THE date of this year’s Chalke Valley History Festival has been announced.

It takes place from June 24-30 at Church Bottom in Broad Chalke.

The festival includes talks, discussions and topical debates, plus a living history encampment, where historians bring history to life.

The Festival also boasts a range of interactive tents and activities such as SOE Commando training and Royal Signals Morse code lessons; as well as archaeology walks, vintage vehicles, and more. This summer more than 150 talks and debates will be delivered by eminent historians, writers and commentators.

Speakers already confirmed include Victoria Hislop, Michael Wood, Mariella Frostrup, Niall Ferguson, Kate Williams, Max Hastings, Elif Shafak, Ian Kershaw, Kwasi Kwateng, Neil Oliver, Antonia Fraser, Ben MacIntyre, and Olivette Otele. Plus, appearances by Ken Tout, a veteran of one of the most famous tank engagements of the Second World War, and John Jammes, French resistor and winner of the Croix de Guerre.

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings will also be marked at Chalke Valley this year, and there will be a special D-Day morning to commemorate all those who fought in the Normandy campaign. For the first time, the Festival will also be recreating a Second World War trench.

The scene will be set in late June in 1944 and members of the public will be thrown into a fly-on-the-wall scenario that will demonstrate the equipment, conditions and dangers facing British troops on the Normandy frontline.

In addition, the festival weekend will see a new programme of living history events showcasing the age of the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, right the way through to the Second World War.

The full programme is still to be announced. Tickets will go on sale on April 30. 

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