To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of ‘Fortress Europe’ on 6th June 1944, during May and June 2019 around 2,000 Army Cadets had the opportunity to travel to France to take part in an exciting and informative battlefield experience and commemorative event.
During this period cadets from around the UK took part in a series of one-day D-Day Battlefield events, with Somerset going on 27th May and returning on 29th May. In order to take part, cadets travelled from Somerset via Dover and Calais the day before the scheduled event and returned the following day (camping before and after the event).
The cadets toured six carefully selected stands accompanied by expert guides to learn about a range of (curriculum coordinated) themes including: the causes of the war, the course of the war, the context for D-Day, technology (including tanks, engineering, aircraft, sea-craft, artillery, and radio) (STEM), media, medicine, and logistics. The event culminated in a commemorative drumhead service at Arromanches overlooking GOLD Beach. The whole event was supported by a bespoke Commemorative Booklet which provided the history and context, illustrate each of the themes, underpining the stands with further detail.
On the following pages there is as much, or as little, is you wish to investigate on primarily (although not exclusively) the British side of the invasion with particular respect to Somerset's, the Light Infantry, the Army Air Corps' and the Rifles involvement. If you wish to find out more there are an astonishing number of informative web sites, two in particular are the Imperial War Museum and the BBC History.
The trip was masterminded by WO1 (RSM) Andy Godfrey, with WO2 (SMI) Peter Russell, SI Madison Skidmore, SI Sara Morrell, SI Natalie Eccles and SI Andrew Kemp as the adult contingent, along with 47 cadets from across the county.
Wiltshire ACF also generously took an extra four cadets from Midsomer Norton Platoon with them on Wednesday 29 May, returning on Friday 31 May.