D Day 80th Anniversary Commemorations – A Community Triumph

We hope everyone had the chance to participate in the events commemorating the 80th D-Day Anniversary over the past four days. It has been a profound time to remember and honor those who protected our freedom. The turnout from the village has been incredible, demonstrating our strong sense of community and making this tribute truly special.

We are thrilled to announce that, through the sale of dance tickets, raffle tickets, cups, and other donations, we have raised nearly £800 for the Royal British Legion!

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone involved in organizing these events. Your dedication and energy made everything possible. A huge cheer for:

  • The Core Task Force: Supported by the Parish Council, this group first met in early November last year: Tracey and Darryl Wickham, Heidi and Paul Mitchell, Nikki and Barry Fulford, Leigh Parnell, Sue and Phil Head, Lisa Smith, and Orla Checksfield.
  • Maria and Norman Fitzgerald: For their invaluable ideas, contacts, and enthusiasm.
  • Jamie Wickham: For designing and building our wonderful beacon, which will be used for future events.
  • The Coastguard Pub: For providing a stage, facilities for live entertainment, and takeaway fish and chips for National Fish and Chip Day.
  • Our Marshals: Phil Head, Hayden Smith, Amber Smith, Graham Parnell, Paul Mitchell, and Norman Fitzgerald.
  • The Royal British Legion: Led by Alan Birch and Christine Walton, for the poignant standards ceremony.
  • Mark Spratt: Our talented bugler.
  • Rebecca Simcox: For reading the tribute.
  • Clive Harding and his daughter Alex: For providing first aid and fire safety support.
  • The Craft Club: For creating beautiful bunting and a lovely collage.
  • The Village Choir: For their three wonderful performances in The Bay.
  • The Primadonna Academy of Voice: For their beautiful singing.
  • Roy Brown: For his folk songs and original music about St Margaret’s.
  • Graeme Airth: For filling the bay with graceful saxophone music.
  • John Ford: For designing and making the soldiers.
  • Ross Purchase and Phil Hoyler: For their help with balustrades and cones in the morning. But also some unexpected strimming and litter picking during their lunch break!
  • Teddy Parnell and Barry Fulford: For adding atmosphere with air raid sirens donated for the evening by The Cooks and The National Trust.
  • Our Fete Participants: amie Wickham with his sculptures, Alan Poole with his model boats, tank and shell, Nikki with her history board, Elaine Kingston and her talented daughter selling photographs and homemade bookmarks, Fred Husk with his beach art, the Craft Club selling their wares, Jess Hall & Thea Anderson selling home baked cakes with the proceeds going to the Nursery, the RNLI and Royal British Legion.
  • John Toomey: For displaying regiment flags, lighting a beacon, and providing space for one of the soldiers.
  • Military Vehicle Organizers: Monty Dixon, Mark Cheeseman, and Jamie Wickham, and of course, Lance Corporal Jones.
  • Local Businesses: The Smugglers, FirstLight, The Snack Bar, The Pines, The Village Store, and the Post Office for their support with the self-guided walk and selling commemorative cups and tickets.
  • St Margaret’s Village Players: For opening the 1940s night with a singalong.
  • Patrick M: For closing the 1940s evening with a fabulous playlist.
  • Raffle Prize Donors: Thank you to everyone who donated prizes.
  • John Kirby: For producing the self-guided walk.
  • The National Trust: For opening the Wanstone Battery and providing exclusive tours.

A huge thank you to EVERYONE who attended and made this commemoration possible through your generosity of time and talent. Special thanks to other village groups for their events:

  • The Lunch Club: For holding a D-Day lunch.
  • The Royal British Legion: For hosting a D-Day afternoon tea.
  • The Spirit of St Margaret’s: For the fabulous decorations at the top of Bay Hill.

Until we meet again, let’s cherish these memories and continue to honour those who fought for our freedom.

We are aware the pictures aren’t loading fully, our website editor is working offsite at the moment and their broadband isn’t quite up to task, but this will be resolved as soon as possible for now we hope you can see the pictures albeit in a slightly smaller format.