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Written by on 27 May 2024

Newcastle-under-Lyme is playing its part in the national 80th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings.

At 9.15pm on Thursday, June 6th a beacon will be lit in Queens Gardens, Newcastle, one of many across the nation, to mark the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944.

Guests will attend a civic church service at St Giles Church at 8pm before walking to Castle House for the ceremony.

Simon Tagg, the Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “The residents of this borough have a long connection with our Armed Forces spanning centuries.

“The Second World War was an event that dominated and shaped the lives of those who lived through it: many people left this area to do their duty to help others and never returned.

“It’s only right that we properly mark the 80th anniversary of such a momentous moment and remember those who died – and also think of those who carried on having lost loved ones.”

The church service is open to the public and guests will include both Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council; the Mayor Cllr Barry Panter, who has served in the Royal Air Force; and a Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire.

Anyone wishing to view the lighting of the beacon is welcome to gather in Queens Gardens before 9.15pm.

On June 6th 1944 tens of thousands took part in what has subsequently been described as the largest combined land, air and sea military operation in history.

The successful invasion of northern France, at a time when the Germans were already fighting Russian forces in the East, paved the way for the end of the war in Europe 11 months later.

This year the main commemorative events will be taking place in Normandy and in Portsmouth.

However as well as public events, such as the beacon lighting at Queens Gardens, event organisers are offering people the opportunity to mark the anniversary in other ways. More information can be found at here.