D-Day: Peterborough to mark 80th anniversary of Normandy landings with beacon-lighting ceremony outside Town Hall

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Poignant occasion will give all Peterborians an opportunity to honour the ‘huge sacrifice of those who helped to liberate France all those years ago’

Peterborough City Council has announced plans to hold a special ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day today.

The authority has extended an invitation to one and all to attend a night-time beacon-lighting ceremony outside the Town Hall on Thursday, June 6.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Newly-elected Mayor of Peterborough Councillor Marco Cereste said he hoped plenty of people would turn out to remember those who – in the often paraphrased words of John Maxwell Edmonds – ‘gave their tomorrows so that we might have our todays.’

A poignant beacon-lighting ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day will take place in Peterborough city centre on Thursday June 6.(image: Getty).A poignant beacon-lighting ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day will take place in Peterborough city centre on Thursday June 6.(image: Getty).
A poignant beacon-lighting ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day will take place in Peterborough city centre on Thursday June 6.(image: Getty).

“Please come along and pay your respects if you can,” he implored.

“This is an important opportunity to mark the historic event and the huge sacrifice of those who helped to liberate France all those years ago.”

The ceremony will see Peterborough joining other villages, towns and cities in a nationwide initiative to remember the fallen by lighting beacons across the country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr Cereste, who will read a tribute at the service, believes gathering as a community to reflect on such significant turning points in our collective history is vital:

“It’s essential that we continue to mark occasions such as these,” he said, “and this commemoration promises to be a fitting way to do just that.”

A commemorative service will be given by Canon George Rogers after the beacon lighting.

Launched on June 6, 1944, D-Day, was the largest amphibious invasion in history. ‘Operation Overlord’, as it was officially called, saw more than 7,000 ships and landing craft crewed by over 195,000 naval personnel from eight allied countries deliver almost 133,000 troops from the British Commonwealth, the USA and their allies onto five beaches in Normandy, France.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The aim of the operation was simple – to liberate north-west Europe from Nazi occupation.

Though Operation Overlord was ultimately a success, the cost was truly great.

Nearly 37,000 Allied ground forces and 16,000 air force personnel lost their lives taking Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, and in the long and bloody campaign which followed.

The beacon-lighting ceremony, which will be held in conjunction with the Peterborough Branch of the Royal British Legion, will start at 9.15pm on June 6.