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To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944, the Ventnor & District Local History Society is launching a booklet and exhibition highlighting Ventnor’s (and the Isle of Wight’s) role in the invasion and the experiences of local residents and military personnel.

The Isle of Wight was closer to the Normandy beaches than any other part of Britain, and the Ventnor district hosted vital facilities such as the RAF radar station, a Royal Navy wireless interception station and the main radio station used for communication between the high command and the invasion forces.

The exhibition features the logbook (supervisors’ diary) from RAF Ventnor covering 17th May to 12th June 1944, currently on loan to the Ventnor Heritage Centre from a private collector. The original will be on display and visitors can browse a facsimile and transcript. The title of the new booklet, ‘Oh Day of Days!’, is taken from a logbook entry just after the invasion was officially announced at 09:30 on the morning of D-Day.

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Both booklet and exhibition feature unique photographs from the Society’s collection as well as from archives in the United States, the UK and Germany.

The exhibition opens on 5th June and admission is free. The booklet is now on sale for £4.50 (plus postage) through the Society’s online shop at https://www.ventnorheritage.org.uk/shop/ or for £4.50 in the Ventnor Heritage Centre and will be available at the Society’s monthly talks on 29th May and 28th June.

The Ventnor Heritage Centre is at 11 Spring Hill, Ventnor and is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10:00-13:00 and Fridays 10:00-16:00. It is closed Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

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1 month ago

my father gilbert buckland was stationed at the naval radio station on ventnor golf course he was stationed at the heights hotel where foxes close is i,m not sure wether it was a y radio interception station or the main one, he took part in the normandy landings with a naval forward radio station , not sure if it was for gunfire support to direct fire on to german strong points had ghis 18th birthday there on the 9th of june


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