Standard bearers at the Torquay Day event

Remembering our war heroes

Torbay Weekly

Torbay’s annual D-Day commemoration service has been held with the pledge: “It will continue.”

The service was held on the D-Day landing slipways at Torquay harbourside and was attended by Torbay MP Kevin Foster, local councillor Nicole Amil, former Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver, and British Legion members

‘Mr Normandy Vet’ Tony Rider, who died aged 91, refused to let the commemoration services fade away.

Several years ago there was a move to  stop holding the annual June 6 service as the number of Normandy Veterans taking part dwindled.

But Mr Rider – Torbay born and bred – was determined to keep the event going.

Mr Oliver said: “I worked very closely with Tony for a long time. I was talking to him the day before he died. His son Richard is carrying things on. He laid the groundwork for this year’s event and prepared all the paper work.

“We had a successful event. I opened proceedings with a history of the event and wreaths were laid. Standard bearers were also there. Sadly, no Normandy vets are still around but we must never let this recognition and remembrance slip.”

The concrete slipways were used by thousands of US servicemen embarking on landing craft for  the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944.

* Respects are being paid to Cpl Jeremy Smith on June 11 at the Princess Gardens in Torquay (11am).

Cpl Smith died in action in the Falklands on June 11, 1982.   At discussed at a meeting of the Torquay branch of the Royal British Legion it was decided that he branch will parade with the Standard and ‘Last Post’ will be sounded at 11am, followed by a two-minute silence. A bugler will also attend. Those wishing to attend should gather no later than 10.45 a.m.

Cpl Smith was born in Torquay and educated in the town. He was a member of 200 (Torquay) Squadron Air Training Corps before joining the Royal Marines. His family later moved to Buckland Monachorum where he is buried.