The National Memorial Arboretum

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The National Memorial Arboretum (c) National Memorial Arboretum

‘1944 – What’s your connection?’

In 2024, the National Memorial Arboretum will commemorate the 80th anniversaries of D-Day, Monte Cassino, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Kohima and Imphal with a special programme of events and exhibitions entitled ‘1944 – What’s your connection?’

From Saturday, 4 May, Gallery 2 invites you on a nostalgic voyage back to 1944, immersing you in the atmosphere of that era. Explore significant milestones through a chronological timeline featuring key remembrance moments such as Monte Cassino on 18 May, D-Day on 6 June, Kohima and Imphal on 3 July and Market Garden on 25 September.

Delve into the cultural tapestry of the time with highlights on births, music releases, rationing, fashion and marketing campaigns. This visual and educational journey encapsulates the essence of a crucial historical moment in time, where the echoes of the past connect to the present.

Explore the Arboretum with a 1944 guided walk, curated to lead you through the significant memorials nestled on our site. Expert guides will share real-life veteran stories and explain the historical significance behind each memorial, honouring the individuals whose courage and resilience will never be forgotten. £4.00 per person for groups of 10 or more.

Suppose you prefer to explore at your own pace. In that case, there will also be a free 1944 adult trail available, designed to take you and your group to the key memorials that represent the events of the year with onsite interpretation explaining their historical significance.

On 6 June, the National Memorial Arboretum will commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day 80 with a large-scale Service of Remembrance from 1 pm.

Groups are welcome to join on a pay-as-you-go basis or mark the event with a special two-course lunch package and a live stream of the service in Aspects, their dedicated events facility. Priced at £26.95 per person for groups of 10 or more.

Also opening on D-Day, The Drum will host a film produced by the Royal British Legion of a sand story by artist Kseniya Siminova. The story, written by Julie Summers, starts in the present day with a young girl and her grandmother and goes back to the grandmother’s father finishing school as war breaks out, joining up and landing on the Normandy beaches.

Further information on the programme, talks and special events will be released in the new year. Visit and join the mailing list to keep up-to-date on key dates and commemorative anniversaries in 2024.


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