The sights and sounds of World War Two return this June with a special 75th anniversary edition of Saunton D-Day.

A beach assault with American troops against the Germans. Picture: KistographyA beach assault with American troops against the Germans. Picture: Kistography

The event at Saunton Sands has grown year on year, with more vintage vehicles, planes and living history re-enactors on the beach than ever before to mark 75 years since the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

This year, it takes place on Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, and includes a promise of one of the biggest World War Two battle re-enactments the South West has ever seen.

As well as the D-Day anniversary, it marks the 76th anniversary of the Assault Training Center, where American troops trained in North Devon from 1943 to 1944 for the D-Day landings.

There will be a host of military vehicles on display across both days, from Willys Jeeps to 'deuce-and-a-half' trucks and everything in between.

Devon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony GussinDevon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony Gussin

Around 60 aircraft will be landing on the beach across both days, too.

On the beach, there will be living-history groups representing American, German, British and Allied troops, with visitors free to wander the encampments and chat to the re-enactors.

The event is free, but parking charges will apply at Saunton car park, and visitors are being advised to use the park-and-ride service or one of the extra Stagecoach buses laid on for the event.

It all starts at 10am on both days, and the programme for each will be similar, though, on the Saturday, there will be a vintage vehicle parade along the beach at around 11.30am following a memorial service at the Assault Training Center site.

Devon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony GussinDevon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony Gussin

Aircraft will land on the beach on both days, and there will be a battle re-enactment of the taking of a Normandy beach at 3.30pm each day.

Throughout the weekend, there will be period music from The Liberty Sisters, too.

In between displays, visitors will be able to wander the 'Little Normandy' installation of beach defences, and visit the Allied and German camps and the interactive Battle of Britain War Room.

The event is a little later than usual this year, as most of the living-history groups and vehicles will be marking the 75th anniversary in France.

Some of the scenes from Devon D-Day 2018 at Saunton over the weekend. Picture: Shaun DerrySome of the scenes from Devon D-Day 2018 at Saunton over the weekend. Picture: Shaun Derry

EVENT TIMES

SATURDAY (approximate, subject to change)

11am: Liberty Sisters, live music

Devon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony GussinDevon D-Day 2018 at Saunton Sands. Picture: Tony Gussin

11.30am: Vintage vehicle parade. Vehicle parade up the beach from the Burrows to arrive at Saunton end of the beach.

12.15pm: Liberty Sisters

1.15pm: Aircraft landing. Planes will land on the beach, times approx.

1.30pm: Liberty Sisters

2.15pm: Aircraft depart

2.30pm: Liberty Sisters

3.30pm: Major battle display, involving the storming of Little Normandy defences by 100-plus re-enactors.

8pm: Liberty Sisters at the Beachside Grill

SUNDAY

11am: Liberty Sisters

12.30pm: Liberty Sisters

1.45pm: Aircraft landing

2.15pm: Liberty Sisters

2.45pm: Aircraft depart

3.30pm: Major battle display, involving the storming of Little Normandy by 100-plus re-enactors.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

A park and ride will be signposted on the road between Braunton and Saunton. Buses for Stagecoach Service 21 will be running from Barnstaple to Georgeham on both days, stopping at Saunton Sands, Croyde Ruda and Croyde Bridge.

The first bus from Barnstaple on Saturday is at 8.43am at the bus station and then 18 and 38 minutes past the hour until 5.38pm. Return buses leave Saunton Sands at 29 and 59 past the hour until 6.29pm.

On Sunday, the first bus leaves Barnstaple at 9.20am and the last bus leaves Saunton at 6.53pm. For the full timetable go to www.sauntondday.co.uk

Visit https://sauntondday.co.uk or go to the Saunton D-Day Facebook page for more event times and travel information.