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Light of Peace for D-Day

Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire and Woodley Town Council Mayor honour D-Day with a blazing Light of Peace

Woodley Town Council hosted a special D-Day 80th Anniversary Picnic in the Park to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

We were delighted to see Woodford Park filled with hundreds of people who gathered to remember those involved in the D-Day Landings 80 years ago. 

The crowds were entertained by swing and jazz music from the era, played by The Hipcats, with circus entertainment for the younger ones from Circus Scene and face painting by Your Face or Mine?

The event was officially opened by Woodley Town Crier, Tony Roper, who welcomed everyone and read out the official Town Crier Tribute. 

Speeches

At 9pm, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mr Richard Anderson, and Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Juliet Anderson, were accompanied on stage by the Wokingham Borough Mayor, Cllr Adrian Mather, Woodley Town Crier, Tony Roper, and Woodley Town Council Town Clerk, Kevin Murray. 

“What a special day today is and what an amazing and special occasion D-Day was for the world because that was the largest armada that has ever been put together in the history of all of the countries. I’m very fortunate that my father landed on Sword Beach D+ 30 minutes with the Canadians. He was in the Royal Artillery and, because of that, I have got his beret here and I am going to wear that right now,” said Mr Anderson. This was accompanied by a round of applause as he placed the beret on his head.

Also wearing his father’s medals, Mr Anderson then talked about a visit to Sword Beach with his father and some of the stories his father shared with him of the landings, including some very near misses from bombs.

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Juliet Anderson, followed this by thanking Mr Anderson for his speech and commenting that, for her, the most moving aspect of the D-Day commemorations had been to hear so many personal accounts and stories. 

Cllr Anderson also thanked the Town Crier for opening the event and also thanked the residents of Woodley for attending the event and being part of the community of Woodley. 

“It is a privilege to represent the people of Woodley as Woodley Town Mayor to honour those who sacrificed so much at the D-Day landings and beyond to end World War II. 

80 years ago, on 6 June 1944, over 156,000 naval, airborne and ground Allied troops of many nationalities under British, Canadian, and American commands landed on the Normandy beaches. This marked the beginning of the liberation of France and the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. The sheer scale of the attack and the loss of life is quite incomprehensible.”

Cllr Anderson also commented on Woodley’s role in World War II: “Woodley had a pivotal role in World War II, as a base for Elementary Flying Training School courses. Indeed, there are several road names related to this, in particular, Bader Way, named after Douglas Bader who was a wartime pilot.”

“We will shortly light the Beacon in line with others across the nation as a celebration of the Light of Peace that emerged out of the darkness of war, remembering and honouring those who fought at the D-Day landings and all of those who volunteered, sacrificed, served, fought and died for our freedom,” she added.

Light of Peace

The speeches were followed by Mr Anderson and Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Juliet Anderson, lighting the Beacon at 9.15pm alongside the rest of the nation, representing the Light of Peace. This was followed by sounds of gun fire and the National Tribute, read by Woodley Town Deputy Clerk, Matthew Filmore. 

Thanks

We would like to thank everyone who came to the event to pay their respects and honour those who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Our particular thanks go to Mr Richard Anderson, Cllr Adrian Mather and Tony Roper for their attendance and contribution. 

We would also like to thank the food and drink stalls for providing delicious refreshments, alongside our entertainers and band. 

Photos and videos

Video footage of the event will be available on our YouTube channel.

We were also lucky to have Woodley Photographic Club in attendance taking photos and we will be publishing these next week. 

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