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A Talk at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on Northamptonshire People at D-Day - Stories From the Front

Published: Friday, 28 June 2024

Greyscale pencil image on cream paper depicting a landscape of war in France.

Sketch produced at D-Day by Major Bevan

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day this talk will tell the stories of local people who took part in Operation Overlord.

Northamptonshire men and women served in the Navy, Army and RAF. We will share stories of brave individuals including that of Northampton born Lance Corporal Arthur Ward of the Royal Corps of Signals who laid communication cables in Normandy. Ron Martin, who served as part of the Combined Operations landing force, remembers rescuing RAF airmen from the sea. Local man Albert Allen was a Leading Signalman and a Royal Navy Commando, he led a small party of just eight men in a very small boat several hours before the invasion. He landed in Arromanche, climbed the cliffs, and then guided ships to Juno beach in a covert operation.
 
United States Army Airforce (USAAF) 8th Airforce personnel were based at Northamptonshire airfields. Bombers flew out of RAF Chelveston, RAF Deenethorpe, RAF Grafton Underwood, and RAF Polebrook. Fighters flew out of RAF Kingscliffe. American Paratroopers flew out of RAF Spanhoe. Jedburgh teams flew out of RAF Harrington on secret missions behind the enemy line.
 
We will also consider what was happening on the Northamptonshire Homefront including letters home, the Salute the Soldier campaign, fundraising in the villages, food production in rural Northamptonshire and the appearance of V1 rockets. 
 
The talk will feature individual stories researched especially for D-Day 80 by the military archive and research team at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.
 
Northamptonshire People at D-Day - Stories From the Front
Thursday 11 July
£6
10.30 - 11.30am