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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Whitehaven remembers D-Day sacrifice

The sun streamed down on Whitehaven as the town marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Whitehaven D-Day ceremony photo
The standards are lowered

An emotional day saw more than 50 people make their way to St Nicholas’ Gardens yesterday to pay tribute to those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Mayor of Copeland, Eileen Eastwood, led the tributes as she lay down a wreath on behalf of the borough.

Opening the service of remembrance, the Rev Richard Lee told the assembled crowd: “Let us remember before God, and command to his sure keeping, those who have died in the service of their country.”

Ex-soldier Ray Devlin read The Exhortation passage and spoke of the importance of the day to our country. Formerly of the 81st Parachute Regiment, Whitehaven man Ray, 81, said: “On this day 70 years ago, people lost their lives, sacrificing themselves for the good of the world.

“We have to remember them and that’s why this day is still so important.”

A gun salute and a two-minute silence followed.

George Cottier, 89, also of Whitehaven, was a driver in the 61st Regiment.

He said: “There were so many killed so it’s important we show our respects. The lives lost should be celebrated.”

Bill Gribbin, 84, also from the town, was part of the occupying forces in Germany after the war.

“We have to look back at how many lives were lost,” he said, “and remember them because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

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