Eyewitnesses in Portsmouth in June 1944 tell us that they 'knew something was happening, but we didn’t know what' and they wondered 'where are they going?'
Thousands of allied servicemen marched through Portsmouth before boarding ships and landing craft that would take them to Normandy. Many of them would never return.
This morning, Thursday 6 June, Portsmouth residents and schools showed their pride for the past and shared the feelings and emotions felt by Portsmouth residents 75 years ago by supporting as re-enactors followed two of the exact embarkation routes marched by soldiers, sailors and airmen.
The re-enactment started from the Mountbatten Centre at 8am and followed two routes through the city before meeting at South Parade Pier where a lone piper played. This was followed by a Remembrance Service at the D-Day stone opposite the pier.
Hundreds of residents came out to line the route and show their respect and local schools joined in the moving commemoration by singing songs from the era to the troops as they marched by.
Councillor Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for culture and city development, said: "We wanted to invite all residents to share this moving commemoration by supporting along the route, and joining the service at the D-Day stone. 119 men from Portsmouth were killed between D-Day and the end of the Battle of Normandy. We will remember them."
The event was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the transformation of The D-Day Story.
For more information and a map of the routes the re-enactors followed visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/somethingishappening