On Saturday 22 June guests are welcomed from near and far to join the D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemorative Convoy at Newbury College, for their final stop.
The convoy starts at 9.30 AM from MOD Southwick, near Fareham, Hampshire former D-Day Headquarters with 50 vehicles escorted by 25 motorcycle outriders of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch. The route will take them to former RAF Lasham home of the Lasham Gliding Society and onto Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke, arriving at approximately noon. Moving on through Kingsclere to Greenham Common, the convoy and guests will be greeted by the Poppy Parachute Team, who will drop on to the common at approximately 2.30 pm, symbolising the returning spirit of the men to the base from which they flew on D-Day. Weather dependent, a Historic Aircraft Flight Auster AOP Mk9 – XR244 (G-CICR) will be tracking the route above the convoy.
The journey is a recreation of General Eisenhower’s drive from D-Day Headquarters on the afternoon of 5 June 1944 when he visited men of the Parachute Infantry Regiments at Greenham Common hours before they were to drop into Occupied Europe. Patrick Kempe, one of the team of volunteers helping to organise the event said, “In this 75th Anniversary Year of D-Day it is right that we recognise the dedication and sacrifice of a generation and also take the opportunity to help today’s Armed Forces personnel through fundraising for the Royal British Legion. A huge thank you to the many organisations who have come forward to contribute both financially and practically to ensure we can present this historic event”.
Newbury College are privileged to host the final commemorations including, Arborfield Military Wives Choir, Army Cadet Force band and dancers, and the planting of a commemorative apple tree. Vice Principal, Lee Hunt (MBE) commented, “We are delighted to offer our campus to this momentous event. As a community college, it is important for us to reflect the recognition the event deserves.”
Guests are welcome to the College between 2 - 5pm to join in the commemorations, with convoy vehicles expected to arrive around 3:15pm. Entry is free and all proceeds raised on the day will be donated to the Royal British Legion. See the event on Facebook for more details.