D-Day 80th anniversary in Deddington


The influence of one particular Deddington resident played a big part in the D-Day landings

Villagers in Deddington came together early this morning (Thursday) to pay their respects and mark today’s 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Shortly before 6.30am people gathered in the Market Place with Royal British Legion Veterans, serving personnel, members of the Scouts and the emergency services amongst them.   Retired submarine captain, Commander Robert Forsyth welcomed everyone and introduced the Reverend Nick Fielden, who led prayers before the names of the 13 local men who had died during the second world war were read out.

Following a two minutes silence the Union Flag was hoisted and Piper Stewart Carnegie played Highland Laddie – the tune which had been played in 1944 when the landings took place at Sword Beach in Normandy.

The early start in Deddington was chosen in recognition of the timings of D-Day 80 years ago.   Then, paratroopers began landing after midnight, followed by a massive naval and aerial bombardment at 6.30am.

The influence of one particular Deddington resident played a big part in the D-Day landings.  Major-General Sir Percy Hobart had been retired from the army after crossing swords with senior military officials over his innovative ideas for armoured vehicles.

As the war began Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew that he would need someone to create vehicles for the landings in France, when that eventually happened.   General Hobart was suggested as the man for the job.   At the time he was in Deddington running the Home Guard as a Lance Corporal.

Commander Forsyth from Deddington Royal British Legion told Banbury FM: “Churchill told him he had no money, no troops, no vehicles, but there was an office.   By 1943-44 he needed an armoured brigade to clear the beaches – and he did it!

“I think we had six from Deddington who landed on the beaches on D-Day.”

In recognition of the part he played Hobart Way in the village was named after General Hobart.   Villagers would like a blue plaque on his former home, but two earlier attempts to gain permission for that move have failed.   Its hoped a third attempt in this 80th anniversary year will be successful.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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