6th June 1944 was an important date in World War Two, the Normandy Landings and especially poignant in our three zoos’ local areas of Cornwall, Devon and the South West Coast.
Thousands of American, British and Allied Servicemen left our local basecamps, airfields and coastal areas where they had trained for the shores of Normandy, many of them never to return.
Since 2009 we have posted several blogposts on D-Day and our sister zoo, Paignton Zoo . Thousands of young Americans were camped over the Clennon Gorge part of Paignton Zoo ready for embarkation onto landing craft next to our other sister zoo, Living Coasts.
Hundreds of American servicemen perished off the coast of Slapton Sands, a battle training area, where our founder Herbert Whitley had purchased the now peaceful Slapton Ley as a field reserve.
Recently I spotted several other local D-Day links in Weymouth on my zoo travels:
As well as the Weymouth memorial, I noticed a new D-Day plaque in 2014 at Lyme Regis whilst fossil hunting there. We use the ammonites and other Jurassic Coast fossils in dinosaur and extinction workshops at Newquay Zoo.
Falmouth about 25 miles from Newquay Zoo also has a D-Day memorial shelter as thanks from US troops stationed across Cornwall
D-Day remembered 6th June 1944 / 2016 across our three zoo sites and the Southwest.
Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, 6th June 2016.