Services held to mark 77th anniversary of D-Day landings

D-Day service

D-Day service at Torquay - Credit: Submitted

Veterans, civic leaders and the public gathered to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The ceremony on Torquay harbourside also included a memorial service for Tony Rider, the well-known  Normandy veteran who died last year aged 91.

Tony devoted his life to championing the Bay’s and country’s war veterans. He was most remembered for his work with the Normandy Veterans' Association, the annual D-Day commemoration services, saving the D-Day embarkation slipways at Torquay harbour and visiting local schools to make sure our younger generation would never forget the sacrifices made by our wartime heroes.

Torquay businessman Lionel Digby was the local NVA's standard bearer at the ceremony. Former Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver also attended along with Royal British Legion members and Veterans.

D-Day service standard bearer

Standard bearer Lionel Digby - Credit: Submitted

Over in Dartmouth a special anniversary service was conducted by the Britannia Royal Naval College Chaplain, the Reverend Keith Robus, at the D-Day Memorial on the Embankment.

The memorial commemorates the sailing from Dartmouth on 3rd June, 1944, of an amphibious force of 485 ships of the Royal Navy to take part in the liberation of the oppressed countries of Western Europe.

Civic leader lays D-Day wreath

Hilary Bastone lays a wreath - Credit: Submitted

During the service wreaths were laid by Captain Roger Redwin, RN, of Britannia Royal Naval College; Graham Webb, the Mayor of Dartmouth; and Hilary Bastone representing the LST and Landing Craft Association.

Naval leader lays memorial wreath

Captain Roger Redwin - Credit: Submitted

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The event was well attended and included members of the LST & Landing Craft Association, the Old Dartmothians Association, RNLI, ex-military personnel and members of the public.

Mayor laying memorial wreath

Dartmouth Mayor Graham Webb - Credit: Contributed