The view from The Trundle.The view from The Trundle.
The view from The Trundle.

in pictures: Goodwood commemorates 80th anniversary of D-Day landings with beacon lighting

The Duke of Richmond, together with his family, staff and members of the public, came together to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings with a beacon lighting last Thursday (June 6).

Taking place on top of the The Trundle, just outside Chichester and near the Goodwood Estate, the Duke addressed a crowd of onlookers before lighting a wooden beacon at 9.15pm, which joined hundreds of others in communities across Sussex; some of which were visible in the distance, flickering in the fast-fading light.

Taking place in 1944, the D-Day landings were a turning point in the Second World War; the moment Britain, America and Commonwealth Forces re-opened a second, Western front in the war against Germany and started the long fight to liberate parts of occupied Europe. This year’s anniversary, the 80th, marks the last significant war-time milestone many of the veterans who were actually there might live to see.

Speaking to Sussex World, the Duke of Richmond was all too aware of that fact: “This could well be the last. And Revival has been a part of that all the way; we make sure to celebrate these moments at Revival, and we’re going to have a big show of support this year; We want to have more military vehicles on display this year than you can shake a stick at; we’re really looking forward to it.”

Colonel Anthony Feltham-White OBE, who also attended, had similar things to say: “It couldn’t be more special. We can almost emotionally time-travel to times when we’ve been involved in operations when we celebrate things like this. There’s very much an enhanced empathy and also a sort of knowledge; having served with soldiers in operations, you see the grit and determination, the steel in them. It would have been the same for the young men who set off in those landing crafts and those air crafts eighty years ago. We forget it at our peril.”

Representing the city of Chichester, Mayor Richard Plowman added: “This is an especially poignant occasion. I remember attending the 60th anniversary, and there were still a few veterans there. Nowadays a lot of the veterans are in their nineties, so it’s pertinent to remember these events, and carry on the traditions.”

​A D-Day wreath laying event at Chichester’s Litten Gardens saw the coming together of veterans, their families and city councillors.

Thomas Shield, aged 11, from Felpham School, along with his grandfather laid up the wreath and was wearing his great grandfather's medals who was a WW2 veteran who served in the County Regiment Royal Sussex and was mentioned in dispatches.

A wreath was also laid by the Chichester newly appointed lady mayor Sarah Quail.

The last post was played by a member of the Chichester City band during the ceremony, which was put together by the Chichester Branch Queensmen.

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