Skip to main content
DefenceForeign AffairsNationalNews and viewsParliamentPortsmouth

City MP welcomes French Freedom Flame to Portsmouth ahead of D-Day 80

By 15 May 2024No Comments

Stephen Morgan MP welcomed the arrival of the Freedom Flame from beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to Portsmouth yesterday evening as part of the D-Day 80 celebrations in Portsmouth.

The Freedom Flame, otherwise known as Flamme de la Liberte, arrived at Portsmouth’s International Port on Brittany Ferries’ Galicia yesterday evening.

The Flamme de Liberte is the eternal flame that has been alight under the Arc de Triomphe since the cessation of hostilities in Europe following the end of WWII.

To pay homage to the commitment and sacrifices made by Allied nations, a spur of the flame is being brought to both the UK and the US so they can burn simultaneously to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The event also holds additional significance by coming to the UK for the first time this year, as 2024 marks the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

The City MP attended the arrival procession at the Port followed by a reception  hosted by Portsmouth International Port, the Royal Navy, Royal British Legion and Brittany Ferries.

The flame was taken to the D-Day Story where it will be on public display until Wednesday, before departing for Virginia.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“It is only right our city played a major role in the Freedom Flame’s historic visit to the UK as part of ongoing D-Day 80 commemorations.

“I was pleased to attend to honour the courage and sacrifices made by our allies and reaffirm our commitment to embolden the strong bond between the UK and France in future.

“My huge thanks to all those involved in making this historical event happen”.

Mr Morgan’s Southsea-born grandfather, who passed away in 2012, served in the Royal Army Service Corp throughout World War 2, leaving Portsmouth for the Juno beach on his 17th birthday.

In the last year, the city MP has lobbied the Defence Secretary, Culture Secretary and tabled a series of parliamentary questions regarding the city’s role in D-Day 80, campaigning for the commemorations to take place in Portsmouth.

Mr Morgan has met with the Minister responsible, the council, police and Royal Navy to discuss preparations, as well as hosted regular briefings with the Culture team at the council and met with British Council to discuss youth engagement at the events.