Portsmouth engineers to play crucial role in UK commemoration of D-Day’s 80th anniversary

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“I was keen that young people like Max were seen to be involved in this 80th Anniversary Commemoration of the D-Day landings." Photo credit: BAE Systems.

A Portsmouth-based engineer has designed the UK’s principal D-Day beacon that will be manufactured and lit in the city as part of the nation’s commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June.  

Designed by 25 year-old BAE Systems’ engineer, Max, the beacon is to be built by his colleagues at the company and will include samples of sand from the five Normandy beaches where more than 4,400 Allied personnel lost their lives during the launch of the largest amphibious invasion in history. 

Portsmouth was a major staging post for the offensive and will host the main beacon, which will be lit to mark the occasion, along with others located around the country, in tribute to their sacrifice.

Scott Jamieson, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business, said:

“It’s a privilege to be involved in this project to give recognition to the brave men and women who gave so much to protect our country. 

“We have a long and proud history of supporting the UK Armed Forces and are committed to serving those who serve and protect us which is a source of great pride to everyone who works at BAE Systems.”

Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster for D-Day 80 who commissioned the Principal D-Day 80 Beacon, said:

“I am delighted that BAE Systems, one of our country’s most successful and respected companies, is involved in the design and manufacture of the Principal D-Day 80 Beacon which will be installed in His Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth. 

“The base was the headquarters and main departure point for the naval units and associated ground forces destined for Sword Beach on the Normandy coast, on 6 June 1944. This was one of the five beaches landed on by many thousands of brave individuals who sacrificed their lives, helping to secure the freedom we all enjoy today.

“I was keen that young people like Max were seen to be involved in this 80th Anniversary Commemoration of the D-Day landings. He has more than captured the essence and significance of the occasion and we are all looking forward to seeing his design brought to life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Max and the team at BAE Systems for their generous support in the design and manufacture of the Principal D-Day 80 Beacon.”

Source: BAE Systems

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