In pictures: How Peterborough and Cambs marked 80th anniversary of D-Day

People across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire came together to remember legacy of Overlord heroes at community gatherings, intimate ceremonies and civic events

As world leaders and heads of state gathered to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France, people across our region commemorated the landmark occasion in ceremonies and gatherings of their own.

While some events were civic-minded and communal, and others were more intimate and modest, all were reflective, poignant and reverential.

In the evening, Peterborians gathered outside the Town Hall to join in with a nationwide beacon-lighting ceremony.

Mayor of Peterborough Councillor Marco Cereste read a moving tribute honouring the legacy of all those who had fallen to defend the vital freedoms we all enjoy today.

Canon George Rogers also gave a commemorative service after the beacon was lit.

Earlier in the day, in Peterborough’s Eastfield Cemetery, a small service of thanks and remembrance was held for Private Cyril Albert Goodwin, a young Peterborough soldier who was fatally wounded while advancing with his comrades to take Sword beach on that fateful day in 1944.

Family members, military veterans, civic dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion were among those who paid their respects. Cyril’s niece, Cyrilla – named after her courageous uncle – spoke movingly, saying:

“No loved ones stood around him to hear his last farewell; no word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.”

At New Shire Hall in Alconbury, members of Cambridgeshire County Council gathered to raise a flag commemorating the 80th anniversary, and paused to remember “the sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.”

Commemorations are set to continue on Saturday (June 8) when Peterborough Yacht Club will sail a flotilla of boats down the River Nene to honour the Normandy heroes in their own unique way.

Scores of boats will take to the water at Orton Mere just after 8.30am, then gather near the Asda footbridge by 12.50pm to sail as a convoy under Town Bridge at 1.30pm.

If the flotilla looks as impressive as the spectacle the club put on for King Charles’ Coronation and Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee then it certainly promises to be quite a sight.

Browse our gallery to see more.

Related topics: