National Memorial Arboretum marks 80 years of D-Day with commemorative exhibition

National memorial staffordshire National memorial staffordshire

The National Memorial Arboretum will commemorate the events of 1944 with a special exhibition titled The Year Was 1944. This exhibition will feature personal stories related to key events that took place during 1944, including the D-Day landings. 

Expert volunteers will deliver guided walking tours through the site of national remembrance and bring the stories of 1944 to life. These tours, which can be booked at the memorial park’s Welcome Desk, will be interactive and sensory. Tours are available until September 30. 

The exhibition hopes to capture the significance of the Second World War’s penultimate year and how events such as the D-day landings led to the end of the war. 

In preparation for this year, the Arboretum asked veterans and other eye-witnesses to provide what they could to illustrate what life was like in 1944, both home and away. 

The resulting exhibition is a culmination of personal photos, music, and artefacts. The head of participation and learning at the Arboretum, Rachel Smith, said that this will put guests “in the shoes of those who lived this year of momentous change”. 

Those who visit on 6 June can watch The Royal British Legion’s D-Day Service of Remembrance, which will take place at 2pm. 

Wreath layings will also take place on other significant anniversaries throughout 2024 at 11am on each of the days. 

This includes the anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino on 18 May and the Battle of Kohima on 22 June. 

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