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Convoy Marks Eisenhower’s UK D-Day Drive
The Drive to Remember recreates Eisenhower’s drive on June 5, 1944, the eve of D-Day
On June 22, 2019, a convoy will set off from Southwick, Hampshire, as part of a commemorative Drive to Remember marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The convoy's route will follow the journey taken by Dwight D Eisenhower 75 years earlier, when the US Supreme Allied Commander in Europe traveled from what was then known as Southwick House (now MOD Southwick) to Greenham Common Airfield, near Newbury, Berkshire, where he addressed US soldiers of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment on the eve of D-Day.
The Drive to Remember, an official Royal British Legion D-Day 75 Anniversary Event, will set off from Southwick at approximately 9:30am on Saturday June 22, with stops at RAF Lasham, the Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke, the Sandford Spring Hotel and Golf Cub in Kingsclere, and Green Gate, on the eastern edge of Greenham Common. At the Green Gate stop, the Poppy Parachute Drop team will descend from the skies in a symbolic act of returning the spirit of Troops, killed in action, back to the base they called home. The convoy will then reach the drive's finish line at Newbury College, at the western end of the Common, between 3pm and 3:30pm, where commemorations will take place, including the planting of an apple tree tribute to the troops.
A range of military vehicles will take part in the occasion, as well as the Royal British Legion riders. A WW2 Auster spotter plane will also fly over the convoy. A member of the Women's Royal Navy Service (WRNS) who was on duty on D-Day as part of the team that relayed Eisenhower's orders will be in attendance to start the convoy. Eisenhower and Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh Mallory will even make an appearance - in lookalike form!
For more details on attending the commemorations in Newbury, or seeing the convoy as it passes by, check out the below poster or keep an eye on the D-Day Commemorative Convoy Facebook Page.