80TH ANNIVERSARY: Join us to remember D-Day and liberation of Europe

Join us to honour the fallen soldiers of the D-Day landings.

Resident in uniform at our 2023 Armed Forces Day

H&F is hosting two special events to mark the 80th anniversary of the Second World War’s pivotal military campaign in France, marking the fact that the planning for D-Day took place right here in Hammersmith.

On Thursday 6 June at 9am, H&F will join forces with communities across the UK for a commemorative beacon lighting. The ceremony will take place in Hammersmith’s Lyric Square. Everyone is invited to the free event.

And on Saturday 8 June, we are holding a free family day in St Paul’s Gardens, Hammersmith, from noon to 5pm, where, in 1944, Operation Overlord was finalised by Generals Montgomery and Eisenhower.

Cllr Patrick Walsh, H&F’s representative for the armed forces community, said:

Please join us as we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers and everyone who helped plan D-Day and liberate Europe during the Second World War.”

D-Day landings
Image credit
Getty Images

To complete the vintage feel of the D-Day event in St Paul’s Gardens, you can travel back in time by listening to singer Bunny Nightingale who will be performing popular wartime songs. She’ll be joined by musicians from the 24th Invicta Rifles Military Brass Band and local cadets. 

At the event in St Paul’s Gardens, re-enactors will be taking part in the following activities and displays:

Home Guard Recruiting

Could you have joined Captain Mainwaring, Corporal Jones and Private Godfrey in the Home Guard during those dark days? Experience what it was like to be signed up to the real Dad’s Army during the war, and take away a filled-in copy of the Home Guard recruitment form.

Home Guard Weapons Table and Equipment

Have a look at all the personal kit and equipment carried by a member of the Home Guard during 1943-44. Also on display will be most of weapons used by the Home Guard during this time.

Home Guard Signals

Check out all the radio and signalling equipment carried and used by a Home Guard Company during 1943-44.

You can also have a go at the Home Guard Foot Drill – suitable for all – while the cadets will show off a medic set-up and modern army camping displays.

Army personnel will also be on hand to answer questions, while local historians and archivists will present a display showcasing the links between the borough and D-Day.

Drinks and food will be available. There will be cakes and other sweet treats available, as well as hot food including burgers and hotdogs.

For more details, visit our D-Day event page for St Paul’s Gardens.

History of D-Day in Hammersmith

The only building surviving from the 6 June 1944 campaign is the old school’s High Master’s House (now the St Paul’s Hotel), the front garden (today known as St Paul’s Gardens) and the surrounding walls.

This former St Paul’s School in Hammersmith Road played host to the planning for D-Day – code named Operation Overlord. The military campaign proved to be the vital turning point in the Second World War, with Generals Bernard Montgomery and Dwight Eisenhower assembling in Hammersmith to present the daring plans to prime minister Winston Churchill and King George VI.

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