Radio D-Day

A radio station set up for a month in 1994 to mark the D-Day Normandy Landings fifty years earlier.

D-Day was on June 6 1944 - the largest seaborne invasion in history and the first giant step in liberating Western Europe and ending a terrible war. It involved 160,000 troops, 5000 vessels of all kinds and more than 1000 aircraft. The springboard for this historic operation was the South coast, with much of the activity centering on the area around Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and Weymouth. Much has been seen and reported about D-Day - but what did those days mean to the people living locally? What was their perception of the war and life around them as D-Day approached? Below are a series of radio news bulletins painstakingly researched to reflect what a local radio statiion in the area might have been reporting - had it existed and been privy to the many secrets that were only revealed later. The station is called Radio D-Day. Tune in and live for a moment though those times.

Radio D-Day was a project set up in 1994 to commemorate D-Day's fiftieth anniversary. It involved the recreation of a 1944 radio station (with a modern flavour) which ran for one month on a restricted service licence from a sandbagged and camouflaged bunker studio in Bournemouth International Centre. The output could be heard across the Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch conurbation and large parts of Dorset and the New Forest. The idea was to give local people, who at the time had still not been born, a feeling of what those tense and historic days were actually like. Long forgotten real events were once again bought to life.

Apart from eyewitness accounts and all the original wartime music, listeners were also able to hear news bulletins which aim to tell them what was happening nationally, internationally and most importantly locally on that day (and sometimes that very hour) in 1944. The bulletins were researched from a variety of sources with every effort made to ensure accuracy. Facts were included that would not have been commonly known at the time because of censorship.

I still have recordings of my original bulletins, and because so much effort was invested in creating them, decided to put them back on the web for a short time to mark this year's 70th anniversary of D-Day.

There were normally three bulletins a day. The first was played every hour from 6.30AM until noon, the second across the afternoon and the third during the late afternoon and evening. Following standard news practice you may sometimes hear the same story reappearing across the day, although usually in an edited or updated form. All three (and in some cases four) bulletins are included in the dated Soundcloud audio files which you can play below.

Click here for news bulletins leading up to D-Day.