D-Day remembered In Weymouth
6:07am 29th May 2014
D-Day veterans will get to relive an inspired act of bravery in Weymouth this morning when replica bagpipes played by "Piper Bill" during the Normandy landings, arrive at the harbour.
It's nearly 70 years to the day when British Troops and the Allies launched from Dorset for the biggest seaborne operation in history.
Hundreds of thousands of British and American troops sailed from Weymouth and Portland when the invasion was given the green light on the 6th June 1944.
Today, the tune played by "Piper Bill" on the beaches during the first Normandy landings will sound out along Weymouth Harbour for Dorset veterans, to pay tribute to their fallen comrades who didn't make it home.
A service of remembrance and a wreath laying ceremony will take by the pier near the ferry steps at around 10:30am.
Chairman of Weymouth's British Legion Naomi Turner explains why the bagpipes are so significant:
"The piper led the first troops onto the beach. It was Lord Lovetts piper and the pipes are a replica of the ones that were used. The actual pipes are now in a museum but these pipes are a replica that was used to lead the troops onto the beaches on D-Day."
In the run up to D-Day Dorset was a hive of military activity, with tens of thousands of soldiers practised battle drills, and taking part in a massive rehearsal known as Exercise Smash in Studland.