D-day landings to be celebrated in Sid Valley events

Flowers at Sidmouth War Memorial. Ref shs 33 18TI 0222. Picture: Terry Ife

Flowers at Sidmouth War Memorial. Ref shs 33 18TI 0222. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A series of events have been organised around the Sid Valley to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

On Thursday, June 6, former service personnel will march from the Market Square to the war memorial at the parish church.

The Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Old Comrades Association will be among those in attendance and will set off at 10.45am, ahead of the event at 11am.

D-Day took place on June 6, 1944, as allied forces landed on Normandy beach in one of the largest seaborne operations in history.

The Sidbury and Sidford Branch of the RBL will also honour the event with a musical concert at Sidford Social Hall on Saturday, June 8.

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Colin Kingman, former Poppy Appeal collector for the Sidbury branch, has helped to organise the event after recalling his own memories of growing up as a young boy during the D-Day landings.

Val Howels, from the branch, said: "Colin spoke at the Sidbury and Sidford Branch RBL meeting, recalling how as a small boy, American pilots servicemen were billeted in his Dorset village of Puddletown and surrounding villages prior to D-Day.

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"One day the sky was black with their aeroplanes on their way to Normandy - and the American servicemen never returned to Dorset came home again - nearly all killed.

"Colin would like those young American and all allied D-Day servicemen men to be remembered in this concert - a small tribute to those who lost their lives. He's never forgotten it.

"It was quite moving to listen to him. Over the years he has raised thousands of pounds for the RBL Poppy Appeal, supported by his wife Beryl."

Performing at the concert will be a quartet from Sidmouth Town Band, Dr Peter Fung and the Phoenix Singers, conducted by Maureen Cook. Marion Clarkson, secretary of the Sidbury branch will also read poetry.

John McGregor will be accompanying both Fiona Harvey and The Phoenix Singers.

The master of ceremonies will be Ian Harbour. Guests are asked to bring their own drinks - nibbles will be provided.

The concert will begin at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50 and are on sale at Paragon Books.

Alternatively, call 01395 579725.

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