American military vehicle display to mark Swanage D-Day

A collection of World War Two American military vehicles will stage a ‘static’ parade on Shore Road in Swanage to mark the 77th anniversary of D-Day.

Swanage was a major embarkation point for US servicemen on their way to storming the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

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The event will take place on Sunday 6th June 2021 but this year, because of Covid restrictions, the re-enactors and collectors will be stationary on the seafront.

They are unable to stage a proper parade but there will be a small socially distanced memorial service and wreath laying ceremony.

American World War Two aircraft dispersal vehicle and navy jeep

Police demanded ‘static’ event

About 15 jeeps, weapon carriers and Dodge vehicles are expected to take part. RAF padre, John Cooper, and the mayor, councillor Avril Harris will attend, along with members of the Swanage Royal British Legion.

Shore Road, which is closed for the summer, will be opened from midday until 2 pm on Sunday 6th June 2021, from the junction with Victoria Avenue to the junction with Station Road, to allow access for vehicles.

Government coronavirus rules mean that marshals will be stationed at the northern and southern gates to prevent other vehicles not associated with the display from entering.

Eddie Hockley, organiser, said:

“Because of the Covid restrictions the police have demanded it’s a static event.

“We would have liked to slowly move the vehicles up to the memorial but that won’t be possible this year.”

“Sacrifice is still remembered”

Steve Churchill, branch chairman of Swanage Royal British Legion, said:

“We are proud to remember those who took part in the D-Day landings.

“It’s nice to think that people are thinking about the events of 77 years ago and it goes to show their sacrifice is still remembered.

“They fought on the beaches so that we could have the freedom to enjoy the beaches today.”

Eddie said it had been a long wait for the re-enactors but they were glad to be back:

“We are all quite ecstatic that the group can finally be back together and do what we do best.”

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