When can you watch the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations?

By Guest, 4 June 2019 - 2:11pm

Everything you need to know about the BBC’s D-Day coverage, Who Do You Think You Are? USA, and the rest of this month’s family history TV programmes

D-Day anniversary
Troops from the 48th Royal Marines land at Juno Beach, 6 June 1944. The surviving D-Day veterans will attend the National Commemorative Event tomorrow (Credit: Hulton Archive/Stringer via Getty)

Pick of the month

D-Day Commemorations
Wednesday 5 – Saturday 8 June, BBC One

On 6 June 1944, the Allied liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation began. 156,000 troops landed on the Normandy beaches in the largest seaborne landings in history. The operation led to Allied victory in the Second World War at the cost of over 10,000 casualties.

The 75th anniversary of D-Day this week is particularly important as it may be the last time for the few surviving veterans to participate in commemorations. You can watch the anniversary events live on BBC One.

First, on Wednesday 5 June at 9.15am, Huw Edwards will introduce the National Commemorative Event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth. Over 300 of the last surviving veterans will join the Queen and the President of the United States, together with other world leaders from the Allied Nations, for a day of events including veteran testimony, theatrical performances and flypasts.

On Thursday, Sophie Raworth and Dan Snow will present the service of remembrance in Bayeux War Cemetery. Highlights of the commemorations will also be broadcast at 6.30pm in the evening. Finally, on Saturday, Return to the Beaches will follow the surviving D-Day veterans as they return to the battlefield, in many cases for the first time.

Get more previews of this month's top TV in the July issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, on sale now


Also showing

Who Do You Think You Are? USA
Thursdays from 6 June, 9pm, W

As we keenly await the next UK series of WDYTYA?, which is expected to air this summer, W is showing three further episodes of the US version.

For film actor Josh Duhamel, whose credits include Transformers: The Last Knight, this means a journey to this side of the pond. He traces the life of his 12x great grandfather, and uncovers a dark tale involving interrogation and torture.

In the following episode, Oscar-winning actor Regina King explores her maternal family tree and meets an ancestor who, as a former slave, argued passionately for civil rights – and endured horrific violence.

The series concludes with Glee star Matthew Morrison, who learns about his family’s connection to the struggle for independence from the British Empire. He uses DNA testing to unravel a confused family tree.

The Generation Frame
Monday 10 June, 8pm, BBC Scotland

If you’ve ever wished there was a Who Do You Think You Are? for ‘ordinary’ people, you won’t want to miss this Scottish series. The final episode will broadcast on 10 June, and the full series is available on BBC iPlayer.

Each of the four episodes follows two families as they trace their ancestry with the help of genealogists. From the Highland Clearances to the Second World War sinking of RMS Lancastria, and from links to the slave trade to the lives of Italian immigrants, they uncover extraordinary stories from every historical era. At the end, each family receives a unique 21st century family treasure - their own Generation Frame.

The 1900 Island
Starts Monday 10 June, 7pm, BBC Two

A small tidal island off the coast of Anglesey, Llanddwyn seems idyllic. But life there was often hard, and the single row of cottages, once home to shipping pilots and lighthouse keepers, has lain uninhabited for 70 years.

That changed recently when four families moved into renovated cottages. However, there was a catch: the homes had all been restored to how they would have been at the beginning of the 20th century, the setting for an immersive ‘living history’ series (first shown last month on BBC One Wales).

With no electricity and just a small ration of food to help them along, the families had to learn to survive by fishing, and by gathering cockles, mussels and laver seaweed. Guest Natalie Davies explains that the experience left her and her family with “a deep appreciation of the simple things. Good food, good family and friends, and a lasting connection with those who lived that life.”

Britain's Most Historic Towns
Saturdays from 8 June, 8pm, Channel 4

Professor Alice Roberts is back on the road for a second series exploring key periods in British history through the stories of individual towns. This week she’s discovering the heritage of Dover, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford and more.

A Victorian Scandal: The Rudest Book in Britain
Wednesday 5 June, 10pm, BBC Four

Historian and author Dr Fern Riddell goes back to the archives to challenge our view of Victorian society. Her investigation into a sensational 1877 high court trial sheds new light on the ‘no sex please, we are British’ cliché often associated with Victorian England.

Abandoned Engineering
June (date TBA), Yesterday

A show that’s proved a huge hit returns for a fourth series. Although programme details were sketchy as we went to press, the format remains the same: exploring buildings that have fallen out of use. Why were they built? What methods were employed? And how did they come to outlive their usefulness? Expect tales of secret bases, hidden tunnels and structures with sinister back stories.

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