Special ceremony in Horsham marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day landings

A special commemorative ceremony was held in Horsham on Thursday, June 7, to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service joined the nation in honouring the occasion at Platinum House, the service’s new training centre and fire station for Horsham.

World War II veterans Corporal George Durrant, of the Intelligence Corps, from Crawley; John Keating; Jimmy Justice and Robin Coppard attended the event, as well local clergy, Horsham Royal British Legion, Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Rickard and representatives from Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council.

During the ceremony hymns, readings and biographies of each attending veteran were read aloud while military vehicles and stalls giving insight into West Sussex’s role in the D-Day landings were on display. A pianist also attended to play music from the 1940s and the group took part in a singalong.

Watch manager and Armed Forces Covenant Representative Mick Lewin said: “The events of the Second World War are rapidly slipping from living memory. It is important we remember the terrible damage of war and the huge number of lives lost and families that were torn apart.

“The courage and self-sacrifice of those who fought to protect our freedoms must not be forgotten. There are comparatively few people in our country now who can remember what it was like to live through war in our nation.

“But it is also a time to think about those around the world who know all too well the horror of living through war.

“We wanted to host this community event as a mark of respect to remind residents living in our communities of all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

“Thank you to Horsham Piano centre, MFXwraps, STORM military vehicles, Café Du Van and local veteran groups for their generous support.”