The annual D-Day Service held at the Harwell Stone was this year recognising the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. A significant milestone. The DDay75 Campaign, which was well publicised in the national press with the National activities centred on Portsmouth on 6th June.
Harwell Branch reached out to the local military establishments and were successful in confirming attendance from Vauxhall and Dennison Army Barracks, RAF Benson.
The aircraft taking off from Harwell, destined for Europe, were of 38 Group RAF and we were honoured to have Wing Commander Blacklock attend to represent the modern day 38 Group. Wing Commander Blacklock was also our Guest of Honour and took the lead in the laying of wreaths.
These Senior Military representatives were also joined by local dignitaries, veterans and veteran associations, local youth groups and Harwell Campus Management and Businesses in laying wreaths.
The whole event was again organised by the Harwell Branch of the Royal British Legion, with the support of the Harwell Campus Management and of Harwell and Chilton Churches.
With such a milestone anniversary, interest and attendance was higher than we have seen before. Over 200 people attended the service, with a record 37 wreaths laid at the Memorial Stone. This was partly down to the VIPs invited for this 75th Anniversary, but also more veteran associations and on site businesses getting involved.
A Guard of Honour was formed by Wantage and Didcot Squadrons of the Air Training Corps with the pupils from Chilton School also taking part in proceedings by laying poppies and wooden crosses. A flypast by Historical Army Aircraft Flight was organised, but due to the high winds was unable to take place.
The Service was conducted by Rev. Jonathan Mobey. The Last Post was performed by Dr Tony Hughes with Mr John McFarlane-Horgan accompanying the Parade’s proceedings on the bagpipes.
A collection was made for the Poppy Appeal which totalled £183.62
Thanks are also due to Harwell Campus Management Team for the site preparation and management, printing a significant number of service sheets and granting permission and access to hold the event.
Ceremonial Officer Harwell Branch RBL