Choir.

Eastleigh Borough was an important location in the build-up to the June 1944 Normandy landings. The four marshalling camps at Hiltingbury had a total capacity of 11,000 military personnel and 2,000 vehicles, and were the largest group of camps in any of the marshalling areas before D-Day. There was also a marshalling camp at North Stoneham.  The town’s Pirelli cable works contributed to PLUTO (the pipeline under the ocean) which was crucial to the success of the invasion.

Eastleigh Remembers is organised by the Council’s Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) working with the Eastleigh BID (Business Improvement District). Chair of ELAC, Councillor Paul Bicknell, said:

‘We had excellent feedback about last year’s Eastleigh Remembers and we were keen to repeat it as a commemoration of the significant sacrifice, bravery, effort and commitment of all the service personnel and Borough residents involved in the build up to D-day and the actual D-day landings. I’m sure that this year’s event will be even more entertaining and educational.

Look for the #EastleighRemembers hashtag.’