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Devon D Day at Saunton Beach 2016


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Devon D-Day at Saunton Beach 2016

On 6th June 2015, over 50 military vehicles took to the golden sands of Saunton Beach for Devon D-Day – a unique commemorative event organised by Cobbaton Combat Collection and the Military Vehicle Trust.

This spectacular event marked the anniversary of D-Day and saw 40-50 WWII vehicles take part in a convoy through Barnstaple, Braunton and Saunton, making it the biggest gathering of WWII vehicles in North Devon since 1944. Hundreds of people flocked to the beach to watch the vehicles travel 3 miles along the coastline, before returning to Saunton to form a public display on the beach.

Back by Popular Demand…D-Day 2016

This year, we’re delighted to announce that Devon D-Day will be returning to the shores of Saunton Beach for a special 2-day event on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th June 2016. This year’s event, organised by the Friends of the Assault Training Centre, will draw upon the successes of last year (including a military vehicle display and convoy), but will place added emphasis on educational, hands-on experiences for children.

The Friday will be a Half-Term Family Activity Day, whilst on the Saturday a military vehicle display and convoy will take place.

Devon D-Day 2016 has been organised by the Friends of the Assault Training Centre and is sponsored by Saunton Beach Enterprises and Saunton Sands Hotel.

Friday 3rd June – Half-Term Family Activity Day, Bringing History Alive!

Struggling to find things to kids busy in half term?

Friday 3rd June will be Devon D-Day’s Family Activity Day. The Friends of the Assault Training Centre have lined up an exciting selection of fun, practical, and educational activities to take place on the beach – there will be something for all the family!

The Friends of the Assault Training Centre will be working alongside First Wave 44 and other reenactors fully immerse visitors in the era. They will then conduct a Q&A to answer questions posed by the audience.

A number of military vehicles will be on display on the Friday, however, for the full display, come along on Saturday, too!

Presentations on the Friday (lead by English civil war musketry and military charities) will include:

  • “How to Make a Musket Ball” and “Can you solve my horseshoe puzzle?” – with Nathan Fussel (in authentic Civil War costume)
  • Airsoft Weapons and Firing Range – with Rob Stone
  • 1940s Living – with Sue Harvey

These immersive re-enactments are designed to transport the audience back to another era and let them discover what life was like by watching, listening, and doing. It’s much more fun than learning from a textbook!

Event organisers (The Friends of the Assault Training Centre) are in the process of confirming more living history groups and re-enactment teams – please keep an eye out for further information and an itinerary as we have it.

Saturday 4th June – Public Displays

The main event will take place on Saturday 4th June from 10am, when the military vehicles will take part in a convoy along the shoreline before forming a display on the beach.

There will also be a selection of stalls and displays from military groups and enthusiasts, as well as entertainment from “Sandy Sparkle” and Arthur Cook.

Popular living history groups, First Wave 44, will be on the beach performing a pyrotechnic display of a pillbox assault. Actors will bring history to life right here at Saunton – expect smoke, bangs and lots of pyrotechnics!

Of course, we’re very excited to be welcoming back a number of the military vehicles that made last year so spectacular, with a few new names to boot, including a Jimmy truck with an M29 Weasel in the back! These vehicles will take part in a convoy along the shoreline and form a public display on the beach.

We’re also hoping to be able to confirm an aircraft landing on the beach – watch this space!

WW2 Weekend – VIP Accommodation Package

Spend the weekend at Saunton Beach Villas and receive free entry into Cobbaton Combat Collection!

When you book to spend the weekend of Devon D-Day at Saunton Beach Villas (check-in date: 3rd June 2016), you’ll receive a special VIP Pass that will give you complimentary entry to Cobbaton Combat Collection on Sunday 5th June.

Saunton Beach Villas are located right on the edge of the beach, just seconds away from all the action! Last year’s event generated an overwhelmingly high level of interest, and we anticipate the number of people attending this year’s event to be even bigger, so book soon to secure your stay!

VIP Packages are only available over the phone, so please call on 01271 890052 to book.

VIP Villa Package Itinerary:

Friday 4pm: Check-in

Saturday 9am: Spend the day at the event before retreating back to your Villa for the night.

Sunday: Cobbaton Combat Collection – show your VIP pass for free entry (Opening hours: 10am – 4pm).


Official Video from D-Day 2015

This video was created for us by Oisin Carr. 2015 was a truly spectacular event and we look forward to bringing history alive once again this June!


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