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Beacon to be lit to mark 80th Anniversary of D-Day

Published: 6 June 2024

Beacon Lighting Beacon Lighting

A beacon will be lit in Exeter tonight to mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

The beacon lighting will bring an end to a day of special events in the city marking the significant day in world history.

It is now 80 years since Operation Overlord, when allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy during the Second World War. The large-scale operation marked a turning point in the conflict.

The roots of that operation can be traced back to Devon and the Countess Wear road bridge in Exeter in particular, which was used for the training of troops ahead of the D-Day landings.

The road bridge and swing bridge over the Exeter Ship Canal were chosen because they mirrored the layout of two bridges in Normandy across the River Orne.

This morning there was a special service and official unveiling of an interpretation board charting the history of the bridges and their role in preparations for the D-Day landings.

Representatives from the 6 Rifles attended, along with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Paul Knott, and other dignitaries.

Tonight, a D-Day beacon will be lit down by the maritime buoy on the King’s Arms Isthmus. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

There will be a parade of military cadets, music and a lighting of the 80th Anniversary beacon by the Deputy Lord Mayor. The evening event will start at around 9pm and culminate in the lighting of the beacon at around 9.15pm.

The two events have been organised through close working between the City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Office, the 6th Battalion of the Rifles and the Exeter Sea Cadets.

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