The Year Was 1944...

In 2024 the National Memorial Arboretum will be reflecting upon and remembering the significant events of the Second World War in 1944.

 In 1944 conflict continued to rage around the world, from the D-Day landings on 6 June, which heralded the beginning of the liberation of western Europe to the Battles of Kohima and Imphal in India that helped to turn the tide of campaigns in the Far East, 1944 was a year of seismic change.

At home continued food rationing and the evacuation of more than a million children from cities due to the terrifying threat posed by bombing raids were just two of the experiences shaping the lives of many living on the home front.  

Over the course of the year, we will be marking the anniversaries of these important events, sharing the stories of those who lived 80 years ago with a programme of events and activities.


Campaign Anniversaries


18 May – Battle of Monte Cassino

22 June – Battle of Kohima

18 July – Battle of Imphal

25 September - Operation Market Garden

8 November – Battle of the Scheldt


We’ll be marking the 80th anniversaries of these landmark events during our Daily of Act of Remembrance on the dates shown above. A wreath laying will also take place at a memorial of significance to the anniversary at 11.30am.

Visitors on an autumnal guided walk

Guided Tours and Trails

4 May - 30 September


Our guided tours and self-led trail will help to bring the stories connected with 1944 to life, and will set the scene for the anniversaries we will be marking this year.


Our tours, delivered by one of our expert volunteers, can be booked at our Welcome Desk, where you'll also be able to pick up a copy of the self-led 1944 trail. 

Guided Buggy Tour | £10 per person | 75 minutes

Guided Walking Tour | £7 per person | 75 minutes

Self-Led Trail | Free



The Year Was 1944

The Year Was 1944...

Gallery Two | Until 3 November


This new exhibition will take visitors on an immersive journey back to 1944. Visit the wartime home of the Ball family as you discover what life was like on the home front as we share the stories of those who lived during this pivotal year.  

Image featured with the Legacies of D-Day exhibition

Legacies of D-Day

Gallery Three | Until 31 August

Remembrance Centre | 31 August - 3 November


Honouring the legacy of the D-Day generation, this special exhibition commissioned by the Royal British Legion shares the personal accounts of veterans, as told by themselves or their families, accompanied by specially commissioned photographic portraits by Steve Reeves.

Exhibition | Sand Story

Gallery One Drum | Until 3 November 


Sand artist Kseniya Simonova presents a creative interpretation of D-Day and its legacy. Kseniya is an artist who manipulates sand to bring stories alive. In this specially-commissioned film, available to view in Landscapes of Life, she traces the journey of one man and his family, from the outbreak of war to the beaches and towns of Normandy and on to the present day.

Sand Stories by Kseniya Simonova