World War II Army tanks roll through Dorset for commemoration weekend

Bournemouth Echo: TANKS FOR THAT: Hitching a ride on a Sherman during a previous Maiden Newton at War event TANKS FOR THAT: Hitching a ride on a Sherman during a previous Maiden Newton at War event

TIME travel will take place as Second World War Army tanks roll through Dorset towns once more.

Maiden Newton, Dorchester and Weymouth will be taken back to the 1940’s during a Dorset at war weekend of commemoration.

Around 70 vehicles will take part in the Armour and Embarkation re-enactment to commemorate the 68th anniversary of D-Day between June 22 and 24.

Many of the troops involved in the huge military operation camped or passed through the area.

The Echo is backing the Armour and Embarkation event, also part of Maiden Newton at War and the Weymouth Veteran’s Parade.

Founder Jack Beckett said: “Dorchester was full of armour and soft skins ready to move down to the embarkation ports of Weymouth and Portland.

“Top ‘o’ Town was stacked sky high with coffins waiting for the aftermath of the D-Day invasion.

“Dorset was a huge military camp. US troops left here for infamous ‘Bloody Omaha’ as seen in the film Saving Private Ryan.

“Churchill, Eisenhower and Mont-gomery came here. All of this was going on in sleepy Dorchester – the war history of this area is incredible.

“We’ve even got Hitler’s desk in the Keep Museum.”

Children, adults and those that remember the war are all urged to take part – the only Second World War tank event of its kind in the UK.

Mr Beckett added: “This event is going to be one of a kind. “Dorchester is of course known for Hardy. But few people are aware of the key role it played in the war.

“We hope we can make the town just as well-known for the amazing part it played.”

If the event is a success, organisers can create an even bigger celebration of the 70th anniversary.

Visit armourandembarkation.com

Timetable

• Friday, June 22 will be Education Day. Schools will get to see rare Second World War vehicles in Dorchester as well as talk to living history actors about what Dorset was like during the war. Time travel will take place on Saturday, June 23, when armoured vehicles will create a scene that would have been familiar 68 years ago. The Armour and Embarkation group will open Maiden Newton at War before driving to Martinstown and on to Dorchester, where they will meet the public and lay a wreath at the cenotaph.

• On Sunday, June 24 a convoy of up to 25 selected vehicles will travel to Weymouth for the Veteran’s Parade.

Comments (8)

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3:41pm Sun 6 May 12

exocet says...

This sounds like a fantastic weekend.I will be there for sure!
This sounds like a fantastic weekend.I will be there for sure! exocet
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Sun 6 May 12

malkie says...

This sounds like a very imformative weekend. I was born after 1944..Not too much later ! I have always been interested in recent history and knew a bit about the preparations and the local build-up to D-day, but I was totally unaware of the coffins ready at Top o'town. I will certainly attend the events at this forthcoming weekend with interest.
This sounds like a very imformative weekend. I was born after 1944..Not too much later ! I have always been interested in recent history and knew a bit about the preparations and the local build-up to D-day, but I was totally unaware of the coffins ready at Top o'town. I will certainly attend the events at this forthcoming weekend with interest. malkie
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Sun 6 May 12

malkie says...

OMG..I cannot believe that I spelled informative with a "m". I hang my head in shame.
OMG..I cannot believe that I spelled informative with a "m". I hang my head in shame. malkie
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Sun 6 May 12

Dorset Boy says...

Looking forward to Maiden Newton at War weekend. Hoping to meet up with some of the re-enactors I met 2 years ago.
Looking forward to Maiden Newton at War weekend. Hoping to meet up with some of the re-enactors I met 2 years ago. Dorset Boy
  • Score: 0

1:48am Mon 7 May 12

DorsetEco says...

I was living in Dorchester June 1944, I was nearly 4 years old, one night I was woken to witness the historic event, invasion planes and gliders overhead in an endless roaring stream heading for France.
Later I was living in Weymouth just after VE day 1945, I remember a staged storming of the beach from landing craft by the army. There were field guns lined up along the prom near the clock firing back. The concussion of the blank charges was at once frightening and exciting. Later that day I was taken for a trip by the soldiers in a DUKW (Duck) amphibious vehicle with other children, we left from the sands, I think somewhere near the Statue. I can remember the noise and vibration and plunging through the waves til it was fully afloat, I have a memory of seeing the Nothe, covered in trees, and suppose the DUKW was cruising up by the wooden pier
Does anyone else remember these events?
I was living in Dorchester June 1944, I was nearly 4 years old, one night I was woken to witness the historic event, invasion planes and gliders overhead in an endless roaring stream heading for France. Later I was living in Weymouth just after VE day 1945, I remember a staged storming of the beach from landing craft by the army. There were field guns lined up along the prom near the clock firing back. The concussion of the blank charges was at once frightening and exciting. Later that day I was taken for a trip by the soldiers in a DUKW (Duck) amphibious vehicle with other children, we left from the sands, I think somewhere near the Statue. I can remember the noise and vibration and plunging through the waves til it was fully afloat, I have a memory of seeing the Nothe, covered in trees, and suppose the DUKW was cruising up by the wooden pier Does anyone else remember these events? DorsetEco
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Mon 7 May 12

gameon says...

This is great but will it not coincide with the D Day events going on at weymouth that weekend? it seems a shame if one is torn between the two venues for choice
This is great but will it not coincide with the D Day events going on at weymouth that weekend? it seems a shame if one is torn between the two venues for choice gameon
  • Score: 0

9:18am Tue 8 May 12

exocet says...

It would seem that the Armour/Embarkation convoy will be joining the Weymouth event on the sunday,thereby enhancing it.I saw this on the Armour ambarkation web site
It would seem that the Armour/Embarkation convoy will be joining the Weymouth event on the sunday,thereby enhancing it.I saw this on the Armour ambarkation web site exocet
  • Score: 0

9:23am Tue 8 May 12

cj07589 says...

Ive been to this event twice now and it is excellent. Sherman Tanks and armored convoys rolling through the picturesque village is quite surreal. Looking forward to going again this year hopefully it will be a bit warmer than the frosty nights the lads had to endure last time around!
Ive been to this event twice now and it is excellent. Sherman Tanks and armored convoys rolling through the picturesque village is quite surreal. Looking forward to going again this year hopefully it will be a bit warmer than the frosty nights the lads had to endure last time around! cj07589
  • Score: 0

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