Blue plaque unveiled to commemorate Eisenhower caravan stay

Commemorating an historic stay for Dwight D Eisenhower
Commemorating an historic stay for Dwight D Eisenhower

Wednesday, 22, Jul 2020 02:35

By Emma Dodd

A new blue plaque has been unveiled in Somerset, which commemorates a time when Dwight D Eisenhower stayed in a caravan on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare.

The year was 1944 and Eisenhower was not yet president of the United States, but he did have a very important role and one that led him to visit the seaside town.

It was towards the end of World War Two and he was the supreme allied commander for Europe, en route to the D-Day landings in Normandy.

Weston-super-Mare was filled with American servicemen, but instead of pulling rank and demanding to stay in a hotel, Eisenhower spent the night in a caravan in Weston Woods.

His pitch was near the woods' Water Tower, but he was not alone, as other military personnel occupied vehicles under the cover of the trees and along the Toll Road.

A socially-distanced audience gathered at the spot where Eisenhower's caravan was pitched back in 1944 on August 20th to see the plaque unveiled to the public.

Under his name and rank, the plaque reads: "Camped here with American troops preparing for D-Day 1944."

It will now stay in place for visitors to Weston Woods to discover as they take a stroll and come across a little piece of world history.

Anyone taking a caravan holiday in Weston-super-Mare this summer will now be able to claim they're following in the footsteps of a man who would become US president.

Holidaymakers wishing to find out more about the blue plaques scattered around the resort can now take an audio tour of all the locations.

A spokesman for Weston Town Council told the Bristol Post: "The idea is that as you arrive at a plaque you can use your phone to access a page on our website and play the film that gives you the history of the plaque.

"This is the first stage in what we hope will become a digital walking audio guided map app."

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