"Wonderful garden and thank you for being so dog-friendly!" A. Taylor

Operation Overlord

We are excited to announce our plans for this year’s season of exhibitions, performance and outreach work commemorating the 75th anniversary of Trebah's involvement in DDay.

In June 1944 thousands of American servicemen from the 29th US Infantry division embarked from Trebah's Beach (then called Polgwidden Cove) heading to the beaches of Normandy. They were the pawns of "the greatest show on earth" and, alongside their comrades, the force behind the liberation of Nazi-ruled Western Europe. They were the men of DDay.

Image colourised by Joshua Barrett (Painting the Past)

Trebah's commemorative programme entitled, "Operation Overlord" (the original codename for the Allied invasion of German-occupied Europe beginning in June 1944) will feature:

Operation Neptune - An epic promenade show performed through the garden based on the true stories from the thousands of American servicemen who left from our beach and the local residents who witnessed it.

Operation Starfish - A series of cultural projects created alongside local schools. The outcomes of these projects include 'young people led' short films displayed in recreated ammunition boxes; poetry written by young people in response to meetings and interviews with veterans and older adults who witnessed "Mawnan at War"; installations of miniature scenes inspired by the area during the 1940s displayed in the garden in recreated gas mask boxes and 'young people led' dance performances themed around the influence of American servicemen. Plus more!

Operation Bolero - A virtual reality project that brings together teenagers and older adults in our community who have memories of the American servicemen arriving.

An exhibition of stories, photographs and moving images showing the impact World War II had on Trebah and the local area.

A locally created diorama showing in overwhelming detail how our beach would have looked in June 1944.

More information and dates of events will be announced in the coming months. If anyone in the immediate area has information, documents or research that could be useful for the team curating this project please contact Guy at guy@trebah-garden.co.uk or call 01326 252200. This project is supported by Trebah Garden Trust, Arts Council England, Cornwall Music Hub and Rio.

Tickets are now on sale!

Tuesday 11th June - Saturday 15 June  7pm

Chewing gum, doughnuts, new nylons and thousands of smooth-talking, quick-witted soldiers. Cornwall will never forget the day the Yanks arrived!

From the warm plains of Maryland, USA to the cold coastal villages of Cornwall follow handsome and hopeful US 29th Infantry Division Technical Sgt Joe Miller on his poignant journey to the Nazi-occupied beaches of Normandy, France.

Based on remarkable real wartime experiences as well as stories recalled by the residents of Mawnan Smith, Operation Neptune celebrates the 75th anniversary of DDay with the compelling story of an American GI's experience of Cornwall at war.


Join our "Victory Choir"

We are forming a community choir as part of “Operation Neptune”! We will be singing bespoke music and creating evocative soundscapes such as bombs and planes, far from your usual choir!

There will also be a number of choir rehearsals during the build up to the performance on the following dates: Sun 12 & Sun 19 May 2pm – 4pm; Wed 22 May 6pm – 8pm & Wed 29 May 7pm – 9pm. In the weekend before the show, we will also have 2 whole day dress rehearsals on Sat 8 & Sun 9 June from 11.30am - 8.30pm alongside a full cast. The performances run from Tues 11 - Sat 15 June, we are anticipating we will need you from around 5.30pm on these day until 8.30pm, dependent on the performance as it develops.

No previous experience is necessary and anyone is welcome to join. To find out more please email esther@trebah-garden.co.uk or telephone 01326 252200.