LYME REGIS will transform into a town of flags, memories and community spirit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day this June.
From June 6 to June 8, the town will link with the USA to honour local servicemen who fought in the invasion of Normandy.
A three-day programme of events has been organised in conjunction with the US 16th Infantry Regiment, which was based in Lyme during the preparations for the Normandy landings in 1944.
An independent committee has been meeting for the past nine months to discuss plans.
The Lyme commemorations will start with an outdoor service on the cliffs at dawn on June 6 and will finish with a full civic march and service on the seafront on June 8.
The march with the full town band will be led by mayor of Lyme Regis, Sally Holman, and all 46 branches of the British Legion in Dorset have been asked to send a standard-bearer to the civic march.
Chairman of the organising committee, David Manners, told the Lyme Regis News: “We’re making a big noise about D-Day in Lyme it will be the only town in Dorset marking the anniversary on the actual day.
“Many soldiers developed close friendships and relationships with people in the town and many residents here remember the kindness the soldiers showed them when they were children.
“It’s vital we also honour the 11 men of the Lyme area who died in the Normandy campaign.
“A number of their descendants still live in the town and I hope that they will join us in this salute to their relatives.”
Residents and organisations are already teaming up to stage Lyme’s D-Day weekend, including the town council, the British Legion, the Lyme Regis Museum, Woodroffe School, town majorettes, cadet forces, St Michael’s Church and more.
Organisers are appealing for a local sponsor to step forward and fund the printing of a D-Day banner to be strung across the top of Broad Street.
They are also asking residents to join in the commemorations by lending wartime Lyme photographs and memorabilia to add to a large D-Day display, which will be mounted at the Jubilee Pavilion, or by baking from Victory cookbooks.
Other events include a wartime variety show by local players at Woodmead Halls on June 6, a swing dance with the Three Counties Swing Band on June 7 and an exhibition at the town museum.
Traders will be asked to fly a union flag or a stars and stripes flag as part of the town’s ‘flags for heroes’ salute. To get involved call David Manners on 01297 443999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.