"I think its a magical garden, I love it" Alice, aged 9

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:

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

An epic promenade show performed through the garden. Based on the true stories from the thousands of US troops who left from Trebah’s beach and the local residents who witnessed it.

Chewing gum, doughnuts, new nylons and thousands of smoothtalking, 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 commemorates the 75th anniversary of DDay with the compelling story of an American GI’s experience of Cornwall at war.

Tickets are priced at £16 for adults and £8 for children under 16. Trebah Members receive a 10% discount. This performance takes place on foot around the garden. Please call Trebah before booking your ticket to discuss any accessibility needs.

BOOK NOW online or call 01736 810181

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.

DDay Exhibition
1-30 June

Trebah’s central exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of Trebah & Mawnan Smith’s involvement in DDay.

Curated by Charlotte O’Leary, the writer of Trebah’s epic promenade performance piece for 2019 “Operation Neptune”, the exhibition will focus on the impact the arrival of American troops had on Falmouth and Mawnan Smith in the build up to DDay on 6 June 1944.
The exhibition will include:
• A locally created diorama (scenic model) depicting, in overwhelming detail, how Polgwidden Cove (now Trebah Beach) looked in 1944
• Footage taken by the US Army of Falmouth and Mawnan Smith between 1943 and 1944
• Recreated radio recordings based on local West Briton articles
• A glimpse into the lives of the 29th Infantry division who embarked from Polgwidden Cove: where they were from, how they trained and what happened after they left Cornwall
• Local stories of bombing raids, evacuees, chewing gum, US army rations and more

The exhibition will be on display in Trebah’s Visitor Centre during our normal opening hours and will be free of charge (no garden entry ticket necessary).

DDay History talk
9 May 7pm

An informative talk by former regular soldier and civil servant in the Ministry of Defence, Roderick De Normann.
To coincide with the publication of his fourth book, “Operation Overlord - Cornwall & Preparation for the DDay Landings”, Roderick De Normann will give a detailed and informative talk about when and how the Americans prepared for DDay in Falmouth and the surrounding area.

The talk will last approximately one hour and will take place in the Visitor Centre. Tickets are limited and priced at £5 per person (no concessions). Tickets must be pre-booked at the Welcome Desk or by calling 01326 252200.

Operation Bolero
1 June 10-11am & 1-2pm 8 June 10-11am & 1-2pm

A chance to experience a 360° micro-film, set in Mawnan in 1943, on a Virtual Reality headset.
In partnership with Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre and Youth Dance, Trebah has created a five minute long 360° film entitled, “Operation Bolero”. The film recreates three short scenes from the 1940s and the stories, played out by the authentically costumed cast of over fifty, are based on real events that happened in the local area during WWII.
The film has already been shown to many local residents and individuals living in care homes across Falmouth as a starting point for conversations about “life in Cornwall during WWII”. These conversations were used to inform the script for, “Operation Neptune” Trebah’s epic promenade performance piece for 2019.
Anyone is welcome to come and view “Operation Bolero” in our Visitor Centre on one of our two pop-up days. This event is free of charge.

Operation Starfish
Various Dates

Installations from 11 schools across Cornwall will be on display in the Visitor Centre and garden. Schools will also come together in the amphitheatre to perform their own show inspired by the US 29th Infantry leaving from Polgwidden Beach (now Trebah Beach).

Trebah’s Creative Education Co-ordinator, Sarah Waller, is leading a series of projects in schools across Cornwall. Along with a team of professional artists children will create “Gas Mask Memory Boxes”, “Ammunition Box Films”, “Washing Line Poetry” and create their own performance piece for the amphitheatre.

Installations will be on display 25 May-16 June Performances will be in the afternoon on 6&7 June
Installations based in the Visitor Centre are free for anyone to view and garden installations are free with garden entry. The performance is unticketed and you do not need to reserve a space in advance however priority will be given to parents and carers of the children involved.