When I saw the letter last week about the absence of a D-Day commemoration in Newhaven, I thought perhaps I had been dreaming.
I had a clear picture in my head of attending a remembrance service at Newhaven Fort on June 6. I gave the exhortation and a group of beautifully behaved children from Harbour School sang us some wartime songs.
I checked with others, who I remembered had been there, and they confirmed it was not a dream, it did happen.
There are a number of other commemoration events to follow this year.
Plans are well underway for remembrance of the start of World War I and include:
June 28 – all vessels in the harbour to sound their sirens at 5pm to mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand – the incident which sparked the war. All vessels will fly their flags at half-mast all day.
August 10 – 11.30am Commemoration Service at St Michael’s Church.
August 21-23 – Newhaven Fort – recreation of an original World War I play “The Better ‘Ole” (or “The Romance of Old Bill”)
Two giant poppies to be installed at Newhaven Fort, one facing the sea, one facing the town.
The commemoration of the Dieppe Raid will take place this year at 3pm on Sunday August 10 in Newhaven and, as ever, on the day of the raid itself, August 19 in Dieppe.
The Armistice will be remembered on Sunday November 9 in the usual way.
Readers may also be interested to know that there is a new permanent exhibition at the Fort remembering the International Brigade, many of whom left through Newhaven to oppose facism in Spain in what some think of as being the opening stages of the second world war.
Mayor of Newhaven