In pictures: Heathfield and District Bonfire Society D-Day commemoration

Heathfield & District Bonfire Society (HDBS) hosted an event on June 6 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

HDBS working in association with Heathfield & Waldron Parish Council (HWPC) put on this event which included a bring your own picnic at The Half Moon Inn, then at Old Heathfield Recreation Ground there was 1940s music from Heathfield Silver Band and Katey Fraser, wartime footage, and John Rivers reading an emotive wartime account from his father-in-law, a d-day veteran.

An HDBS spokesperson said: “We would like to thank all our volunteers who were involved in the night including marshals from Rotary and the Parish Council, and all the local organisations that came together as a community. A wonderful tribute to have been involved in to pay respect to those who lost their lives so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today. We are so proud to have been a part of it.”

Andy Long provided a Centurion ARV tank, an exciting talking point amongst the Heathfield school leavers as well as the event goers.

A procession led by our Captain of Fiery Pieces Rob Baker and Vice Captain Jade Sutton with D-Day 80 fire banners, (Rob had a photo of his uncle attached to his fire banner, a touching personal tribute), followed by Bagpiper Trevor Box, HDBS Captain of Banners Thomas Keep, standard bearers from the cadets, scouts and Royal British Legion (RBL), wreath layers from many local organisations, and the procession was street lined by HDBS members, Heathfield Scouts and Heathfield Cadets.

Organisations which laid wreaths included: HWPC, HDBS, RBL, Cadets, Rotary, Freemasons, Heathfield Chamber of Commerce, Heathfield Men's Shed, Heathfield WI, Heathfield 1st Scouts, Heathfield & Waldron Rugby Club and Heathfield Park Cricket Club

Mick Gosden compared the evening and led the wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial with the last post and lament cuing the minute's silence before representatives from HDBS and Cadets came forward to light the beacon at 9.15pm, the same as 800 other beacons across the country and in Normandy, as Gill Snook, Chair of the Heathfield & Waldron Parish Council, read the official tribute.

Allan Marchant, an HDBS member, had handmade a giant set piece of 'D-Day 80. All gave some, some gave all. We shall remember them' with lance work which set the poignant scene. Silhouettes of soldiers and a nod to the paratroopers was included in this.

A sing along of songs ended the night as the flames from the beacon faded.

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