D-Day marshalling area camps C18, C19, C20 and C21, Southampton Common

AddressSouthampton SO16 7AG, UK
Location typeTroop Camp
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access InformationThe camps were in the northern part of the Common, north of the Model Yachting Pond. The area has public access.
Contact detailsSee Southampton Common website for more details.

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These four camps on Southampton Common had a total capacity of 8,500 men and 1,000 vehicles. The camps of Marshalling Area C were mainly located to the north of Southampton. Many of the Allied troops who camped in this area embarked for Normandy from that city’s docks.

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.

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map