BRNC Sets Sail For D-Day Commemorations

  • Author: Nichola Aldridge
  • Date: Tuesday 28th May 2019
BRNC Sets Sail For D-Day Commemorations

BRNC Sets Sail For D-Day Commemorations

A group from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) will be among the thousands travelling to Normandy next week to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.


The group will set sail in the College yacht Pegasus to cross the channel on Monday 3 June, taking the same route as those who took part in the landings in 1944.


They will arrive at Ouistreham on Tuesday 4 June, where they will take part in a programme of events including a Thanksgiving service and wreath-laying at Eglise Saint Samson in Clermont. 


The group will visit Pegasus bridge; one of two bridges that were vital to the success of D-Day and the advancement further into Europe.  The bridges were taken and held by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry flown in behind German lines in six gliders under the cover of darkness.


On the penultimate day the BRNC delegation will visit Arromanche and Port en Bessin before returning to the UK on Saturday 8 June. Port en Bessin was midway between the British and US invasion beaches and was relieved by 47 Commando Royal Marines after a very hard-fought battle. It was also where the fuel pipeline PLUTO came ashore.


Lieutenant Commander Pete Beanland said:  Sailing over the channel in a small yacht, will test our seamanship skills and will focus our thoughts on the journey made by so many brave servicemen 75 years earlier; for many, it was to be their last.  Attending the commemorative events will be a huge privilege.”


On Thursday 6 June representatives from BRNC led by the Commanding Officer, Capt Jol Woodard, will attend the D-Day commemoration on the Embankment in Dartmouth.


Captain Woodard said:  “Around 4,000 US Navy personnel were billeted in the Dartmouth area in the lead-up to D-Day.  The College itself was taken over by the Americans to become the US Naval Advanced Amphibious Base, one of many Allied bases along the South Coast used for training and preparations in the run-up to the landings in June 1944.  The invasion of Northern France was to become the turning point for the Allied forces during World War 2 and it is important that we remember the brave people who took part in this daring amphibious assault, many of whom would have been similar in age to the Cadets training at the College today.”


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