Troops land in Normandy, during D-Day. Picture courtesy of the Ministry of Defence.
AN INTERNATIONAL flotilla of ships is due to pass the Isle of Wight today (Thursday) as it travels to Normandy as part of events to commemorate the D-Day landings.
The flotilla, led by HMS Bullwark, includes ships from the Dutch, French, Belgian and Danish navies.
It is due to leave Portsmouth at 6pm and will travel around the eastern side of the Isle of Wight.
A specially decorated Brittany Ferry, carrying veterans to Normandy, will pass the eastern side of the Isle of Wight at around 3pm.
The Red Arrows are due to perform a display over Southsea at 1.30pm.
There will be a number of events to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day taking place on the Island over the coming days.
A poignant wreath laying ceremony at sea will form part of a ceremony at Seaview on Sunday.
Bembridge RNLI lifeboat will lay wreaths, following a parade of the few surviving veterans of the landings, due to take place along the village’s High Street and Esplanade.
The parade has been organised by Nettlestone and Seaview Community Partnership, members of the Royal British Legion, Seaview Parish Council and Sea View Yacht Club.
A service of remembrance will also take place at St Peter’s Church as part of the ceremony which will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight Major General Martin White.
The yacht club will be open to the public during the event which begins at 11.30am. It will be serving war time food including sausage and mash.
Seaview councillor, Reg Barry, said the event would probably be the last parade that the veterans would be able to take part in.
He said: "I said the same thing ten years ago during the 60th anniversary when most of them were in their 80s."
At Shanklin Chine, there is a D-Day exhibition and the BBC is also set to film there next week to commemorate the Chine’s involvement in 'PLUTO’ (Pipe Line Under The Ocean).
The pipeline ran from the Isle of Wight and supplied fuel to the troops landing at Normandy.