Camp D7 at Dorchester Pundbury had a total capacity of 3,300 personnel and 480 vehicles. The camp was also the headquarters of Marshalling Area D. This very large camp was sited to the north of the B3150 Bridport Road, and stretched from the Grove in the east to St Johns Way in the west. In the weeks leading up to D-Day, the troop camps of Marshalling Area ‘D’ mainly held US forces who embarked around Weymouth.
Troops were based at many of these camps for weeks or even several months before D-Day. At the end of May, the camps were sealed, meaning that the troops inside were not allowed to leave. This was a step to minimise the risk that enemy spies – or the British public – might realise that D-Day was drawing very near. From 31 May onwards, and according to a highly detailed timetable, troops began to make their way down to the coast and embark onto the ships and landing craft that would take them to Normandy. Vehicles were often loaded earlier, and troops on foot embarked only just before D-Day. Once the troops landing on D-Day itself had left the camps, forces who would be landing on subsequent days took their place, forming a steady stream moving down towards the south coast that in many places continued for months. Later on, some of the camps were reused for other purposes, such as for holding enemy prisoners of war.
|Address||Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2NQ, UK|
|Location type||Troop Camp|
|Site Ownership and Access Information||The site is now under housing and other buildings.|
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