York Civic Trust are pleased to have been awarded funding by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for their forthcoming project, Bomb Happy D-Day 75. Working in partnership with Everwitch Theatre, York Army Museum and Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd (‘Explore’) the project will give the local community the opportunity to come together with York’s last remaining Normandy Veterans and serving members of the armed forces to mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at a series of commemorative events.
Working with York Normandy Veterans the project will deliver five commemorative performances of the Veterans own highly acclaimed verbatim play “Bomb Happy” with “ Meet the Veterans” post show event at York Army Museum. The play, which sold out on its tour of Yorkshire in 2017, brings to life the first-hand accounts of the last five York Normandy Veterans, now held at Explore York Archives, and highlights the lifelong impact of post traumatic stress disorder on young soldiers. The show will be directed by Helena Fox and produced in partnership with Everwitch Theatre.
The performances with Meet the Veterans post show event will take place at York Army Museum on 14th – 16th June at 7.30pm, with matinee performances at 2.30pm on the 15th & 16th June.
Tickets are on sale now for the 5 performances https://bombhappy-dday75.eventbrite.co.uk
View the trailer
The play will then tour to two secondary schools and two cadet bases in the York area with a live screening for schools across the county with Veterans Q&A . Ten schools in York will also be presented with copies of the published playtext which will be released by Methuen in June to coincide with the commemorative performances.
Alongside the performances of Bomb Happy, York Army Museum will also be curating a brand new exhibition “D-Day 75” which will be running from 6th May to 7th September 2019.
On 6th June, the anniversary of D-Day, Laura Yeoman, Archivist at Explore will be giving a talk entitled “Uncovering Stories: York Normandy Veterans”. The talk will detail the work Explore undertook in 2014 to safeguard the archives and memories of the surviving York Normandy Veterans for future generations, and will feature video clips from veterans discussing their experiences. Tickets are now on sale for the talk at www.yortime.org.uk
Laura will also be showcasing some of the original archives relating to York’s Normandy Veterans at a free drop –in event at York Explore Library on June 13th from 10am – 4pm. The exhibition aims to showcase the personal stories of those who fought in the Second World War, and the public will have the chance to learn more about their experiences. There may even be a chance to talk to a veteran or two at this drop-in event!
Dr David Fraser, Chief Executive for York Civic Trust said “We know that cities are happier, safer, more confident, and contribute more to the wider world if they understand their own past. We frequently do this by celebrating the history of physical buildings and streets, but the intangible memories, stories and experiences of our citizens are even more important. It’s great that Bomb Happy will give us all the opportunity to hear about the last months of the Second World War from those who were there. We are very pleased to be working with Everwitch , York Army Museum & Explore York Libraries and Archives on “Bomb Happy D-Day 75.”
Further info about the above events can be found at
Photo attached: York Normandy Veterans
Photo copyright: Paul Reed
Left to Right: Ken Smith, Ken Cooke, Dennis Haydock, Bert Barritt, George Meredith in Normandy in 2014.