New Themed Route explores the 100th Bombardment Group, the ‘Masters of the Air’ 

With the release of the new ‘Masters of the Air’ series on Apple TV, the Foundation,  LRE UK and partners have created a new Liberation Route Europe themed walk in Norfolk, East Anglia. It will be of no surprise to those who have been eagerly awaiting the series, that this new 6km (4 miles) Themed Route focuses on Thorpe Abbots, or Station 139 as it was designated by the United States Army Air Force. The trail provides an opportunity to delve into the past and explore the remnants of a once-bustling airfield.  

The 100th Bombardment Group, Station 139, Thorpe Abbots Themed Route encompasses concrete remnants, old roads, perimeter tracks, and a public highway, offering walkers a glimpse into the daily lives of air and ground crews during World War II. The route intersects the former runways, providing an immersive experience as hikers follow in the wheel tracks of the legendary B-17 Flying Fortresses aircraft.   

With over 2,000 personnel stationed there, Station 139, Thorpe Abbots was not just a military base but a thriving community that played a pivotal role during the ‘Friendly Invasion’. The Themed Route unveils the scale of the site, showcasing the purpose of various facilities and infrastructure. From accommodations to dispersal pans and the former runway, visitors can learn the stories of those who served and local civilians who witnessed wartime activities.  

The 100th Bombardment Group Memorial Museum is a recommended starting point for the themed walk. It houses an impressive collection of original artefacts and interpretation panels. The meticulously restored control tower, including the glass house on top, offers a panoramic view of the former airfield, providing context to the site’s historical significance during WWII.  

“This Themed Route marks the beginning of LRE UK’s development into East Anglia,” says Ben Mayne, LRE UK Director “and what better occasion to launch the new walk than the release of the “Master of the Air” series? It offers a great opportunity for people to learn about the airfield and surrounding area, the crews that worked here and who flew from here (some never returning), and the civilian perspective of the Friendly Invasion. This is just one airfield from East Anglia’s WW2 history and heritage, and we want to help remember what happened.

Pitch your project at the LRE Member Seminar 2024

As we eagerly anticipate the LRE Forum from February 26 to 29, 2024, in Aachen, Germany, we are excited to provide a sneak peek into one of its pivotal event—the Member Seminar. This gathering offers LRE Foundation members a platform to listen to the Foundation’s updates, showcase their best practices, present their projects, and engage in a thematic session centered around the 80th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Scheduled for the morning of February 27, the Member Seminar stands as an opportunity for our LRE Foundation members to shine a spotlight on their accomplishments and ongoing initiatives. Attendees will have the chance to take the stage, sharing their noteworthy achievements, ongoing remembrance projects, and special plans for commemorating the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2024. Registration for this event is still open for the Foundation’s members at this link.

A significant segment of the Member Seminar will be devoted to a thematic session focused on the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II. Entitled “The 80th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War – A Remembrance and Commemorative Crossroad,” this session will be moderated by Rémi Praud, the Managing Director of LRE Foundation and will feature international hosts, including:

  • Simon Bendry, Head of Education and Engagement, Commonwealth War Graves Commission – UK
  • Femke Klein, Coordinator of Programme 80 Years of Freedom, Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei (National Committee 4 and 5 May) – The Netherlands
  • Dirk Backen, Secretary General, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission) – Germany
  • Łukasz Kukawski, Head of Education and Visitor Center – Museum and Memorial in Sobibór – Poland

To make the Forum more interactive, we have included a Q&A session, providing attendees with the opportunity to engage directly with our hosts and delve deeper into the topics discussed.

If you are interested in pitching your project, please reach out to us at

“In the Footsteps of History “– The new podcast series of the Liberation Route Europe

We are delighted to finally release our latest Liberation Route Europe project initiative – the Podcast Series “In the Footsteps of History“. This new audio experience is designed to accompany listeners on their journey along the most fascinating and historically relevant landmarks on the Liberation Route, helping them immerse themselves in the WWII history of remembrance sites across Europe. 

Together with the French audio production company natif. and thanks to the contributions and support of the LRE network, we have created a new format for historical reflection and learning. The podcast uses a lively soundtrack to illustrate the wartime experience in various forms. From the sofa or on location, the podcast allows listeners to immerse themselves in the rich WWII history around us. The podcast is designed to be a companion for those hiking or biking along the trails and actively exploring the remembrance sites and as a documentary for those who want to experience it from the comfort of their homes.

In the first five episodes of the series, listeners are transported to Bastogne and some of its numerous Second World War sites, where they are immersed in the conflict through conversations with historians, eyewitnesses and through the extracts of stories and letters from people who lived through that time.

Hosted by the British journalist Rich Woodruff, the Bastogne series takes listeners on a historical journey through time. Along the way, the experience is enriched by interviews with Peter Schrijvers, Historian and curator of the Liberation Garden Museum in LeopoldsburgMathieu Billa, Director of the Bastogne War Museum, and Henry Mignon, an eyewitness of the battle. Additionally, the podcast includes the story of a German soldier and the nurse Renée Lemaire, offering a diverse engagement with the events in Bastogne from different perspectives.

We’re happy to welcome this new addition to our Liberation Route Europe project and look forward to seeing it grow, covering more stories and remembrance sites across Europe.

If you want to dive into the podcast, you can find the first episodes on the major streaming platforms.

Read more about the project and how to get involved at

Register now for the LRE Forum 2024 in Aachen 

Registration for the LRE Forum 2024 is now open. Register now to attend the LRE Foundation’s annual event, which will be held from the 26th to the 29th of February in Aachen, the first German city liberated during WWII. 

The four-day programme – organized by the LRE Foundation in cooperation with LRE Germany and LRE NRW – is designed to provide a varied range of activities for all attendees, including our members, partners, and tourism stakeholders. This includes dynamic panel discussions on contemporary subjects in WWII history and remembrance as well as various networking opportunities with organizations associated with WWII, historical tourism, cultural heritage, and international travel. 

The LRE Member Seminar on February 27 provides an opportunity for members to gather, exchange best practices, and receive Foundation updates. Following that, the LRE Conference has a diverse lineup of speakers, keynotes, panel discussions, and interviews delving into different methods for dealing with the complex legacy of World War II persecution. In the evening, the LRE Gala dining event serves as a valuable networking opportunity for Foundation members, key partners, and sponsors. 

February 28 will begin with the LREXPO, an annual exposition for remembering tourism that allows representatives from museums, memorial sites, cities, and regions to meet directly with travel industry stakeholders from Europe and North America. To complete the LRE Forum 2024, arranged site visits to some of the most notable historical locations in Aachen and its surroundings, including journeys to Vogelsang and the Hürtgen Forest, are offered. 

Take part in the LRE Forum 2024, register now here

Should you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to reach out to

A new LREF body is brought to life: The Member’s Council  

On Wednesday, 11 October 2023 a selected array of representatives of the LRE Foundation member organisations came together to hold the first Member’s Council Meeting. In total thirteen members joined online, representing organisations from eight countries including the UK. 

The Member’s Council is an advisory body of the LRE Foundation recently established by the International Supervisory Board. It aims to give the Foundation’s members a representation in the organisation’s decision-making process. The Council enables the representatives to give feedback on current LREF programs, contribute to LREF strategies and conceptualize common projects. It is composed of at least one representative per country in which the LRE Foundation has one member organisation. If the country has more than one member organisation, at least two representatives will be welcomed.  

In the meeting, all the present representatives were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and get to know each other. In several rounds of discussion, the members shared their opinions and ideas on the composition of the Council, the possibility of a rotation system of mandates as well as deciding on the format and structure of future meetings. 

What became once again clear is that the experiences and perspectives of the represented organisations and countries on the Second World War and Liberation are very multifaceted, which should be reflected in the bodies functioning. To contribute to the diversity of the Council, the Members intend to form several Working Groups, organised based on their expertise, priorities, and current projects in such fields.  

By common agreement, it was decided to hold the next Members Council meeting during the LRE Forum in Aachen from 26 to 29 February next year to discuss further steps.

We are thrilled to finally kick off the Member’s Council.“, says Rémi Praud, Managing Director of the LRE Foundation. “This is a great opportunity for us to get a more in-depth collaboration with our member organisations and countries. We are looking forward to receiving some feedback on our recent programs and initiating some new joint projects. Furthermore, the regular meetings will also strengthen our network, as we will have the opportunity to see each other more often and exchange information.

Europe Remembers in Sicily for the 80th Anniversary of the Allied Landings

July 9 marked the significant milestone of 80 years since the Allied troops launched the landings in Sicily, signalling the start of the Italian campaign and the liberation of Europe from Nazi and Fascist control. On the occasion of this historic event, the LRE Foundation was in Sicily, presenting the new Europe Remembers campaign in Licata and attending numerous commemorative events.

Building on the success of the previous edition, which honoured the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, Europe Remembers is back with new communication and activation campaigns. These initiatives aim to promote and raise awareness about the rich history and heritage of WWII alongside the upcoming commemorative events and exhibitions spanning across Europe.   

To lay the groundwork for the new campaign, the LRE Foundation was in Sicily the second week of July, actively participating in a variety of events and commemorative ceremonies centred on the Allied Landings. Moreover, the LREF team visited museums and historical locations that are inextricably related to the end of WWII with the aim of shooting videos and creating content for the Europe Remembers online campaign. Among these important sites are the Catania Landing Museum, the German War Cemetery Motta St. Anastasia, and the Catania and Syracuse Commonwealth War Cemeteries, which tell the story of the landings in Sicily and the sacrifices made by many to regain the lost freedom.  

The Europe Remembers campaign was presented in Licata on July 10 during a special event organized by the municipality of Licata, the association Memento, and the Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.   

Watch the new video about the Allied landings in Sicily on Europe Remember’s social media and follow the campaign on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter to stay up to date! 

LRE Foundation signs Memorandums of Understanding with Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers (UK)

As the LRE UK national branch continues to grow, we are pleased to welcome two new partners: Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum and Lincolnshire Ramblers! Both organisations are based in Lincolnshire, where we are developing a new section of the Liberation Route Europe Trails highlighting the countys rich Second World War aviation history. 

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum is a superb location to learn about the history of RAF Cranwell, a nearby Royal Air Force base which played a key role during the War. With aircraft to view, a simulator, and many artefacts and exhibits, the museum offers an engaging way to learn about aviation history. The first step in our collaboration will be the integration of the museum into the Liberation Route Europe Trails network, which will pass through the village of Cranwell, signposting visitors to the museum. 

“As an area very much at the heart of the mission to liberate Europe through airborne operations, I am very proud and pleased that the District will be a part of this Europe-wide project to remember the past, to create a better future.”, says Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council which operates Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum. “Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum acts as a focal point for North Kesteven’s rich aviation heritage and celebrates more than a century of training at the adjacent RAF College Cranwell of many prestigious airmen who were very much a part of that liberation journey. The museum is a very proud partner in this exciting project. With Cranwell at its south, the International Bomber Command Centre at the north and an extensive trail of historic and still-operational airfields in between – many of them Bomber Command bases in support of the Liberation advance – the extent of North Kesteven’s aviation heritage is unsurpassed.”  

Lincolnshire Area Ramblers, part of The Ramblers, a UK national walking and campaigning charity, are an invaluable partner in the development of the Lincolnshire Liberation Route. Their support and expertise in connecting local sites of interest via the best hiking trails are hugely appreciated, given the county’s vast network of trails and roads. Thanks to their local knowledge, walkers will be able to explore the local Second World War history as they pass through the wonderful Lincolnshire countryside. 

“Lincolnshire Ramblers are proud to be a partner with the LRE Foundation. Lincolnshire has many locations with connections to the Second World War conflict and the newly-devised trail will link many of these, bringing to life the realities of the war. It will also give visitors the opportunity to explore the delights of Lincolnshire, with its golden beaches, beautiful countryside and attractive market towns.” – Geoff Mullett, Chair of Lincolnshire Ramblers. 

The new Europe Remembers event registration platform is online!

We are excited to announce the launch of the new Europe Remembers collaborative web platform aimed to bring together a diverse range of events and commemorations linked to the 80th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. With a user-friendly interface and streamlined process, event organisers can now easily upload their event details to the platform for them to be displayed and promoted on the Europe Remembers website.

Europe Remembers returns with a brand-new website and communication campaign to raise awareness around the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II, remembering the lessons it imparted and promoting the many commemorations and events organised around Europe. Building on the success of the previous edition for the 75th anniversary, the campaign will kick off in July 2023, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Landings in Sicily. From there, Europe Remembers will continue throughout 2024 and 2025, when commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the end of the war will take place.

The Europe Remembers collaborative website, which will be launched in July, is one of the pillars of the initiative and aims to become a one-stop destination for the public to find information about the events that will take place across Europe, which might be hard to find juggling between various websites and different languages. In addition to offering an overview of commemorations and exhibitions, the website will also provide a wealth of inspiring content related to remembrance sites, stories, and news connected to WWII memory and cultural heritage.

The newly launched registration platform is a first step in the direction of building a collaborative and international community around the memory of WWII. The platform offers cultural organisations and institutions dedicated to this topic an easy way to add their events on the website, where they will be made accessible to a wide international audience. In addition to basic visibility, project partners and campaign supporters will receive dedicated promotional tools, and their events will receive special promotional attention on the website.

To register your organisation and/or your events, click here.

If you would like to join us or organise your own Europe Remembers campaign, contact us at europe-remembers@lre-foundation.orgFor more information, visit our website

Two press trips to promote the Liberation Route Europe

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, the LRE Foundation, with the help of Bart Giepmans from Eastbound PR, organised two press trips to promote the Liberation Route Europe. Journalists from various newspapers in Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands took part in the two journeys. 

The first press trip began on April 23 in Portsmouth, where the group, guided by LRE UK Director Ben Mayne, visited museums such as the LRE Foundation member D-Day Story, memorials, and landmarks associated with the preparation for D-Day on the Liberation Route hiking trail connecting London and Southampton. The journalists then travelled to Normandy with LRE France Director Isabelle Lebreton to visit some of the sites on the D-Day beaches-themed route, including the Juno Beach Centre and the D-Day Landings Museum in Arromanches, among others. The trip concluded on April 28 in Jersey, where Visit Jersey and Jersey Heritage welcomed the group that had a chance to visit some of the main sites along the two Liberation Route Europe themed routes on the island. 

The second press trip took the journalists on a historical tour of the Luxembourg and Belgian Ardennes, visiting sites connected with the Liberation Route Europe themed route dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge, including the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch and the Bastogne War Museum.  This second trip concluded on May 5 in Germany, where the group visited some parts of the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest themed route, such as the Vogelsang Complex, as well as some points of interest in Remagen.

“The two press trips, which were funded by the German Foreign Office, were an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the Liberation Route Europe project and the values it represents.” says Gert-Jan Jacobs, LREF Press and Communication Advisor, “We are grateful for the LRE Foundation network’s collaboration in supporting such cultural and tourism initiatives. A special mention goes to the guides that took us along the route, their contribution was crucial for the realisation of these trips. We hope that the media attention generated by these press trips will introduce the Liberation Route Europe to new audiences from a broad range of countries.” 

We would like to express our appreciation to our partners who provided support throughout these trips: The D-Day Story, Brittany Ferries, Normandie Tourisme, Région Normandie, Visit Jersey, Jersey Heritage, Juno Beach Centre, the Luxembourg General Directorate for Tourism, the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, Bastogne War Museum, the Vogelsang complex,  Remagen.