D-Day Control Centre

The D Day Control Centre, now the home of Stokes Bay Sailing Club, was built to the immediate west of the Stokes Bay Bathing Station. It consisted of a square structure supported on brick pillars with a lookout on top. In 1947 the Sailing Club accepted the tenancy of the building for an annual rent of £30. The club have since expanded the building by adding an extension to the west side. The pillars supporting the old section were enclosed forming a lower floor/basement area. Access to the lookout (now the race office) was originally by an iron ladder but now by an internal staircase. The building was given a Blue Plaque in 1966 to commemorate its significance as a last remnant of the D-Day activities at the bay, most of which have now been destroyed.

The plans for the construction of the four D Day embarkation hards at Stokes Bay, designated G1 to G4, are dated November 1943. The D Day Control Centre is not shown on the overall plan of the D Day sites nor on the more detailed one for Hard G3, which was located where the present day Bistro and Pebble Beach Cafe have been built. The plans instead indicate that the Senior Hardmaster’s Office and telephone exchange was sited in the Stokes Bay Bathing Station, together with messing facilities for 10 officers and 120 men for Hards G3 and G4. It is therefore safe to assume that the D Day Control Centre was built as a last minute necessity just prior to D Day, when the number of officers required to control the embarkation was increased.