The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that a national event will take place to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

It is planned to be held at Portsmouth on June 5 as the Hampshire city played a key role in preparing for the invasion of the beaches of northern France in 1944.

Thousands of members of the public will join D-Day veterans, Armed Forces personnel, local dignitaries and VIP guests for the ceremonies taking place on Southsea Common which will be broadcast live across the UK and the world.

An MoD spokesman said: “The personal stories and reflections of surviving D-Day veterans will be at the heart of the event, which will also feature military musicians, a Royal Air Force flypast and moving tributes from special guests.

“They will commemorate all those who died during the Normandy campaign and pay tribute to the surviving veterans of D-Day.

“This may be the last time veterans are able to gather in significant numbers, as they are all over 90 years old.

“The commemorations will bring Armed Forces personnel past and present together to remember the legacy of D-Day and the importance of our continued fight for freedom and peace.”

Names of 13 Normandy veterans to be added to the wall 

To mark 100 days to go until the anniversary, the names of 13 veterans from 12 allied countries will be added to the Normandy Memorial Wall next to The D-Day Story Museum in Southsea.

British veterans, Stan Ford and John Roberts will be presented with their plaques at The D-Day Story on Tuesday before they are added to the wall.

Great British Life: The names of 13 veterans will be added to the Normandy Memorial WallThe names of 13 veterans will be added to the Normandy Memorial Wall (Image: Sgt Jimmy Wise/MOD Crown Copyright/PA)

The MoD has launched a D-Day 80 website on so members of the public can find out more about the official commemorations and sign up for information on how to register to attend.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) has opened registration for veterans of the Normandy campaign to attend the British event, hosted in partnership with the MoD, at the British Normandy Memorial.

A public ballot for attendance at this event will also take place, subject to event capacity, with details on a D-Day 80 website.

On D-Day, June 6 1944, the United Kingdom, the United States and their allies launched Operation Overlord, a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied France.

The operation enabled the Allies to relaunch its attacks against the Nazi forces and liberate north-west Europe, leading to victory a year later.