D Day 80th anniversary commemorations in Thanet

Broadstairs will be among the towns lighting the beacon on the evening of June 6th

This June marks the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings during World War Two,

Launched on June 6, 1944 Operation Overlord, – including the Royal Navy’s Operation Neptune – commonly known overall as D-Day, was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Over 154,000 troops from eight allied nations boarded 6,000 vessels to cross the English Channel. 24,000 Allied paratroopers and glider infantry drifted down from above, skirting 88mm guns.

The landings began the liberation of German-occupied France from Nazi control and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

To mark the anniversary there will be beacon lightings at 9.15pm on June 6 across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and on the five beaches in Normandy, France, in celebration of the ‘light of peace that emerged from the darkness of war’

National Fish and Chip Day, is also moving from its traditional Friday slot to Thursday 6th June, in support of the D-Day 80th celebrations.


Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council is commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day on  June 6 at Broadstairs Bandstand with live music from Thanet Concert Band and a beacon lighting on Viking Bay.

The Mayor of Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council, Cllr Mike Garner welcomes all residents to attend the event to commemorate the important moment in history and remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.

In collaboration with this event, National Fish and Chip Day has moved its normal date to combine with D-Day. The Town Council encourages the public to join them at Broadstairs Bandstand at 7pm where Thanet Concert Band will be performing and bring with them fish and chips to enjoy. The music will be until 9pm. At 9:15 pm, there will be a beacon lighting on Viking Bay. Before the beacon is lit, there will be an International Tribute at the bandstand led by Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council.

All are welcome.  Free event.


8am: The Proclamation will be read by Leader of the Ramsgate Town Council, Cllr Steve Albon, outside Custom House, Harbour

9am: Raising of the D-Day 80 Flag of Peace at Wellington Crescent.  Cllr Albon will also re-read The Proclamation.

6pm: Historian and archivist, Isaac Naylor from Ramsgate Tunnels will be talking about the D-Day landings and this will be followed by a fish & chip supper. Book your tickets here. A bagpipe Medley will play just before the Beacon Lighting in honour of the bravery of those who fought on the beaches.

6.30pm: St-Laurence-in-Thanet Church bellringers will ‘Ring Out for Peace’

9.15pm: The official Beacon Lighting which will take place opposite the Tunnels and then the Mayor of Ramsgate, Cllr Pat Moore, will read The Tribute.

Ramsgate Tunnels

Men of the British 22nd Independent Parachute Company, 6th Airborne Division being briefed for the invasion, 4–5 June 1944 Image Malindine, E G (Capt), War Office official photographer

On June 6, the Tunnels will join communities all over the country to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the D-day Landings with a talk and fish and chip supper.

The event begins at 6pm with resident historian Isaac Naylor looking at local involvement and the impact of the immense military operation with his talk ‘Wetbobs, Soldiers, and Coastal Forces – Ramsgate, Richborough and D-Day.’

The D-Day landings still rank as the largest amphibious landing in history, and as historian Peter Caddick-Adams summarised so succinctly, ‘Tuesday 6th June 1944, was a day like no other.’

D-Day is an international story, a national story, an epic saga writ large in the annals of history; it is also a local one, with almost every corner of Britain having some connection to the event.

This talk, 80 years to the day, examines the local impact and contribution of Ramsgate and Richborough in the preparations for and successful execution of D-Day.

The talk will cover those forces who were trained and billeted locally, implementation of the large-scale deception operation, and the construction of invaluable components of the famous Mulberry Harbours.

The Fish and Chip supper will be served after the talk.

Lighting of the lamps and the international tribute will commence at 9.15pm proceeded by a bagpipe medley to signify the bravery and spirit of those on the beaches.

Date: 6th June, 6pm, tickets £15. Booking Link: https://ramsgatetunnels.merlintickets.co.uk/product/E00035

Essential Information:

Please remember to dress for the climate in Ramsgate Tunnels, we are a constant 11 degrees all year round despite how warm it may be outside.

This talk is suitable for 14yrs and over.

Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Proof of Age will be required to be served alcohol.


Margate will be welcoming the Mayor of Dunkirk, his wife and small delegation of project staff.

The  Dunkirk mayor will light the Margate beacon at Fort Crescent – gathering from 8.30pm. There will be short presentations from the Air, Army, Sea and Marine and Police cadets of Margate and a short service will be conducted by Fr Denis Hartley.

The beacon lighting will be followed by fireworks on Margate Main Sands at 9.20pm

It is hoped more visits will follow with the aim of collaborating with Dunkerque on the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Dunkerque and the 80th anniversary of VE day both taking place in May next year.

This visit has been facilitated by The Margate School that has ties with Dunkirk. It’s believed the last visit of a Mayor of Dunkirk to Margate was in 1951 when the Towns exchanged caskets containing sand from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Margate Civic Society

Margate Civic Society will hold a special commemorative lecture evening on June 6 from 7.30pm at the Holy Trinity Margate Hall, St Mary’s Avenue, Margate when the speaker will be the very popular and knowledgeable,  Steve Hookins.

The talk entitled “A Short Talk on the Longest Day” will take the form of a virtual battlefield tour highlighting some of the events and individuals involved on this momentous day; based on the battlefield tours to the Normandy invasion beaches that Steve wrote and led as part of the British Army’s Phase I Training Programme.

Prior to the raffle, as is customary once a year, there will be a collection for Cancer Research UK.

Non-Members are most welcome and will be requested to pay £3.50 on the door.

As always, refreshments, merchandise and raffle tickets will be on sale during the evening.


Birchington Parish Council will be holding an event at the Epple Bay beacon to mark the 80th Anniversary of D’Day.

The council is asking people to arrive around 6.30pm with their picnic chairs, blankets and their own drinks – there will be a burger van and an ice cream van on site.

There will be music and entertainment from the Birchington Silver Band and the evening will culminate in the National Beacon Lighting at 9.15pm.


The village is invited to the 80th anniversary commemorations starting at 8pm at St Mary the Virgin Church with a short service and performance by the church choir, Minster school choir and Village Voices.

The village beacon on the church tower will be lit at 9.15pm, viewing from the Lych gate. Refreshments available in the church prior to the beacon lighting.

The event is sponsored by Minster Parish Council.


Manston village will commemorate D-Day with a remembrance service at St Catherine’s Church at 6.30pm. A beacon will be lit at the recreation ground at 9.15pm.


Westgate Town Council will be flying a special 80th anniversary flag on the flagpole. Thanks to the agreement of the Mayor of Margate, there will be a lighting of the beacon which is ( just) in Westbrook.

There will be a service at the War Memorial, at 11am (6 June), followed by refreshments at St. Saviour’s Church.

More details to come


Beryl at one of her events Photo Michael Grantham

On the 6th June 2024, the Parish Council will be commemorating the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D Day landings, with a number of events within the village.

One of these will be a fish and chip lunch in the village hall, which will be served in wrapping paper with tea or coffee. This event will be free for those residents who are 80 or over by 6th June 2024.

Any spare places will be offered to residents of the village and for those younger than 80 there will be a nominal charge.

Beryl Harrison is currently taking names for those who would like to partake of the event, whether over 80 or not, for planning purposes. Your names need to be on the list to be included in the fish and chip lunch. Please contact Beryl by phone or email: [email protected]

Fish and chips will be the only dish on the menu, as the whole significance of this is that fish and chips was the one food that was not rationed throughout the war years.

It is intended to play wartime music at the event, and memories of this momentous time in history will be shared.

If you have neighbours who are in the older age group and who may want to take part in this event, but with no access to the internet, please could you let them know. Beryl’s number is 01843 594094. If unable to answer please leave a message on the answerphone.

Later on that day, the beacon will lit on Hugin’s Green, at 9.15pm, with wartime music being played, and the proclamation relating the occasion being read as has been done in the past. It is intended that we put out a board with photographs and information about the event. If you have any stories relating to that period in time either personally or from loved ones, and you would like them included on this board, please contact Beryl.

The Viking café will be staying open until 10pm for drinks and food, and parking will be available on the green.

There are also 10 Tommy silhouettes around Cliffsend village, including Canterbury Road West, Baker’s Field, Sandwich Road and Chalk Hill, all made by 84-year-old Beryl, and all will be on display until the end of June. One sculpture shows a soldier, sailor and airman saluting the Tommy.

D Day 80th concert Birchington

On June 8th a commemoration concert is to be held, marking 80 years since our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen fought for our Country on the Normandy beaches in 1944.

A charity concert is to be held at The Centre Birchington, by the Birchington Branch of the Royal British Legion with all money raised going to help our veterans of not only WW2 but also later confrontations.

The very popular Railway Swing Band will be performing music of the 1940’s era led by Dave White who is himself a veteran of the Royal Marines. Dave has promised a full programme including some Glenn Miller favourites.

Tickets costing £10 per person.

Please contact Chris Buffrey on 07711938373 or email: [email protected]

Churchill Retirement event

Churchill Retirement Living is calling for local people, especially armed services veterans and their friends and family, to join in with a special event in the lead-up to the 80th  Anniversary of D-Day. The event will take place on Friday 24th May from 2pm-4pm at Invicta Lodge on Nash Road, Westwood.

Everyone is welcome to join Churchill apartment owners to raise a glass and commemorate the 80th anniversary of this historic and decisive moment in the Second World War. Visitors will enjoy a warm welcome, free refreshments, and an opportunity to share memories with like-minded people in the comfort of the development’s comfortable Owners’ Lounge.

To find out more and register to attend, please call 01843 498204 or visit churchillretirement.co.uk

Details for Westgate have been requested.

D Day 80 – Tell us about your event by emailing [email protected]


  1. The overall invasion was codenamed OPERATION OVERLORD whilst the naval part was named OPERATION NEPTUNE. The role played by the navy ships is often understated and without this deep support the operation would almost certainly have failed. It was the RN destroyers being sent in for close inshore bombardment that saved the US troops on Omaha-beech and not Robert Mitchum with his Bsngalores. The trusty old battleship HMS Warspite actually broke up Nazi tank formations 20 miles inland with the broadsides of its 15″ guns!

  2. Pity a picture of British troops was not used ,instead of American.Yes i know the Americans had the worst fatalities, but an American site would not have used British troops to highlight something.My heroes have been ,and are still the Men and Women who fought and served during wwii,and the ones who served since, and to this date

  3. It is great to see the sacrifices of our Armed Forces being remembered from what was a horrific battle to free Europe and I hope todays generation will look, listen and learn how the freedoms they enjoy today was earned. Can I please also mention that the Merchant Navy was also present at “D” Day with over 800 merchant ships and over 1,000 merchant seafarers taking part? WE WILL REMEMBER THEM ALL.
    Phil Hughes. M.N. Retired.

  4. Manston village will commemorate D-Day with a remembrance service at St Catherine’s Church at 6.30pm. A beacon will be lit at the recreation ground at 9.15pm.

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