Latest News on D-Day70

DDay70

The following information has just been made available from the British Ministry of Defence.

Note this largely applies to events in the British sector from Bayeux to Arromanches to Sword Beach.

They will have a D-Day 70 website going live soon: www.gov.uk/mod/dday70 [as of today it is not yet live]

D-Day 70 – Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: I’m thinking of attending a specific event in Normandy between 5 – 8 June 2014. Do I need to apply for an accreditation pass?

A: Yes. There will be an ‘Anti-Congestion Cordon’ restricting vehicles and their passenger’s entry to the Normandy area. This is to ease congestion and to comply with security measures imposed over the main commemoration period. Also, due to the popularity of certain commemorations within the cordon, ticketing will be required in order to give veterans priority.

 Q: Where is the Anti-Congestion Cordon and when is it in operation?

A: The cordon partially covers the regions of Calvados, Manche and Orne in Normandy from midnight on 4 June until midnight on 8 June 2014 (approximation on the map below). If you intend to enter this area between these times you, and the vehicle you travel in, must display an accreditation pass.

dday70cordon

Q: I am a Normandy Veteran. Can I bring my partner/ carer/ family members/ friends?

A: Anyone can apply for accreditation to enter the Anti-Congestion Cordon and to attend D-Day 70 events; however priority will be given to veterans. At events, veterans with one guest/ carer will be given priority, with further guests and the general public will be accommodated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Q: I am a widow(er)/ offspring/ friend of a now deceased veteran. Can I attend?

 A: Yes. However, please do bear in mind that due to the popularity of this year’s D-Day 70 events, priority is being given to veterans. Events do have a maximum capacity and we are working hard to make sure as many people can attend as possible.

Q: I’ve never needed to obtain accreditation passes/ tickets before when travelling to Normandy or when attending events. Why do I have to this year?

A: Due to the popularity of D-Day 70, and the sensitivity around veteran and National level representation, we and the French authorities must account for all British citizens attending events in Normandy during the anniversary period (5 – 8 June 2014).  This will allow traffic congestion to be eased and security concerns to be addressed.

 Q: Will I need tickets for every event I wish to attend?

 A: An accreditation pass will be required to enter the Anti-Congestion Cordon. Certain events within the cordon will also require tickets, including:

  • the Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral;
  • the international ceremony organised by the French Government; and
  • the service held by the Normandy Veterans Association at Arromanches-les-Bains.

The event at the Bayeux Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery will be divided into areas for veterans (ticketed) and the general public. All are welcome to attend.

Q: When will I receive my accreditation pass/event tickets?

 A: We must receive your application no later than 30 April 2014. We will endeavour to process your application as quickly as possible, but if you have not received passes and tickets by 26 May 2014, then please contact the MOD Ceremonial and Commemorations Team.

 Q: I’m not going to be at my address to receive my accreditation pass/event tickets. Can I collect my passes in Normandy?

 A: No. Due to the number of veterans wishing to attend events in Normandy, we will be unable to provide a collection point outside the Anti-Congestion Cordon. However, in an emergency, please contact the MOD Ceremonial and Commemorations Team and we will endeavour to help you if we can.

Q: I’ve attended services at Bayeux Cathedral before with my family and friends and have not required tickets. Why do I have to this year?

A: The Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral on 6 June is a focal event for British veterans, and is being organised by the Royal British Legion. There is a high demand for attendance at this event and ticketing is being allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis giving priority to veterans. Senior UK and French representatives will be in attendance and the event is expected to generate a significant amount of media coverage. Therefore, unless you have applied for and have received tickets, you be unable to attend the service. However, screens will be provided at the CWGC Bayeux Cemetery showing the Cathedral Service live for all those unable to attend.

Q: I only want to attend a small event away from the main commemorations which lies within the Anti-Congestion Cordon. Do I need accreditation?

 A: Yes. All vehicles and their passengers entering the Anti-Congestion Cordon will need to be accredited with the vehicles displaying an accreditation pass. These will be checked by French Officials at certain points on routes around Normandy. We must receive your application no later than 30 April 2014 in order to process your application as quickly as possible. If you have not received passes and tickets by 26 May 2014, then please contact the MOD Ceremonial and Commemorations Team.

Q: If I have received my passes but am unable to attend can I give them to someone else?

 A: All passes issued will be specific to the individual and are therefore non-transferable.

 Q: Can I bring my own car?

A: All vehicles and their passengers entering the Anti-Congestion Cordon will need to be accredited and the vehicles must clearly display an accreditation pass. These will be checked by French Officials at certain points on routes around Normandy. To that end, you are encouraged to travel as part of a group or tour. The French Authorities will be providing a ‘Park-and-Ride’ service within the Anti-Congestion Cordon with details regarding this being made clear in the near future.

Q: Can I apply for funding assistance?

Veterans wishing to return to Normandy in June will be able to apply for financial support from the Big Lottery Fund, which last February extended its Heroes Return 2 scheme until December 2015. The scheme helps Second World War veterans and their spouses, widows and widowers, and accompanying helpers, to undertake commemorative visits. If you would like to apply, then please contact the Big Lottery Fund direct:

Tel:                  0845 0000 121

Website:          www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_heroes_return

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26 thoughts on “Latest News on D-Day70

      • I was told by the MOD today that they are only dealing with British Passport holders, (we have 2 Americans coming over,) and that other nationalities have to look to their own, or French Embassies in their country for advice

  1. I am from Sweden and Will travel for the fourth time to Normandie between 2-9 of June, , and I realize
    that i need special passes to travel with My car i Normandie this year, how do i get this pass?
    Anders from Sweden

    • At the moment the French have not announced how this will work. It may be worth speaking to your embassy in Paris and see what they know.

  2. I am a British passport holder but live in Normandy, do i need a pass to travel around Normandy inside the accreditation area in a french registered vehicle

  3. Good evening. We’ve arranged, in conjunction with our local museum and village, a Living History event on Gold Beach, the fourth such in Normandy since 2004. We will arrive on 3rd June, and depart on 10th June. So we will be in the controlled area for the whole of the controlled period. There is a possibility that folks my wish to travel out of the village – to the nearest hypermarket, for example, or to LOCAL ceremonies outside the village. Must each individual apply for a pass, and to whom? What about hire vehicles? Does each individual travelling in, for example, a lorry have to have a pass? Thank you for your attention.

  4. The Mayor at Ver will almost certainly know little about what is happening at the moment, as the meeting organised by the Bayeux Sous Prefecture to discuss and explain the measures proposed is not scheduled until next Monday 14th at 18.00 hrs in the Salles des Fetes de Ryes, to which all the mayors of the area (plus me) are invited.

    The Sous Prefet Mr Lemaire, an active private pilot, is a very nice, very practical bloke and very much veteran orientated, and committed to making these events work in a practical and pragmatic way.

    However, as of Monday 07/04 – for example, the Mairie of Arromanches are unaware of any plans or requirements for their own population to seek accreditation or of any other special provisions.

    There are several anomalies and errors in the document published on this site, for which the site publisher is not responsible. These include the suggestion that the Arromanches event is a ticket only access, as per the main International Ceremony and the Bayeux Cathedral/Cemetry events, where for example, if you don’t have a ticket, you wont get into the Cathedral.

    The Arromanches ceremony is NOT a ticket only event, although there is obviously a physical limit to the number of people that can cram themselves into a small village and traffic access will become progressively more difficult as the day goes on and parking and space fills up.

    We have taken the precaution of shipping in around 50 British troops from 39 Engineers Kinloss to ensure that, at least within the area controlled by the Arromanches Mairie organisation, each entrance or barrier, will have a British Army Uniformed, English speaking “Hi-Vis”, alongside the French Security people. Each Soldier will have communication with the control center, to help keep everyone waiting informed of the situation regarding crowds, car parking etc.

    These British troop will obviously be tasked to make every effort to expedite Veterans and their carers through the traffic and into the Village where there is a Veterans’ welcome marquee with free tea and cakes and medical assistance available, together with veteran specific toilet facilities and a moment of peace and quite available to them before they take their seats in the parade area, or assemble to march in for the Parade which is at the moment scheduled for 6pm as per every year for the last 26 years or so.

    The number of visitors expected rather exceeds the physical capacity of many of the sites to be visited, so on the 6th especially, there will be crowding, and traffic jams and some places you might find there just isn’t room to fit another body into your chosen small Normandy Village.

    The nominal population of Arromanches is just over 600 souls, with 455 on the voting register.

    The Dutch parade scheduled for the morning of the 6th includes the Dutch Queen King and PM, and a total in the entourage itself that exceeds the population of Arromanches. (and yes – this information has already been officially announced in the Dutch Press – I checked personally with M. Rellum, Consul du Pays-Bas at the Embassy and their French liason Mme Chevallier at Caen Prefecture..)

    The accreditation process – while sadly organised very late in the day – just might help get a few people – particularly Veterans and their carers – to where they so want to be.

    It may also identify all Geoff’s group at Vers (?) as people who know where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there, and make sure they get back to their tents mid-morning on the 6th, without too many problems after they’ve made their early morning raid on LeClerk’s for beers.

    Imagine….3 cars, 12 blokes all arrive at a barrier claiming to camping in Vers, when the barrier attendant has been told Vers is blocked solid and the carparks are full. Accreditation says you ARE camping in Vers – ergo, there is a parking space alongside your tent you can use. Chances are – you’ll be waved through with a smile.

    The real difficulties arise with the thousands of visitors who do no read this website (like me) who booked their ferries and hotels 18 months ago to bring Grandad across to where he landed, and who may well be completely unaware of the accreditation process. Hopefully ( and this is why we are employing Brit Troops who should be able to spot a veteran in a car) these REAL VVIP’s can be spotted and expedited into their parades, with or without accreditation. That is certainly the plan for Arromanches.

    I too await clarification from both the Embassy and MOD as soon as possible, and I fully expect a clearer explanation of the Accreditation system to be published on the MOD and Event websites as a result.

    Over the weekend, I personally received 132 emails and calls on the subject, and gave the same information and advice to all.

    Until I hear from the Embassy and MOD in my role as their point of contact for the Arromanches events, I am in no position of privileged knowledge or self professed importance.

    After the meeting on 14th I will know as much as the Mayor, with perhaps a little more background on the specifics.

    I am in no way responsible for these requirements or their implementation. Indeed I am concerned at the way the information has been disseminated containing errors that effect me and the Arromanches Events in particular, and that the people on the sharp end had no advanced warning or knowledge of the plans implementation.

    However, I suspect, it was done in the quickest way to hand last week, in order to give as many people as possible the chance to fill in their accreditation forms and benefit from any advantages in organisation that these may offer.

    As for those wishing a detailed listing of events and timings…….4 days ago, happy in the knowledge that the British Parade in Arromanches was sorted and being managed by professional MOD parade marshals, all good to go, apart from a small possibility of being asked to put the time back by half an hour or so to allow more time to get Veterans in place and happy…….

    Then I walked into a carpak meeting (the Arromanches Brit Parade Ground) to find 30 bodies with all sorts of Uniforms and medals and hats and from 3 different countries, there to discuss where to put the canteen tent to feed the 500 Dutch who would be arriving at 5am on the 6th to practice their parade before the arrival of their Royal family and PM at around 10am.

    Several French jaws audibly hit the deck.

    after 3 hours, all the planning for the annual French parade to which a Dutch contingent of troops had originally been invited was dropped. The traditional French Church service Mass was removed from the plan. The Parade ground layout had been changed. The building lined up for a live BBC radio 2 breakfast show broadcast on the 6th was re-allocated as a waiting area for Dutch dignitaries. But…the canteen tent idea was scrapped. The 5am rehearsals were moved to the afternoon of the 5th so that the Brit Flag raising ceremony could take place at 8am on the 6th…etc etc etc.

    There are 19 heads of state at the international ceremony. All want to do something for their own country’s veterans somewhere outside the International event. Brothers in Arms and all that. Multiple cultures, multiple languages, multiple interests….

    You should have heard the discussions around who stands where and which flags go on which pole and which goes up first as the French and Dutch Military protocols clashed.

    Here in Arromanches, we aren’t an international ceremony, but , as a non military type, I am always amazed at the inter- service, inter-regiment, inter-Nation, inter organisation, intra-organisation disputes as to who stands where, who sits where, when to stand or sit, which flag stands where, why are they here – they didn’t land until the 26th, why are the RBL here ? Why are the Dutch here ? Why isn’t our flag on that pole, how dare the French take down that flag just because their president was turned up…..

    I’m sorting tea cakes loos and somewhere dry and warm for “Our Boys” as the surprisingly large number of 90 yr old ladies of Arromanches refer to the veterans. Of course there are few other bits and bobs that have to be organised for these events to take place, things you’ll only ever notice if something goes wrong. Guess how many offices have an input into where the Air Ambulance can park and if indeed it is allowed to fly at certain times….

    More info as and when I have it available and confirmed, checked and approved by all for publication.

  5. Geoff – yes, I think we’ve met on a couple of occasions – I think I pinched Fiona off you to sing at the 2009 commemorations when your camp was at Vers and had a long walk to the showers in the sports hall ???

    • I remember – she sang in Ver one night and in Arromanches the following, as I recall. The camp is in the same place as 2009 and the showers etc are too – about 600m. We’ve provided extra LOCKABLE portaloos this time though, learning from the 2009 experience. Maybe see you over the easter holiday if you’re around – will email you.

    • Look at your facebook messages. 😉
      Therese full contact details there for you.
      I’ve pinched Fiona again to amuse the Vets in their marquee, and to sing the National Anthems, and lead the community singing at the evening parade. She’s a real trooper and once the free flags come out – the French love her.

  6. Hello, I have read the entire post, and its not clear if theres a need of passes or authorization to enter de congestion zone.
    My family and I are going to Normady but from June 7th to June 14th. We arrive by train to Caen, pick a car up on Hertz and then we get Bayeux by road where we have already rent a Gite.
    We are NOT attending any main or British event, so do we need that authorization?
    We are planning this trip for 2 years, and it will very dissapointing not coming trough to our gite because the lack of authorization.
    Thanks, and please I need an anwer as soon as possible.
    Regards
    Matias

    • To enter the congestion zone on 6th June then you DO require accreditation.

      If you are not arriving until 7th June then you do not require it, as it currently stands, although my advice is to keep watching sites like this as things are currently changing regularly.

      It is all very frustrating.

      • Thanks for the fast response. I have also send an email to MOD, and a minutes ago I have received an asnwer. They say that they arent accepting forms from non-veterans any more.
        Other authorization or passes had to be delivered by French authorities.
        But at this time they say the same as you. So we only need accredition if we want to be there on June 6.
        So, for the moment, as it stands, we are glad that we could do our trip without any issues regarding accreditations
        Thanks for the information, I will check your site often to see if anything new comes up.
        Best

  7. I just got this reply back from MOD today having submitted my application forms on the 9th April :

    The MOD is still processing forms for Normandy Veterans and their family groups, but no-one else. (Everyone who got their form in before the 10th April will also have their form processed.)

    I apologise for the delay but we are working as fast as possible, and we are also lacking a lot of information from the French Authorities.

    Regards

  8. Dear Sir.
    I have read the posts above. My wife and I are motorcycling in the D-Day landing area 5th – 9th June and it appears I will need a vehicle pass. Has there been any fresh information from the French authorities about obtaining vehicle passes?

  9. The MOD website has been updated to day with the following : All applications that have been submitted to date will be processed, however the D-Day 70 team are only generally assisting Normandy. All veterans, their families and those who are accompanying them only with their accreditation. Other members of the public wishing to travel to Normandy on 6 June will need to accredit via the French authorities at June should obtain accreditation directly from the French Authorities by emailing the National Office for Veterans and Victims of War of Calvados at: sec.sd14@onacvg.fr. Information regarding the process can be found at: http://www.le70e-normandie.fr/practical-information/f-a-q/?lang=en.

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