Unfair criticism over D-Day commemorations

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Councillor Charlton’s criticism of Newhaven Town Council’s failure to hold a commemoration service on D-Day seems a bit unfair (letters, June 13).

It may be that, as I have not seen it reported in the press, he was not aware of the service held at Newhaven Fort on June 6.

A very moving service was conducted by Reverend Martin Miller at Newhaven Fort in the presence of two veterans of the landings. The service was affended by the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the Chair of East Sussex County Council and Mayors of Lewes District including the Mayor of Newhaven Councillor Judith Ost.

The speech of welcome was made by me in my capacity of Chair of Lewes District Council.

We were all moved by the reading of the Exhortation and Kohima prayer in memory of his friends and comrades by Mr Patrick Kent, who landed at Sword Beach. The performance of the Last Post by Heidi Watkins was evocative of the whole commemoration.

The service ended with the children of Harbour primary school in Newhaven and Lancing Preparatory School in Hove singing popular wartime songs.

Newhaven Town Council is no stranger to honouring those that have served the country. Its annual commemoration of the Dieppe landings is evidence of that. On this occasion, the event was hosted by Lewes District Council because the service took place at Newhaven Fort which is the responsibility of Lewes District Council.

I hope this puts Councillor Charlton’s mind at rest.

Cllr Tony Nicholson

Chair, Lewes District Council, Seaford