The people of Portsmouth have displayed an incredibly generous level of support for both modern day and WWII war heroes over the course of the D-Day 70 commemorations, as The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity raises over £8,000 in public donations from the event.

The commemorations, which took place between 5 – 8 June, saw approximately 200,000 residents and visitors descend on Southsea Common to witness a series of military displays, ceremonial tributes and lively concerts, all held in memory of those who set sail for the shores of Normandy in 1944.

As principle charity for the spectacle, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity – which supports both modern-day and ex-serving personnel and their families – is grateful to all those who came out to show their support and donate.

Regional Fundraising Coordinator Hilary Jukes said: “We’re overwhelmed with how much money has been raised from the great people of Portsmouth, home of the Royal Navy.

“The commemorations were all about paying respects to the D-Day veterans and remembering those who had fallen. It was also, for us, about raising public awareness of the work of the Charity.

“The most emotional part of the weekend for me was on Sunday was when an 87-year-old former Royal Marine, who was just 17 when he took part in D-Day, insisted on putting a £20 note in my collection bucket.  I tried to stop him, explaining that we are they to help him, not the other way round.  He insisted on donating, saying that he was lucky to still be alive and he wanted to help the generation of Royal Marines who have suffered horrendous injuries and mental anguish in Afghanistan.”

Photo: The Portsmouth crowds enjoy the sound of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on Thursday 5 June

A total of £8,184.48 was made up from a series of collection buckets, pots, stand donations and games over the course of the four days – with further matched funding to come from Barclays Bank and its volunteer team.

The Charity would also like to thank event organisers and sponsors Portsmouth City Council Events Team, BAE Systems, the Belle Isle, Colas, Classic FM and Smooth Radio; our fundraisers, Barclays Bank, the RNRMC Solent Supporters Group, HMS Collingwood Victory Squadron; our partner service charities – and of course – the volunteering serving personnel and war veterans for whom we serve.