Redditch, Alcester and Studley came together for 80th anniversary of D-Day - The Redditch Standard

Redditch, Alcester and Studley came together for 80th anniversary of D-Day

Redditch Editorial 14th Jun, 2024   0

THE 80th anniversary of D-Day has been marked across Redditch, Alcester and Studley with a variety of events.

The town’s Royal British Legion president Philip Jarvis and chairman Gerry Marsden met the Mayor Coun Juma Begum and other dignitaries at the Town Hall where the special D-Day 80 flag was raised.

Those gathered then journeyed down to the war memorial at Plymouth Road where a wreath-laying ceremony took place.

Among those laying wreaths were Mr Marsden, the mayor, Conservative PPC Rachel Maclean and Labour PPC Chris Bloore.

Mr Jarvis gave a brief introduction about the D-Day Landings in Normandy, including the story of Smethwick soldier Dan Brotheridge who was killed on the opening day whilst parachuting behind enemy lines to reach one of the bridges.

After the ceremony, the group marched to the Kingfisher Centre and paraded around there, along with the Church Hill-based 37 Signals, Army Cadets from Trinity High School and West Mercia Police officers.

The event concluded at the war memorial on Church Green where more wreaths were laid.

Prayers were said by Rev Paul Lawlor from nearby St Stephen’s Church. Fr Jason from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beoley Road, was there to represent the Catholic community. Refreshments were served in the Ecumenical Centre.

Mr Marsden said: “A big thank you to Nicki Farnes and the others from the Ecumenical Centre for the tea and the Three Cooks for the sandwiches.

“They all did a marvellous job.”

Then on Saturday, Mr Jarvis and others were at Redditch Library with models of some of the ships involved in the Normandy Landings – the largest air, naval and land operation in military history which began the liberation of Europe.

In Alcester there was a moving ceremony at Centenary Field, attended by dignitaries including the Mayor, Coun Mike Bowe, and High Bailiff Martin Burden who both laid wreaths.

Organised by Alcester Royal British Legion (RBL), the event on Gas House Lane was led by the ARBL president, Mike Gittus BEM and included a national proclamation by town crier David Parkes, prayers from Rev Katie Cross and the Last Post played by Vic Butler from Alcester Victoria Silver Band.

A new 80th anniversary bench was unveiled in memory of three Alcester D-Day veterans, Norman Barker, Edwin Newitt and Geoff Spires. Members of each veteran’s family were in attendance and gave a brief address detailing their war time experiences.

The ceremony ended with a rendition of the National Anthem, after which the town’s beacon was lit.

Studley’s commemorations began with a special proclamation at 8am on Millenium Green read by town crier Adrian Smith.

Mr Smith was transported to the event on a Scorpion military tank from Allelys, a heavy haulage business based on The Slough, to read the cry masterminded by D-Day Royal Pageant Master Bruno Peek.

It was simultaneously read by 170 members of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers across the country.

Mr Smith said: “It was my privilege to deliver the 80th D-Day proclamation particularly as my dad was part of the expeditionary force. I was proud to wear his medals on my livery.”

The village hall also hosted a coffee morning with the community venue patriotically decked in red, white and blue Union flags for the occasion.

The day finished with a lighting of the beacon back at Millenium Green, officiated by chair of Studley Parish Council, Coun Mike Osbourne, who read the International tribute.

The event was well-attended by members of public and parish councillors.

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