Cornwall’s “secret” Helford River marks 70th Anniversary of D-Day Embarkations

Major Event planned for the weekend of May 31 2014

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Historic connections of Trebah Gardens and the Budock Vean Hotel with World War II’s D-Day Embarkations make for poignant settings at the end of May to commemorate the major events on Cornwall’s Helford River 70 years ago.

War veterans and visitors will gather on the beach at Trebah on Saturday May 31 to celebrate and remember the 7,500 American servicemen of the 29th Infantry Division who embarked on landing-craft bound for the Normandy Beaches and the D-Day landings.

The world-famous ravine gardens on the Helford are hosting a family day of commemorations in association with WWII Re-enactment South West and the Parachute Regiment Association, while the nearby Budock Vean Hotel – which was requisitioned by officers in the run-up to the D-Day embarkations and where they held Saturday tea dances – is offering a special break for guests including tickets to the Trebah Military Day.

“When you look at this beautiful, quiet river today it’s hard to imagine the waters and beaches, banks and roads swarming with landing craft, vehicles and thousands upon thousands of military personnel,” say the Budock Vean’s Martin Barlow. “It’s a moving thought at any time but with the big anniversaries it’s more important than ever for all of us – young and old – never to forget these momentous events.”

My father Major Tony Hibbert was so proud of Cornwall’s part in the D-Day preparations and embarkations,” says Trebah’s Chris Hibbert, “and he was adamant that the historic events which took place in our gardens and beaches will always be remembered.

The Band of Brothers gets ever smaller and it’s a real privilege for us to be able to properly honour all servicemen and women – especially those who left our peaceful waters 70 years ago and landed at Omaha Beach, scene of some of the fiercest fighting in WW2, where so many paid the ultimate price.

Events at the stunning gardens and beach will be rich in history featuring military vehicles, aircraft, music and song. There will be a short memorial service followed by a Helicopter and RNLI wreath laying, free fall drop by the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Team and Marines landing on the beach – as well as an appearance by the Red Arrows.

The Budock Vean, set half a mile away in its own sub-tropical gardens on the Helford, is the ideal spot from which guests of all ages can immerse themselves in this historic occasion with a special deal of £114 per person per night for a minimum of two nights including dinner bed and breakfast, free tickets to Trebah Military Day and full use of the hotel’s luxury leisure facilities.

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