The event is a joint venture organised by the Castletown D-Day Centre and the Portland Castle English Heritage team. It takes place across the D-Day Centre and Portland Castle, and visitors are promised an immersive World War II experience for all the family.
Castletown at War marks the vital role that Castletown played as a major embarkation point during preparations for the D-Day landings. This included the setting up of a US Army field hospital and the training and deployment of the US 1st Division destined for Omaha Beach.
At the Castletown D-Day Centre, the 4th Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment and the German 86th Pioneer Battalion re-enactment groups will be joined by the centre’s team of living history volunteers.
Exhibitions, entertainment, World War II memorabilia stalls, weapon displays and vehicles will provide an authentic wartime experience.
During the event, the D-Day Centre’s newly restored DUKW, a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck used by the US military, will make its first appearance. Other vehicles on display will include a 1940s’ Dodge ambulance, M8 greyhound armoured car and a rare Morris 8 Series E Tourer.
John Davies, manager at Castletown D-Day Centre, said: “Castletown at War is the first event post lockdown for us and we hope that, after such a difficult time, people will come along and enjoy it. This is really a celebration of not just Castletown’s rich wartime history but the return of our events, and we are proud to partner up with the team at English Heritage yet again to put on a spectacular show.”
Portland Castle, which was used as a training base for operations including the D-Day landings, shall also be home to re-enactors and displays.
Wessex Historic Household will be putting on police station and bombed house displays and the castle tearooms will be serving ration bags alongside their usual array of hot drinks and food.
Donna Brading, Portland Castle manager, said: “We are proud to be putting on this event in conjunction with Castletown D-Day Centre. It’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the important role that the area, and Portland Castle, played in the Second World War. We hope people will dress up and enjoy the weekend. It promises to be a great day out for all the family.”
Entry fees into the D-Day Centre and Portland Castle apply and, for this event, a 15 per cent discount on the second attraction visited applies. English Heritage members can access Portland Castle free of charge.
Castletown at War will take place between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October.
Please share post:
Follow us on