Wivenhoe Branch RBL mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day at the War Memorial

On Thursday 6th June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June 1944, was marked by a simple but poignant ceremony at the Wivenhoe War Memorial

Peter Hill

On Thursday 6th June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June 1944 was marked by a simple but poignant ceremony at the Wivenhoe War Memorial which was attended by over 50 people including Wivenhoe Town Mayor, Cllr Nick Tile, Deputy Town Mayor Sanchia Nash, former Town Mayors Cllr Bob Needham and Cllr Mike Newton, Borough Cllrs Cyril Liddy and Andrea Luxford Vaughan.

The ceremony was organised by the Wivenhoe Branch of the Royal British Legion.

After RBL Branch Chairman Bob Blackmore had called everyone to order, Lawrence Knox gave an address in which he recalled the extraordinary efforts of the 156,000 people who landed on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago and all those who landed by parachute further in the fields of Normandy, and of the 7,000 vessels which took them across and all the aircraft which were involved on that first day and the 77 days which followed in Operation Overlord. This operation had taken over a year in planning. It was though the beginning of the end of the second World War.  It was at a huge cost though, with over 10,000 casualties on the first day including 2,500 who were killed. Overall over 22,400 allied servicemen died in Operation Overlord as well as large number of French people who were killed in the heavy fighting.

After a respectful silence and the Exhortation said by Lawrence Knox, Martyn Carrick laid the first wreath on behalf of all Normandy Veterans followed by Bob Blackmore who laid a wreath on behalf of all Legion members.

The Rev Erwin Lammens, Rector of St Mary’s led the prayers and, at the end of this simple service held at 11am on what turned out to be a bright sunny morning, spoke movingly of his own memories of the War growing up in Belgium and the eventual liberation of Europe in 1945.

Amongst the 50 members of the Legion and others who turned out were two Legion members from South Africa, Jerry and Jill, who were visiting their daughter who lives in Wivenhoe.

Lest we forget

Peter Hill, President, Wivenhoe Branch RBL

To find out about Wivenhoe’s contribution to the D_day landings and Operation Overlord – click here

This page was added on 07/06/2019.

Comments about this page

  • My father, Lt David Chancellor RNVR, in MMS 86 (Wivenhoe 1942), 104th MSF, commanded the sweeping operation immediately in front of the first wave of landing craft carrying US infantry onto Omah Beach on 6th June 1944. MMS 86 remained afloat until 1985 and was considered to be an outstanding sea-boat during her post war life as ‘Celtic Lord’, servicing oil-rigs out of Aberdeen. I have happy memories of being put to sleep on my father’s bunk when MMS 86 was based in Granton (Edinburgh); oh! the memory of mahogany and brass! She was subsequently renamed Seamoor, then Celtic Lord. She survived until scrapped in 1982 (see Michael J Melvin BEM, ‘Minesweeper’ (1992).

    By Dr Nigel Chancellor, Cambridge (12/05/2020)

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