REMEMBRANCE June D Day
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D DAY SERVICE AT THE RAF HARWELL MEMORIAL STONE
On the Saturday nearest to the anniversary of D-Day, a parade and service is held at the RAF Harwell Memorial Stone at the Harwell Campus. The stone marks the departure point for Servicemen who were amongst the first to land on D-Day. This is organised by the Royal British Legion Harwell Branch and supported by the Harwell Campus management.
2019 D Day Service
The 2019 Service will take place on Saturday 8th June. Details will be posted here nearer the date.
2018 D Day Service
The annual D-Day Service held at the Harwell Stone was once again well attended by local dignitaries, veterans and youth groups and local residents.
It was organised again by the Harwell Branch of the Royal British Legion and Duncan Rogers of Harwell Campus with the support of Harwell and Chilton Churches.
The parade’s popularity continues to grow with the onsite campus organisations and business and not only saw the regular attendance of representatives from organisations and business on the Harwell Campus but we welcomed ResMed and Research Council at Harwell to the wreath layers list. British Legion Branches and Veterans organisations across Oxfordshire and Berkshire attended, with a wreath laid by RAFA and the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Associations for the first time.
Vale of the White Horse District Council Chair, Cllr Monica Lovett, laid the first of 29 wreaths, while 14 Standards were on parade
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.
The Service was conducted by Rev. Pam Rolls with the Last Post played by Dr Tony Hughes with Mr John McFarlane-Horgan accompanying the Parade’s proceedings on the bagpipes.
The inscription on the stone reads:
"THIS STONE MARKS THE END OF THE RUNWAY FROM WHICH AIRCRAFT OF No. 38 GROUP ROYAL AIR FORCE TOOK OFF ON THE NIGHT OF 5 JUNE 1944 WITH TROOPS OF THE 6th AIRBORNE DIVISION WHO WERE AMONG THE FIRST BRITISH SOLDIERS TO LAND IN NORMANDY ON THE MAIN ASSAULT FOR THE LIBERATION OF EUROPE"
This year’s most memorable addition was that of the Tiger Moth flown expertly by Peter Benest, one of the Tiger-9 team, which took part just as the parade finished allowing all to enjoy the sight and sound of the Moth flying overhead.
A collection was made for the Poppy Appeal which totalled £42.27.
Thanks are also due to Duncan Rogers of Harwell Campus for the site preparation and management, printing a significant number of service sheets and granting permission and access to hold the event.
Harwell Branch RBL Ceremonial Officer
Photos by Simon Haycox:
Photos from the 2015, 2017 and 2018 parade are on the Chilton Village Community Facebook Page photo stream.
Photos below, from the 2014 Service and of the Harwell Stone, are both by Frank Dumbleton.